show me the money, part 9,873

d'ranger

Super Anarchist
29,214
4,308
Ahhh yes. D’ranger.
Bermuda. I was there too. Very cool. The boats are now obviously more advanced and more similar but still very cool in the hands of those experts.

I take it you’re a Kiwi

"…and happy that NZ did so well."

I can’t see how that adds to your point or is in the least bit necessary to add that or what relevance that has or why you’d find it necessary to mention it.
Native Texas who admires the Kiwis for a number of reasons - my only point which was not made well is that in person those races were really worth it to get there. The one hour on NBC (maybe not a big enough sample) was disjointed moments making it hard to follow with inane commentary leaving me with just WTF? It was making a comparison - as the AC videos were also great to watch - the GP was an hour wasted. Hope that helps.
 

Not for nothing

Super Anarchist
3,272
749
jupiter
I'm not a sports FAN. Some AC at the most.
So this article, you think their would want to grow the sport not limit the # of boats,
Maybe made it an NCAA sport, with smaller more crew dependent boats.
Get more nations/states involved, have rules like the you sail for your country/state/college not the highest paid.
may be Dubai should sponsor it, like they did for golf?
Bring on board one transgender crew to get the republicans to watch and bring it to the SCOTUS for free advertising
 

Bump-n-Grind

Get off my lawn.
14,769
3,555
Chesapeake Bay/Vail
Hmmm. CurlingGP. You might be on to something there.
or just make all the sailGP teams wear this gear!!
1658107036420.png
 

Gigantasy

Front Row Himbo
53
38
Oakland
I know it's due to the intended audience being non-sailors, but the constant announcer orgasming over the KpH-based top speed numbers adds a thin veneer of bullshit that makes the broadcasts hard to enjoy.
 

Marty Gingras

Mid-range Anarchist
I know it's due to the intended audience being non-sailors, but the constant announcer orgasming over the KpH-based top speed numbers adds a thin veneer of bullshit that makes the broadcasts hard to enjoy.
Star Sailors League has commentators who know racing, but one seems naturally excitable, Dutch or something, and trying to hype things up. Lots of loud 'Oy! Oy! Oy! Nevermind.' I jump every time.
 

Chris in Santa Cruz CA

Super Anarchist
6,209
1,319
earths surface
View attachment 528950

Could the whole SailGP circus be beginning to fall off its foils? The overnight announcement that the Japan team – consistently one of the event’s better performers – has been dumped from the tour is extraordinary.

Even more dumbfounding is the stated reason for the sacking.

The skipper, Nathan Outteridge, and his crew weren’t jettisoned because of poor performance. They failed to raise the level of sponsorship money the SailGP business now demands of its participants, so they have been forced to give up their boat to a new team that can accumulate the required pile of cash.

What this reveals is the unpleasant commercial underbelly of the whole SailGP enterprise. It seems that Larry ‘The Oracle’ Ellison is only prepared to fund his traveling foil-fest for the first few years. Beyond that, each team is expected to support itself financially.

So why does that business model now start to look shaky? Let us count the ways.

It’s not about the boats – the outmoded AC carbon foilers. They could be racing Cape Cod catboats for all most of us might care. It’s the competition that counts.

To conventional sailors (i.e. 99% of us) the problem is the racing itself. The courses are so abbreviated the boat that wins the start is invariably ahead at the first mark – a leg that takes less than a minute to sail. After that, barring catastrophes, it’s usually a procession.

In an apparent attempt to counter that predictability Messrs Ellison & Coutts imposed a ‘winner-take-all’ final that apes the equally silly ‘Medal Race’ conclusion to championships in the Olympic classes. While the professionals might tolerate this attempt to generate synthetic excitement, most sailors have more respect for the skippers and crew who establish their winning credentials over a whole series.

The next problem is nationality. By opting to make the competition appear as if it is a contest between teams representing countries, SailGP has locked itself into a transparent hypocrisy. It is difficult to engender the type of national pride that animates truly international sports when the USA and Japan boats are helmed by Australians and an Englishman or Kiwi sails for China, Spain – or Outer Mongolia. Or, whatever.

Beyond those immediate issues, the fundamental hurdle SailGP is yet to clear is that sailing is just not a mass spectator sport, and never will be. It is too specialized and (dare we say) elitist.

Anyone can buy exactly the same equipment and clothing as Rafael Nadal uses for $500, and enjoy years of simple, social tennis at their local court. But to race even a basic Laser will set you back a minimum of $5,000. You then have to spend years mastering a complex skill, learn its arcane rules, and join a club. Want to be competitive offshore against the big boys? Try $5 million.

The commercial core of any major sport is television (and now internet) exposure. Without it, they will always struggle. Truly popular codes can demand huge rights fees from the networks but the also-rans often have to provide coverage free of charge to the mainstream outlets, or even pay to have their sport feature on-air or online.

The Catch-22 of all this is that without proven viewership numbers, the sponsors won’t support teams or buy naming rights and signage. So the minority sports, sailing included, try to tart up their ‘product’ in increasingly frantic attempts to attract eyeballs. They strive to make their sport flashier, more intense, and shorter – everything that sailing is naturally not. It’s hardly surprising that so much of the PR guff pumped out by the SailGP operation emphasizes their inflated TV audience and live-stream claims.

You can sense this creeping desperation in the tone of the SailGP TV programming itself. While the coverage and computer graphics are excellent, the commentators hype the action to ludicrous levels of uninformed sensationalism. (In any case, with the boats often sailing at 40 knots, and each race only taking around 12 minutes, they are often way behind what informed viewers can see for themselves on screen.)

