Thursday, 7 May 2015

There Is No Free Lunch

Well there should be.. after a road race.. on the day of a National Track League (NTL) event.. and serve beer. Hear me out. Please critique when finished. To be clear, I'm not saying a free lunch will bring fans to NTL's. I just really like cliches

Track and Field isn't the most watched sport, surprise. However, I think that's partly our own fault because we don't make it an experience for fans. Here's how I think we can make it an experience. Combine road racing and track. Marathons are able to put out huge prize money because they have tons of people paying an entry fee to run, jog, walk or crawl 26 miles. They also have large crowds from runners loved ones watching and cheering. The same setup can't be achieved with track races because you can't have thousands of people lining up on the waterfall.

BUT, you can arrange a road race the same day of a track meet in close proximity to the track. Road races are insanely popular and the demographic is perfect. Varied ages, families, singles, active people who can appreciate the difficulty of running, throwing and jumping at the elite athlete level.

So our potential fans get done their road race, time for a cool down and food. They go for a little jog and then head to food. Conveniently, food is located in the stadium that the NTL event is being held. People go through the line and grab their food. They are directed into the stadium's bleachers where they can sit and eat their food. Announce there are draw prizes and that beer will be served at the concession where you can get a free [implement sponsor] bar by showing your bib.

Now, we have adults drinking beer, young children watching elite track athletes and a stadium that is filled with more than just friends and families of athletes. Prize money will increase as well because of the road race that was just hosted.

A possible problem is new fans don't know what/who to cheer for. Nashville has a similar problem, please click that link it's funny, if Nashville can teach their fans hockey we can teach ours Track and Field.

That right there is an experience for everyone. 10 years down the road we want up and coming junior and senior athletes to look back and think NTL's were awesome, I got to go run a road race with my family and then go cheer on athletes like Levins and O'Connell.  I was inspired to be like them and wanted to participate in NTL's one day. That's probably an AC wet dream right there.

Also, we need to make the field more viewer friendly. Have live standings of field events, I can't stand not knowing who is winning throughout the event. I think NTL's are great but turning them into an actual experience for current fans and making new ones is not only doable but it would make them even better. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to make Track and Field better in Canada. If this idea is passable feel free to pass onto people of influence.

Is this blog even about my running? I have been so far out to lunch with these last couple posts. We have our first track workout on the 3rd of May and I open up my season in Calgary with a 1500m & 800m that weekend. Last year, I solo'ed a 3:59 but this year I'm fitter and I should have competition with Hames and maybe some others depending who shows up to dance.  Fast times will come later, patience and consistency for now.

Later Tator,


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