Author Topic: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"  (Read 20030 times)

Offline stvnlpsly

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2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« on: September 23, 2011, 11:22:22 PM »
As some of you who have seen either here (on Global-Flat) or from my posts on Twitter or Facebook, the Am Flatland Circuit is possibly not going to happen in 2012.


One of the main reasons is funding.  I started this series to kind of bring the competitive side of flatland together in a slightly more organized way.  In year one of the series almost everything was funded on my own dime.  FlatlandFuel assisted with the tshirts and also with the year end prize of a MTF frame which Bryan Huffman won.  Everything else was funded by myself.  The first year of the circuit I spent approx. $1500.


Year two of the Am Flatland Circuit was funded 100% by myself.  I did have family (my brother Shaun) help out a bit with the tshirts.  Everything from website to trophies to running/organizing the final two rounds was out of my own pocket.  In year two of the Am Flatland Circuit I spent aprox. $2200.

Estimating the changes I'd like to implement in 2012 I expect to spend aprox. $2500 - $3000.

The circuit has grown in many ways from year one to year two.  Some bumps we hit in year one caused changes in how year two went, and some bumps in year two will help us in the future.  The circuit has grown in participation also.  I think aprox. 95 riders competed in contests part of the Am Flatland Circuit in year one.  I believe aprox 120 riders competed in the contests included in the second year of the Am Flatland Circuit.


We split the circuit into the AM Series and the Pro Series... and also had Beginner Classes added to some events as well as Veteran Class added to some. With the addition of Pro brought the need for three additional trophies.  We also added two new categories (and trophies) to the Year End Prizes for Most Improved Rider: Mark Kuhlmann and Most Outstanding Rider: Joe Cicman.


I see the circuit growing a bit more before it will eventually level out.


I have contacted those events who potentially would be included on the circuit in 2012 with a proposal to help the series continue.  However, the idea wasn't accepted as warmly as I hoped.  I am choosing not to share some of these details right now, but will eventually once things are hashed out.


Alot of rider input has already been taken into consideration... I would like some more.  I know alot of you have some good ideas.  Some are feasible some are not.  No idea is a bad idea though.


I would like to use this thread to create an open forum to discuss ideas of the riders (since you are who make the circuit what it is.)


A few ideas already out there...


1) Have a circuit registration fee.
- I like the idea of this but when you think it through, I don't see a lot of riders buying into this.  I can see a small group of riders, who compete on all the stops doing this, but I don't see it spreading much further than that.
- I don't see the events buying into giving reduced rates for those on the circuit either.


2) Have an open donation.
- If anyone would like to donate to the Am Flatland Circuit... I won't stop you :)


A few rules I'd like to keep here...


1) Could we please keep this thread to ways to help the Am Flatland Circuit sustain financially
2) This is not a discussion about judging formats, contest/run formats
3) This isn't a discussion on which events should be included.  If anyone has an event they are organizing or has an idea for which contest they believe should be included... please email me and we can talk more directly - steve@amflatlandcircuit.com


Thanks for the support!


~Steve Lapsley
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 11:25:20 PM by SteveLaps »

Offline Theory

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2011, 02:58:13 AM »

1) Fundraiser: People can donate parts/bikes to be sold, money goes towards the circuit.


2) Maybe sponsors of the circuit, if they have the means, can donate a portion of proceeds of certain items they sell to the circuit?


3) I'm sure more competitors show up to circuit events then some others. A slight percentage of entry fees goes to the circuit? The contest has more competiors which increases the prize pots which is better for that particular event to be a part of the circuit.


4) Go the band merch way, along with shirts try buttons and other things?


5) 50/50 raffle at the events?






Offline AlanYoung

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2011, 06:52:11 AM »
Raising more money by fundraisers, riders or selling t-shirts is not the answer. This same situation has been appearing for years. Failure to recognize or distinguish one form of error from another will only repeat it.
 
The answer in its most simplest and complicated form is best said in this historical quote from George Santayana.  "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Offline 2flat2furious

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2011, 08:03:40 AM »
Sponsors should be picking up the tab. If they want exposure, they need to see it's worth it.

I saw almost NO COVERAGE of last years circuit. That's ridiculous.

Pay people a few bucks to cover the event ahead of time, that way you know sponsors are getting their moneys worth, and they'll have more reason to invest.

Offline AlanYoung

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2011, 04:33:37 AM »
I know that i was more concerned about the riders getting transportation, the formatting, and the overall timeline of the event among other things, than about the overall circuit itself.
 
A summary of each event followed by a interview on the Class Winner(s) would be a great addition.  It was only done on one event that i know of last year. A contract/package needs to be developed by the Circuit organizer stating the objectives, the goal and the needs thats will be supplied to the sponsors.

