Yesterday, in part 1
, we spoke about the business cycle of a pro comp and why some comps seemed to work in 2004. We left off thinking about what are the best aspects of a pro comp......
Part 2 of 4
Effraim: Good question. The best thing I can think of right now, is that everyone can see these events at least within 2-3 days after the contest worldwide. And on some occasions, live feed.
Bobby: Well aside from quick broadcasting, which is really just a function of the internet, what do you think is the best thing that pro comps have to offer flatland?
Effraim: To be honest I'm struggling.
Effraim: What do you think?
Bobby: I think it's a way to bring everyone together in person. At the Worlds or the Masters it's good to be represented with the rest of BMX.
Effraim: Right. But that's no different than a jam, or the x games 8 years ago...
Bobby: For someone on a team, I suppose they can tell a sponsor, their "ranking" on the circuit. To a lesser degree some people are actually competitive and like to "win" and this is a way to let that out. I think the jam is better suited for allowing people to mix it up. Ams can ride all day with Pros and riders have a lot of time exchange information.
Effraim: Yes, the ranking is good. In some ways, but as the sport has changed, majority of sponsors don't care what you placed at a contest. Look at the rest of BMX. Some of the biggest names, Chase Hawk, Aaron Ross, etc are not contest machines. And they are selling product.
Bobby: So it's an interesting predicament we are in...
Effraim: Yes it is...
Bobby: Flatland doesn't have enough riders to sell heaps of product. There's no surplus of money to really re-invest into the sport.
Effraim: Like LL Cool J said "at the crossroads, crossroads"
Bobby: Flatland companies don't have the money to support their own pro events. We have to rely on outside money year after year....
Effraim: No we can't, and the contests are alienating more and more riders each time. People are staying home, enjoying their riding in the purest form which ultimately is what its all about anyway...
Bobby: Hmmmmm....It seems like the battle format and other features of the comps are set in place to get the crowd excited.
Effraim: Yes they were originally, but I don't see that it went down like that in the end.
Bobby: World Classic in Japan was really an experiment to prove the format of a big flatland TV show format.
Effraim: When I look back at some of the great runs of all time, the crowd was louder in a two run format 3 min run format. Way louder and now its a show. Certain riders do things to hype the crowd which you know. Its a become a show, and fake to some degree, i'm not into that, its far removed from everyday riding, majority of street riding friends think flat contests are gay...thats their perception.
Bobby: I'm thinking instead of concentrating on pro comps, in the professional realm, riders should be concentrating on selling flatland as entertainment. Comps are really just a rider on rider battle for honor as there is very little money to be won. However, if you had a Pro-level comp with no money, my guess, is that not many pros will show up. So that means the pro riders are chasing money to a certain extent.
Flatring 2006, "competition as a performance" ...
Bobby: Instead of trying to make a comp into a show, just straight up make flatland entertainment. Demos, school shows, commercials, tv shows, events, etc. Don't even worry about trying to beat the next pro in a battle, worry about how to get the next show contract or tv placement, that's the real battle. Get paid through that avenue instead of training for a comp where there is little exposure and little money. As a pro, you could go out and make a thousand dollars doing a set of shows, as opposed to $150 at a comp where you got 6th place and spent months training for it. Drop your hardest tricks in the videos to hype up what few riders are out there to buy your sponsor's product and go meet the riders at the jams.
Effraim: Flatland is about the individual, pushing yourself that's what its always been for me anyway. That may be different for each rider also what you haven't mentioned is one of the changes.
Bobby: There are two realms. First is pure riding for yourself. The second is, "how do you make a living from riding, if possible?"
Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow!