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#1 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 06:18 PM

I know Slotblog has discussed the best ways to advertise to new bring new people into the hobby at least a dozen times on different threads. Has anyone discussed what you would actually put as the advertising content? Since I intend on spending some money for advertising this year on the hobby as a whole, I thought I would get some feedback from the guys doing the racing. I am not trying to advertise any particular store but the hobby in general to get people in the door. It will be up to the stores to keep them.

 

Please indulge me, think about it and answer the following questions in the comments section below as if you were talking to someone who has never heard of slot cars before. Lets keep this clean and respectful. 
 
1. What is a slot car?
2. How far would you travel to race?
3. What short statement would you say to convince someone who has never heard of slot cars to come try it?
 
Share it across other FB pages if you like. The more feedback we get, the more effectively advertising money can be spent. Who wouldn't like to see a room full of racers and new friends in 2021?

 


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#2 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 07:52 PM

You have a muti goal task.  Slot car centers are NOT just a place to do organized racing.  

 

Craft hobby center

Family Fun Center

Relaxation center

Birthday party center

 

 

Reread you questions and insert "GOLF" or "TENNIS" in place of 'slot car'.....


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#3 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:04 PM

You have a muti goal task.  Slot car centers are NOT just a place to do organized racing.  

 

Craft hobby center

Family Fun Center

Relaxation center

Birthday party center

 

 

Reread you questions and insert "GOLF" or "TENNIS" in place of 'slot car'.....

I will grant your point. Perhaps this is our biggest hurdle? Everyone knows what golf is or any of the other things you mentioned. My scenario would be any one of us having a conversation with a total stranger about slot cars. I run into people on a semi regular basis who have no clue what a slot car is or they associate it with a child hood HO set. I often need to show them a favorite video from youtube.


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#4 Paul Menkens

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:39 AM

The person who figures this out should receive a Nobel Prize, one way to meet people who might be interested would be to rent a table at the model train shows with a variety of new and used cars and parts, and a laptop showing you-tube videos of races. Even a track to run on. There's a guy who comes to the local shows in my area with a small commercial track and runs races for the kids, running Parma rental cars and giving plastic trophys to the winners, he seems to do pretty good business. I've thought about doing the same myself but I don't think it would be fair to him since he started it first and I don't think the trainshows are big enough for 2 tracks.

I think most slot car clubs would be able to set up a track (if they had a portable one) for free the same as train clubs can set up their display layouts, as long as they didn't sell anything, that would be a great way to meet potential members.



#5 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 12:14 PM

The person who figures this out should receive a Nobel Prize, one way to meet people who might be interested would be to rent a table at the model train shows with a variety of new and used cars and parts, and a laptop showing you-tube videos of races. Even a track to run on. There's a guy who comes to the local shows in my area with a small commercial track and runs races for the kids, running Parma rental cars and giving plastic trophys to the winners, he seems to do pretty good business. I've thought about doing the same myself but I don't think it would be fair to him since he started it first and I don't think the trainshows are big enough for 2 tracks.

I think most slot car clubs would be able to set up a track (if they had a portable one) for free the same as train clubs can set up their display layouts, as long as they didn't sell anything, that would be a great way to meet potential members.

I have seen and used that example myself in the past with mixed results. We had great revenue with a portable track but few if any new customers to our store. I was looking for a verbal or printed approach for use on FaceBook or twitter. New age advertising across the country coast to coast or at least in a regional area of a store.

 

Again, what would you say to somebody to convince them to try slot cars?


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#6 Paul Menkens

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 12:15 PM

1. What is a slot car?
2. How far would you travel to race?
3. What short statement would you say to convince someone who has never heard of slot cars to come try it?
 
1: a slotcar is a toy car that runs on a track made of plastic or wood with a small electric motor that is controlled by a hand controller with either the first finger or thumb setting the speed, if we like it or not, the trade organizations consider these things toys, heck, they even consider brass model locomotives costing thousands of dollars "toys".
These slotcars can be of many classes using different types of bodies including stock cars, GT racecars, dirt track cars and most any other types, if it's being raced in real life, there's prob somebody somewhere racing it in small scale.
The fastest slotcars don't look much like real cars, others are almost perfect models of the real things, it's all what your interests are.
2: Most serious racers will travel 1 or 2 hours, the problem is that most people don't live that close to a raceway.
3: If you think you might be interested, come try it out, if you live close to a raceway it's not expensive to rent a car, controller and lane for 15 or 30 minutes, the raceway owner will be happy to fill you in on what classes they race and what you need to do it, after all, I've yet to see a raceway that has too many racers.
If you don't live close to a track, as is the case for most people, check out the many videos on you-tube of the different types of racing, a small Carrara or Slot-it set isn't real expensive and can always be added on to, if, on the other hand, you think you'd be interested more in serious high speed racing, anybody with moderate carpentry skills can route a wood track and run just about any car except for the super fast pro cars at home.
Either way, if you have kids this is a great way to bond with them and teach them mechanical skills that they'll use for the rest of their lives.