Offline Kevin G.

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 05:16:50 PM »
If flatland had more advertisement it would help alot. So far,only riders or friends and familly of riders know when there's an event, unlike X-games, that everybody knows.

Offline wookie

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2011, 05:32:35 PM »
TJ brings up a great point.  There was very limited coverage of the events this past year.  Even if there was just a tripod set up to film the actual contest runs that would go a long way as to having raw footage to edit down into a few post event updates, could also be used to evaluate the judging system but thats another matter.


  I also like the idea of getting an mini interview from a rider at each stop.  You know the FlatwebTV guys would be psyched to have some more domestic content to show on their monthly webcasts!  Plus FatTony is a great IN to get that kind of content on the RideBMX site. 


You may need to look at larger sponsors for the circuit to help recoop some of your costs.  Perhaps hit up an energy drink sponsor, although that might be in conflict with certain individual events.  Maybe an apparel or shoe co.?  Something BIGGER than a small scale flatland company is what I'm getting at.


Brian

Offline 2flat2furious

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 05:41:20 PM »
You may need to look at larger sponsors for the circuit to help recoop some of your costs.  Perhaps hit up an energy drink sponsor, although that might be in conflict with certain individual events.  Maybe an apparel or shoe co.?  Something BIGGER than a small scale flatland company is what I'm getting at.


Brian

The problem is that you need something to take to the companies in order to sell them on it. You need a 2-3 minute spot highlighting past events and what's been accomplished. You could look at what Redbull did for FwF, but then again that's only one sponsor and they might not be willing to cover a whole circuit.

Question though, I'm kind of confused what the circuit actually did in order to merit the amount of money being spent on it. The events were put on by the organizers themselves in most cases (Dayton, FwF, Toronto) so it's not like the out of pocket expenses went there. I'm just kind of confused why there needs to be anything beyond a website and a few year end prizes but I'm sure there's an explanation somewhere.

The trophies could easily be covered by some sponsor pocket money, and there's no reason why the circuit needs to put on events independent of what's being offered already.

It seems like the only way to get these companies interested in sponsoring events isn't by selling them on what could be done, but rather what has already been done and how a partnership with them would improve things. If I were redbull I wouldn't sponsor anything if you can't get a few guys with Cameras to take pictures. I never saw a single contest run/practice edit from that Indy comp, and the only footage I saw from the NY contest was on Ron Bakers cell phone. How can you sell someone on the idea that you're an organizer and promoter when there was no promotion or organization for coverage? I say that rhetorically, not specifically targeted at Steve. Organizers just don't bother making sure the events they put on get the attention they deserve. So why would sponsors?


Offline bhuffman

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2011, 03:30:06 AM »
Going to sit down and give this some thought...agree with a lot of this and I've already shared some ideas on the other thread. I will go ahead and sign on up for writing coverage of each event, I've done that with many events in the past if someone else doesn't want to do it. I'd do the pictures/video but since I judge a lot it might be difficult to do that. C'mon - someone can man up and sign up for pics and videos (I sugget two different people who hit all the stops). It's a start.
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Offline AlanYoung

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 05:58:38 AM »
     We have to create credibility and a want for outside sponsors to enter into the sport. If we keep having endemic companies like Flatlandfuel, Redbull and other flatland specific brands keep supporting our contests, we are not doing ourselves any good or moving forward.
 
     I find this situation no different than the movie "Step Brothers." For those who have not seen that movie, two 40yr old men are still living at home and being dependant on their parents income. They carry no job and are still acting like 13yr olds.
 
Steve and the event organizers need to act as one machine and formulate a "FORMAT" for the season. Non of this Vet class, 30+ class, girl class ect ect. This is too complex and frankly a waste of time for the organizers. As with this past Circuit, the begginer class was added to the circuit, so Jake and myself added the class because it was part of the circuit. We didn't intend to have it ourselves, but once we found out about it, it HAD to be added. Further communication and a set of format rules for the Circuit need to be in line waaayyyyyyyyyyyy and i mean way before the website is updated and the first stop begins. The System Cycle contest with a TBD should never have been put up on the website if it was not 100% going to happen. Yes i understand they changed their distro location, but we all know they had prior knowledge before agreeing to having a contest there. Look at the NFL and NASCAR, they know EXACTLY what and where the races will be at. Hell since im in Indianapolis we have been fixing up the city for the Superbowl that was planned 3 years in advance.
 