But for the moment, with Ellison’s support, the circus rolls on to the next town. Meanwhile, we should prepare ourselves for more plaintive appeals for sponsorship. That some of the world’s best sailors are reduced to putting out the begging bowl only heightens the suspicion that the flaws in the SailGP business model might eventually prove fatal.

Mr. Oracle’s pockets are deep, but not bottomless. He didn’t become the world’s 8th richest man by throwing good money after bad.
Did you really write all those words yourself? Asking for a friend.
 

shebeen

Super Anarchist
View attachment 528950



Mr. Oracle’s pockets are deep, but not bottomless. He didn’t become the world’s 8th richest man by throwing good money after bad.
Mr Oracle has very very very deep pockets.
Funding sailing GP is not an issue about the actual numbers, it's more the concept to actually be self sustaining.

I don't think he is close to just pulling the plug, more like tweaking the model.
 

JeronimoII

Anarchist
635
79
Europe
A business model must be flawed when it alienates its core audience with dumb down racing, commentary and terms (kph, driver). A pity but it cannot work this way. It is pretty annoying to watch and therefore we are watching less and less (at least, this is my personal case).
 

bluelaser2

Member
445
82
CLE
People think in terms of analogues. In that sense, because it's racing and there are teams and sponsors and high performance vehicles, we think of SailGP like wet NASCAR. But the cultural roots of southern moonshine running & hillbilly populism are massively more dense than those of any kind of sailing, and that's what makes NASCAR what it is- not metal and asphalt.

The elitism of sailing is not a bug. For many people, it's THE feature. Ralph Lauren made a mint bringing that aspiration to the masses. Nobody seriously argues that Formula One is not elite- the promoters of Formula One seek to actually amplify the elitism.

What spectators really want to see is rich people living their rich lives and playing their rich games, but also being stressed out about losing at their games and losing in their social hierarchy games. SailGP would do well to expand the lifestyle elements of the presentation and actually transmit the culture of yacht racing. They could start by actually racing yachts. One race, 2 or 3 hours. TP52's would be fine, or any bigger powerful keelboats. Big hulls and sails punching thru massive waves. The '87 America's cup was the best televised yacht racing because it looked gorgeous and elegant.

People will tune into see lush real estate, boats, bodies and high personal stakes. They won't tune in for sexy engineering and logistics in any kind of sustainable volume.

People want less action- less pace, less frenzy. They want things that are more deliberate, solid, and stately. Time is the ultimate luxury, so elite sports should squander it by the day and week rather than working hard to get it over with in minutes. That's rarely a good plan!

In other words, SailGP would have more of a chance as an aspirational yacht racing series and spectacle- maybe some youth and Olympic events associated with the big race etc.
 

LionIsland

Member
371
94
Pittwater
Native Texas who admires the Kiwis for a number of reasons - my only point which was not made well is that in person those races were really worth it to get there. The one hour on NBC (maybe not a big enough sample) was disjointed moments making it hard to follow with inane commentary leaving me with just WTF? It was making a comparison - as the AC videos were also great to watch - the GP was an hour wasted. Hope that helps.
Oh. You’re Texan.

Well there you (I) go. That’s made a dickhead of me. I had assumed you were a Kiwi. Maybe I’ll keep my uninformed and probably not particularly funny attempts of a bit of Kiwi ribbing to myself then, shall I?!!

In fact, of course, there’s plenty to admire the Kiwis for, least not how they went in Bermuda in 2017. But I’m from Australia and it’s written into our Constitution not to admit such things. (Not out loud, at least).

Btw, I keep trying to suspect the Sailgp as being scripted to make it interesting (for ratings and sponsorship opportunities etc) but I’m unconvinced that it is.
 

SailingTips.Ca

Feigns Knowledge
790
342
Victoria, BC
Beyond those immediate issues, the fundamental hurdle SailGP is yet to clear is that sailing is just not a mass spectator sport, and never will be. It is too specialized and (dare we say) elitist.

I can't help but draw comparisons to F1.

Car racing is definitely elitist at most levels, but does it have a much larger viewer base.

Is this because most people happen to drive (regular) cars, and in some ways can relate to car racing, but comparatively few people sail?

Anyone can buy exactly the same equipment and clothing as Rafael Nadal uses for $500, and enjoy years of simple, social tennis at their local court. But to race even a basic Laser will set you back a minimum of $5,000. You then have to spend years mastering a complex skill, learn its arcane rules, and join a club. Want to be competitive offshore against the big boys? Try $5 million.

I don't think this is much different than car racing, and even the local hit-to-pass leaguers have to invest a non-trivial amount of time and money to get to the starting line, probably not dissimilar from a Laser.

The commercial core of any major sport is television (and now internet) exposure. Without it, they will always struggle.

The Catch-22 of all this is that without proven viewership numbers, the sponsors won’t support teams or buy naming rights and signage.

This is really the key - is it because of the familiarity of cars vs. sailboats that is the fundamental problem?

And I'm not sure the processional nature of winning the start is really the problem, because the Monaco GP is like that too.

Mr. Oracle’s pockets are deep, but not bottomless. He didn’t become the world’s 8th richest man by throwing good money after bad.

F1 wouldn't do this either, although there are more people seemingly willing to invest because of the much larger audience.
 

Liquid

NFLTG
4,623
806
Over there
And I'm not sure the processional nature of winning the start is really the problem, because the Monaco GP is like that too.

Sure, Monaco is a procession but it takes 3 practice sessions and 3 qualifying stages over the 2 previous days to set that grid. Then there are 21 other venues on the calendar.

The unwashed masses get to the car race track in their cars...

I just don't see sailing breaking into the mainstream.
 




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