Cue DJ Kool .. "ah-ha, ah-ha, ah-ha ... let me clear my throat (funky saxophone riff)." Welcome to cafe pdog, peeps, where the talk is plain and the coffee is jet black and THERE'S NO ROOM FOR GODDAMN CREAM.
Pray, attend while we talk about miscellaneous and sundry with, as always, no sunshine pumped up anyone buttocks!
Jenna got a hold of a draft of the Boston Consulting Group a weekish ago and ... in a shocking move ... wrote a story about it. BAM. Her story set off some frothing around IndyCar. You can read Jenna's original story here.
The story includes some ideas about length of season, where IndyCar should race, and marketing positioning. Boston Consulting Group's vision (according to their website) is:
"BCG is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises."
Thinking big picture, marketing is a business strategy, but I expected the report to focus more on corporate governance, efficiency, etc. etc. Jenna mentioned that element of the report in passing in this story where Jenna gives her opinions of the suggestions of BCG. Jenna wrote:
"The report contains pages and pages on restructuring team costs and sanctioning fees with tracks, diagrams on rewarding performance with purse money, observations on how to improve operating efficiency through eliminating redundant positions at IndyCar and IMS and targeting key sponsors not currently involved with the series."
Yeah, IndyCar, pay attention to that part of the report, please. The marketing and product development ideas (where and when to race is a product development idea) are fine, but there are big-deal marketing companies who are saying "Isn't that special? BCG is in the marketing strategy and brand positioning business now.*" (*Denotes sarcasm.)
If nothing else, the report (and the fact that Jenna got it out there) stirred up some discussion. Robin Miller was in full-on-umbrage mode. It would be cool if IndyCar would release the final report from BCG, but certainly it's also reasonable for them to keep it to themselves. It's a business planning document, after all. BUT, it's in their best interest to get the "stakeholders" that Uber CEO Mark Miles talks about relentlessly to "buy in" to the new plans, and there is no bigger stakeholder than the fans.Ideas are good. Discussion is good. Paying a group a reported $1million plus for marketing ideas that have been suggested years ago on every blog and forum isn't real awesome, though. As I said, I hope the operations part of the report is worth that $1 million fee.
Speaking of fans, there's an IndyCar fan event today in Chicago -- PSYCH! The fan event is in Indianapolis. Thank goodness. The long-suffering IndyCar fans in Indianapolis are probably feeling ignored. It's a kick-off event. Go here for details.
I live in Des Moines, so yeah, I'm jealous. I also get why IndyCar does ALL its major fan events in Indianapolis: because that's where virtually all its fans are, and it's the lowest costs to them with the greatest probability to draw more than 67 people. And this is kind of a replacement for the State of IndyCar show that the league put on last year. But for those of us out here in the hinterland (Des Moines), well it's kind of like watching the rich kids get more presents. Smile, say "that's a nice thing to do for their fans" then go back to not being able to participate.
I really do have have sympathy for IndyCar when they say "We're screwed if we do, screwed if we don't." Except, I think IndyCar can do more to ramp up its at-track fan events without spending a crap ton of cash. Ideas here. (No charge, IndyCar.) All I'll say is the extreme disparity of fan events in Indy and elsewhere, and the hoopla surrounding the race in Indy and elsewhere is not lost on those of us elsewhere.
Quickly, re: the Indy 500 ... Indy Brew Bus? -- I'll be in Indy for the 500 this year and am scheming on taking the Indy Brew Bus Saturday, maybe at 4. Let me know (in the comments) if you'd be hip to joining us. If we can get a big enough posse, we can all cruise the local brewers and DRINK, ye BASTARDS. Check out the Brew Bus here. Tickets for Memorial Day weekend Saturday aren't on sale yet, but I'm emailing with Brew Bus Captain Andy about it.
Pippa Mann talks to Jessica Bean -- Interesting discussion in transcript form between race car drivers and friends Pippa Mann and Jessica Bean (left) posted at MoreFrontWing.com. Pippa grew up in Europe so she went through karts and into twisty open-wheelers. Jessica grew up in America so she went quarter midgets into oval-only midgets on dirt and asphalt. Now Jessica is attending a Skip Barber School to experience road course driving and discussing her reactions with Pippa.
Number one, props to Jessica for trying the twisty. The discussion between her reactions to it and Pippa's experiences adapting to ovals was fascinating. Also, a little daunting. Given the challenge an oval-since-birth driver faces adapting to twisties, it's easy (for me) to see why few try to do it, especially with the exponentially greater opportunities throughout NASCAR's heavily oval feeder leagues. If an oval driver goes to Skip Barber and learns from scratch how to drive on twisties (which is the right way to do it), then he or she will compete (on the track and in chasing money off track) against drivers who have been twisty racers since karting. I'd say you really have to want it to make that attempt. We'll where Jessica's career takes her.
Wopd update: Collete Davis scores a test, Ashley gets her Porsche on -- Speaking of drivers that came up through karting, Woman of pressdog® (Wopd) Collete Davis (right) is testing with Team USA, which competes in the Panam GP. Read more here.
This was kind of out of the blue for me. I had no idea Panam GP existed, but good for Collete. She's an interesting race car driver in that she's a big math and science brain who drives a car. Collete has done work trying to encourage girls to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects in school. STEM-related jobs are expected to grow super rapidly, so good for Collete spreading the word that being a science brain as a girl is not uncool. (It's dead-sexy, if you ask me.) Collete's focus on encouraging girls to get their science brain on is a large part of the reason she's a Woman of pressdog.
I'll be paying attention to Panam GP as well as fellow Woman of pressdog Ashley Freiberg driving a Porsche sports car in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge. Read more about Ashley here. Still waiting on official word as to what wopd Shea Holbrook will be doing in 2013. Pirelli World Challenge, where she raced sedans the last two years, is a good bet based on her recent tweeting. I also haven't heard what will be up with wopd Cyndie Allemann in 2013. It seems clear Ashley and Shea's primary sponsor last year, TrueCar, has reduced its funding in racing. How much is unclear. They still help sponsor Ashley but are not he super primary sponsor. Meanwhile, the irrepressible Shannon McIntosh continues to hunt for a NASCAR feeder ride.
Phoenix NASCAR -- I don't got much for ya re: Phoenix. I was driving back from the folks' house during the race and listened to it on MRN via Sirius. If you want coverage that does NOT focus on Danica Patrick when she's not in the top 10, I'll strongly recommend MRN. Couple two second mentions when they went through the field, but other than that, nada. Not criticizing, just putting it out there for those of you who complain about the Fox (especially) fixation on Danica. I hear (har) you can listen to MRN streamed via their website here during races. Here are some observations from my homey Steph posted on her multi-racing-discipline-focused LastTurnPass.com.
That's it. Day job. Enjoy viva Las Vegas this weekend. I didn't even mention You Know Who that much. I must be slipping. Peace out.