    Anyone that says to have more competition or level playing fields to make Flatland better and then suggest more Classes is ubsurd. Two or at most three classes is sufficient for every single Circuit contest. The definition of a contest is "An event in which people compete for supremacy in a sport, activity, or particular quality." (Google dictionary)
 
    Riding is the only way to be better and to do well at contests, you must practice your contest links over and over and over. I can not tell you how many times i had a particular rider from the EAST COAST text, call and message me about how hard he rode that day and practiced his links. He is one of the most dedicated riders i have had the chance to meet when it comes to contest. He prepared months in advance and rode awesome that weekend. Though he did not place as well as he would have liked, a contest is not always about how well your trained previously. Outside factors like the floor, being sick, nervous or not in to it that day are variables that can not be controlled. This is just part of the contest that must be dealt with at that time.
 
 

Offline 2flat2furious

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 06:11:57 AM »
Beginner, Master, Pro.

It works everywhere in Europe doesn't it? Why not here when we have less riders to begin with anyway?

Offline SurfonFlatland

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2011, 09:39:21 AM »
Beginner, Master, Pro.

It works everywhere in Europe doesn't it? Why not here when we have less riders to begin with anyway?

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Offline trevoro

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 06:25:05 AM »
i too am curious about what the money was spent on.

i would consider sponsoring this circuit, if Berry Jam can be added to the list. :)

Offline trevoro

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2011, 06:30:44 AM »
another point, which i have been thinking about in the past.

i think one of the issues is that this circuit has always been a one man show. if something goes wrong, there is potentially only one person for people to blame, even though that is not really fair. if there is a group of people, they can all kind of put their heads together and work together at coming up with a solution, rather than just getting stuck being the victim of often childish criticisms.

as i've said before, if anyone wants my help in devising some sort of organization, etc. i would be more than willing to contribute time and resources.

Offline stvnlpsly

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Re: 2012 Am Flatland Circuit "Think-Tank"
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2011, 10:52:19 PM »
I like some of the ideas coming, keep it up guys thanks...


I also don't want to make this turn into me defending myself on some things... so I will answer some of the questions and leave some others alone...


Some of the things that cost money... Tshirts, Website, Trophies, banner... these things add up.  Also, I feel as the organizer of the circuit it is important for me to be at these events.  So travel/hotel etc costs are added into that.  Not all, but some.  (As a side note, for those who were at events on the circuit, I slept in my car at each stop.) 


As for the circuit running events independently... The York contest (which I feel was a huge success, was pitched to me almost a year ahead of time) was set as a circuit event right from the beginning of the year.  As for the DK contest being listed as TBD... they did sign on to be on the circuit as soon as the previous contest ended.  The exact date was not set but the event was.  It was pulled last minute and instead of ending the series "unfished" I ran another contest.  I wouldn't call the Buffalo contest a success, but I sure wouldnt call it a failure either.  Also on the TBD date issue... if I recall the Indy contest changed dates a few times after an official date was released to me to post on the website.


As for the classes...


I think the 4 main classes should be Beginner, Expert, Master and Pro.  There is a huge gap that having that one extra class fills.  This year with some contests... Beginner and Veteran were "experimental" classes... at least for me and the circuit.  I think the need is there for Beginner... however, I think this year showed that Vet doesn't get enough participation. 


For the circuit in 2012 (should everything work out) I would push to have Beginner, Expert, Master and Pro at all circuit stops.


To address the idea of contacting outside sponsors with proposals and ideas on helping support the circuit... this was done for the 2011 circuit.  My wife is an events organizer for the local hospital here in Buffalo and helped with all the proposals the the bigger sponsors.  These were done very professionally.  Also, the requests were very reasonable... from anywhere from $100 for minor sponsorship, to $1000 for top sponsorship...


Neither BMX companies or non BMX companies agreed to any finacial aid.


However... I think a big step this year was we did bring in sponsors from outside the sport of BMX and also from outside of "Flatland" ... Climb On! supplied us with TONS of swag to give away at each event that I believe the riders felt positive about.  I am working on future relations with this company that could turn into financial support.  Also Quintin Hat Co. supplied some prizes also, but nothing financial.  Yes this company is involved in BMX some but not flatland.


Common "BMX" sponsoring companies like Monster, RedBull, SkullCandy, Mnt Dew, Gatorade, Carhartt, Levi's, ect were all contacted with professional proposals.  I had follow ups with some companies that ended with a no, and some companies just gave a straight no from the get go.


Regardless if you feel flatland should stay small or grow bigger... I am trying to do my part to push it further.  Myself and a group of riders... pros and amateurs... have some ideas and have talked about some ideas for the future... nothing has materialized yet though.


So please continue pushing ideas and thanks for supporting the circuit.


Steve