Fourth and final article, in a few hours we will be sending out an link to the Mid-Season survey.
I've seen it said that iRacing within sim racing is a niche within a niche and that the number of participants will always be pretty small. Maybe, but I have also seen the recent ground swell of momentum towards the (more) mainstream. Real motor sports have taken notice and we seem to be in this awkward place where there are lots of opinions on the role of sim racing under the motor sports umbrella. Some think it's a legitimate training tool, others are more interested in it from a marketing perspective. (that is code for...they want want to make money off it)
Ahh yes, the money. Is there money in sim racing? Well, that's kind of like asking "was there gold in California in the mid 1800's?" The answer is yes, but you have to die first to get it.
I will admit, running this series sometimes feels a bit like that. (wow, that was a ridiculously long lead up!) Each year it seems the series is pretty close to breaking even financially, then I go and add elements to grow the series, but upping the costs (nobody said I was a genius). With the plans we put forth this year, I knew it was a risky deal, but felt that we had built enough of a reputation that everything would be alright. And really... everything is alright, but honestly, would love for it to be better than that.
I have had many, many people ask how we are doing and how they can help. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate those gestures, but I will repeat here what I so often tell people... I'm willing to make a profit on this series, so I have to be willing to take a loss. That said, would really like to try out this "profit" thing.
So, to answer the question of "How can I help?" (while at the same time making sure that you get value for any dollar you invest in this series.)
Buy a season pass - If you are already a pass holder, thank you! If you are not yet, there are a few new incentives.
a. Price has been dropped to $25 for the last half of the season.
b. Price now includes a link to download all the full size digital posters.
c. You get to race Le Mans
d. You will get the "Toolkit" each race. (setup, BLAP, primer)
e. You get to vote on the schedule for next year
Buy the Poster Pack - The digital poster pack is now only $10, and you get all the full size event posters (18 x 12 ). This is also the highest profit item in the store as the series gets to actually keep about $9.50 for each one sold.
Buy ANY item in the store - While we only make a couple bucks on any shirts, hats, etc. It is still cool to rock the Majors gear.
Season Pass Sponsor - This is only for the truly altruistic among you. Jimbo Pfeiffer does this every year and it is an amazing gesture. Basically he buys two season passes, one for himself and one for us to give to someone we feel is deserving. If you are a current pass holder and choose to do this, you can either designate who the pass goes to, or you can have us do that. Additionally you will also get an instant download link for the digital poster pack.
Refer a Sponsor - We still have seven regular season races left and at $200 per race could go a long way to helping close the gap this year. If you know of a company who could use some pretty significant exposure, send them my way.
Alright, enough about all that, I am late meeting up with a group on my way out to California, I think they're called the "Donner Party", nice folk from what I hear. Tell Ma not to worry, wish me luck!