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S MacLeod

Member Since 21 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 10:50 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 Entrants

08 November 2013 - 09:26 PM

you did? who are you? I don't remember anyone named Mr. Fixit at Tulane? :)

MacLeod! There's a sudden memory. Sailed with him back in his Tulane days.

In Topic: Open Letter to Larry Ellison

21 August 2013 - 06:25 PM

Reboot  = monohulls 60-70 foot very tight box, low cost / 1 big event (worlds) in the main venue each year leading up to AC35/ do not create world series of events unless fully paid for and license to others (wmrt, tp52) as a promotional marketing platform only as it will not be a profit center in next cycle.  Focus your marketing/TV on nationalities and personalities and the game not crash & burn.  However, before you do anything?  do some real research on what the fan, casual fan and non-fan want and be guided by them not what I or any other expert thinks.  You may be surprised what you learn. 


Unfortunately this hasn't worked and the numbers speak for themselves.  In addition, the sports marketing industry has been turned off the event so it may be 2-3 cycles to rebuild credibility with them before they look at buying again.  The numbers have to add up and provide a good ROI.  


WMRT seems to be doing ok since I sold the series in 2009. It's a great series and I'm glad to see it still running even with the Cup going to Cats.  I'm just glad it's not me writing the checks or taking the risk on the series or the events as it must be a very difficult market for sailing sponsorship properties right now.        

In Topic: Open Letter to Larry Ellison

21 August 2013 - 03:57 PM




Dear Larry,


You are used to having things your own way.


But next time, instead of barging ahead with your own "vision," hire consultation experts and listen to what others have to say.


By listening to others you can better avod moral quagmires and fatalities and maybe build a better event.


Cheers, TK

You fail to remember that they did have a consultation.    The fact that you didn't get what you wanted doesn't mean it didn't happen.


I'm not saying they got the optimal outcome, but the decision was made at the time with consultation and of course expecting a better outcome.   But to judge the decision, and do so with integrity, you must do so with the information they had then, not stand here today knowing how the future played out (financial crisis, few challengers, dead sailors, SF shenanigans, and then say "see you were wrong".  Criticizing decisions by the outcomes is akin to criticizing someone for going all in with a full house because they were beat by a royal flush. Good decisions can have bad outcomes.


In consultation, nobody gets everything, and the losers usually say they weren't listened to instead of admitting they weren't persuasive enough.

As a person who was "consulted" let me add a couple of points.  There was plenty of information available at the time to suggest the primary assumptions (commercial assumptions - not technical - I had no role in that) were overly aggressive.  The economy didn't start failing in 2010 - that started in 2008/9..easy to assume it wasn't going to get better.  Pricing assumptions for the ACWS - naive. Pricing assumptions for major sponsor categories?  Out of the market to anyone of substance you cared to ask.. Communications?  Weak at best. While the technical improvement to TV are great, the amounts spent for the resulting TV distribution  shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the TV market - in spite of access to consultants who knew better.  The reality - and I've said this a number of times in this forum - is that RC, Barclay and Ehman didn't want to hear any advice that ran counter to the narrative they had (and possibly what they pre-sold to LE).  If you didn't support their assumptions, you were dismissed.  So you end up with Worth and Thompson as the fall guys for a commercial vision that was never going to happen.  I could go into a lot more detail - but I think this covers my basic point. 


You are really proving you do not know what you are talking about by including Barclay and Ehman has part of the problem.


Ehman had relatively little to do with any of the ACEA marketing stuff, in fact, Worth and Thompson kept him out of the loop as much as possible.  Fact is, he had no management or operational authority at ACEA.   And what makes you think he agreed with Worth and Thompson anyway and didn't work to get them flicked because he knew they were wrong?


Barclay was working for OTUSA when the whole Marketing equation was set up by ACEA.  He was only brought in later to try and clean up the mess that Worth and Thompson made.  ACEA has Lexus and OTUSA has Audi as sponsors.  What's that tell you about the synergy between the two organizations?

Peter - before there was an ACEA/ACRM there was OTUSA and its management team.  The people LE counted on to deliver results on the water and then with the organization of the defense.  To suggest that Ehman and Barclay weren't part of the team who "designed" the ACEA/ACRM concept, recruited its people and made the initial budgets proves you have no clue about what was going on in late 2009 through AC33 and just after.  Beside, if you really think they hired Worth and Thompson and gave them a clean sheet of paper and allowed them to determine the budgets and, oh - by the way - pul it all together in 12 months, then no amount of information is going to change your perspective.  I'll concede Barclay and Ehman (to a lesser degree) didn't have the same horsepower as Russell in the equation - but so what - that misses the point.  The concept as hatched by that team (and LE) was fundamentally flawed from the earliest stages -before ACEA, ACRM, and Worth and Thompson.  As far as I know, both Ehman and Barclay, minimally, drank the kool-aide and have been part of a terribly executed event and therefore share in the blame.  Its not as though the ONLY thing they got wrong was the original concept!


Finally, I guess you're so far on the inside you've learned about a secret Audi sponsorship of OTUSA - because there's no branding on the boat and Audi isn't listed as a sponsor - but hey, what do I know?


I don't post much if at all but I have to fully agree with Selling Sailing. I had similar conversations in the sping and early summer of 2010 well before Thompson and Worth had been officially hired. Worth may have been an advisor and Thompson wasn't hired until September.  However, the new vision and overall business plan assumptions were set. Anyone who questioned those business assumptions (and I did and have the expertise to do so) was dismissed or ignored.  You can now say "I told you so" but that's not going to get anyone anywhere now.  Hopefully Larry reboots and gets some proper advice and listens to it.