Saturday, November 21, 2009

GEICO gets hip to Versus

Back in mid-season, Paul Tracy told Robin Miller that GEICO was not hip to Versus.

Apparently, the truth is that GEICO is not hip to the IRL on Versus. When the cable carrier has programming that its exclusively U.S.-based audience wants to watch, then GEICO is very hip to Versus.

Case in point: Versus is televising The Big Game - Cal at Stanford - tonight. Promos throughout the first half have encouraged college football viewers to stick around for the GEICO Halftime Show.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cryptic IMS Leaks are Cause for IndyCar Concern

The headline atop the latest motorsports entry by enigmatic Indianapolis Business Journal blogger Anthony Schoettle is ominous.

Speedway CEO about the get down and dirty

Apparently, laying off more than 13 percent of its staff was only the beginning of budget cuts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It seems that CEO Jeff Belskus has hinted to Schoettle that additional and, perhaps, more substantial cuts are in the pipeline.

Schoettle indicates that both the Brickyard 400 and the MotoGP race are potential casualties. Not surprisingly, he also suggests that the Month of May could be primed for a haircut.

Not a TEAM Player?

Most important to IndyCar Series fans, Belskus is apparently considering either reducing IndyCar TEAM payments or scuttling the appearance money program altogether. Schoettle also mentioned that Belskus might alter the IndyCar Series schedule, focusing on more profitable (read: publicly subsidized) road and street races in lieu of oval tracks.

In my view, that these items are under consideration demonstrates the severity of the financial difficulties that imperil this unwanted product. Belskus is reputed to be a fine accountant. I do not doubt his qualifications with regards to reshaping the projected 2010 IMS Income Statement.

The question is whether or not he is capable of making strategically advantageous decisions. For example, if Belskus were to reconfigure the ridiculously wasteful IndyCar TEAM program, then I would be the first to applaud his efforts. Similarly, I would not shed a tear upon learning that the Brickyard 400 and the MotoGP race are not part of the long-term IMS operating strategy.

Shortening the Month of May would be a mistake, in my assessment. The 500 is a declining event by any objective measure. Whittling away at its edges would not create efficiency, but rather it would only hasten the event's plunge toward irrelevance and, ultimately, annihilation.

Conversely, ending the non-IndyCar escapades at Indianapolis might just make trips to the IMS seem special again. Re-establishing scarcity could be a first step toward restoring the mystique of the Greatest Race in the World.

I will likely have much more to say whenever Belskus chooses to take definitive action. For now, there is a specter that hangs over the hallowed ground of the World's Greatest Race Course. Is Belskus a workouts and turnarounds guy, or is he merely a manager of the downward spiral.

We shall soon know the answer.


IndyCar Product Development Map

Several contributors have suggested that I provide a visual aid that maps where we are and where we are going with regards to IndyCar Product Development.

Drafting the document was not difficult. Figuring out how and where to post it so that everyone can see it was more challenging. Fortunately, BC has provided the space and posted it at the link below.

New Day Rising: IndyCar Product Development

I encourage everyone to review it, read the text, and provide commentary.

Along the way, please keep in mind the following stipulations.

1. The IndyCar Product shall consist of all rules and technical specifications.
2. The number of possible Product Attributes is at present undetermined and unlimited.
3. Each Customer Job to get Done will correspond with at least one of the Core Benefits that we have already established. I imagine that several Jobs will correspond with more than one Core Benefit.

My preference is that we work now to determine some core Customer Jobs to get Done and link them to the appropriate Core Benefits.

We shall then begin to develop Product Attributes that shall provide those Core Benefits that enable Customers to get those jobs done.

As always, I welcome your suggestions.

Thanks again to BC for solving the technical challenges.