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#7 Robert BG

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 01:03 PM

I will grant your point. Perhaps this is our biggest hurdle? Everyone knows what golf is or any of the other things you mentioned. My scenario would be any one of us having a conversation with a total stranger about slot cars. I run into people on a semi regular basis who have no clue what a slot car is or they associate it with a child hood HO set. I often need to show them a favorite video from youtube.

 

I recently came across a father/son youtube channel that did an amazing introduction to slot cars. It was one of the best produced videos on the hobby I've seen and it was by pure chance. They agreed to build a box for a neighbor and took a trip to a track to do research because they knew very little about it. The channel is called Antics Garage and it's a great example of how social media can reflect positively on slot cars.

 

Here is a link to the first video they did on their first trip to a track   and if someone was interested in advertising the sport/hobby it might be worth contacting them. They have a budding channel with a quality start and it could be a great way to get a bit of social media exposure to the hobby.

 


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#8 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 04:42 PM

Social media is where I plan to approach this adventure. Facebook boosting has a nice feature using a zip code radius. We experienced it with good results for a local aviation museum we were affiliated with. I expect can do something similar around store locations too regardless of where they are in the country.
 
I have seen that video before and I may include it with others using an alternating pattern.

Here is my particular video of choice.


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#9 James Wendel

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 09:29 PM

At 1:11 in that last video, there is a head-on crash. How does that happen?

 

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#10 Paul Menkens

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 07:49 AM

There were several cars wired in reverse. Must have been a set up as a joke.

#11 Paul Menkens

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 07:56 AM

You might want to check out the Slot Car City you tube videos like this one.
 

 
It has the advantage that the raceway has been going strong for almost 30 years so he must be doing something right whereas Paradise Road seems to be long gone, so they weren't. in this video it's cool how excited the 12-year-old winner is at the end.

#12 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 11:26 AM

At 1:11 in that last video, there is a head-on crash. How does that happen?

 

The Joker

 

 

There were several cars wired in reverse. Must have been a set up as a joke.

 

This was something we did called a "Scramble" for a group of racers that came in on Saturday mornings. It was not a joke but brought cash into the register as there was always a good turn out. Four cars were simply wired backwards. Since the lap counter was a dead strip it still worked just fine. The race was a great deal of fun. There were very few head on collisions and very little damage to the cars.


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#13 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 11:28 AM

You might want to check out the Slot Car City you tube videos like this one.
 

 
It has the advantage that the raceway has been going strong for almost 30 years so he must be doing something right whereas Paradise Road seems to be long gone, so they weren't. in this video it's cool how excited the 12-year-old winner is at the end.

Paradise Road was sold  and became Fast Tracks and Hobbies which is still in operation 14 years later with it's second owner. The owner of Paradise Road later moved to Texas. Please keep your assumptions to your self over things you know nothing about.


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#14 Randy Carr

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 09:54 AM

it would be nice if everone to list in their adds  for tracks for sale if they sold on if it is still available for someone wanting to purchase a track aand if they would put a contact number in for an easy way to contact i have owned a hill climb a king an oval and a drag strip having trouble finding a home track if racers wants slot cars to grow help others find tracks to support the hobby !!!



#15 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 08:11 PM

I guess my 'point' went over your heads.  Golf and other 'sports centers' are not there for ONLY competitve events.  Many raceway owners only think they should cater to one class of car/scale/bodystyle or whatever.  This is the fast way to put yourself out of business.  Many raceways have to have multiple profit sources to pay the bills as the cash flow is more seasonal than many would desire.   Some thought needs to be given to what YOUR community needs are and the store space will allow.  Seasonal endeavors seem easiest like Summer bikes and icecream if you are near the bike path;  Craft supplies that other stores do not stock.  Order from any vendor is what your Tax # allows to serve your community and helps to pay your bills.


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Larry D. Kelley, MA
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race directing around Chicago-land

 

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#16 Robert BG

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 03:45 PM

I guess my 'point' went over your heads.  Golf and other 'sports centers' are not there for ONLY competitve events.  Many raceway owners only think they should cater to one class of car/scale/bodystyle or whatever.  This is the fast way to put yourself out of business.  Many raceways have to have multiple profit sources to pay the bills as the cash flow is more seasonal than many would desire.   Some thought needs to be given to what YOUR community needs are and the store space will allow.  Seasonal endeavors seem easiest like Summer bikes and icecream if you are near the bike path;  Craft supplies that other stores do not stock.  Order from any vendor is what your Tax # allows to serve your community and helps to pay your bills.

 

Hobby shops are a dying breed and I dont understand why more raceways dont try and fill this void. I know it's not easy to compete with the big online giants. But there's still a void in the market that raceways could fill and it surely would bring traffic/new racers into things. There's just so many things in hobby shops that are a pain to buy online along with things that it's hard to shop for online. With the popularity of hardbody racing and the scale aspect in drag racing models and modeling supplies would be a great crossover item to start with. Model rockets and trains are another logical item to carry.

 

Everyone I've ever talked too uses the excuse that they could never compete with the online giants and that they'd end up with a bunch of big ticket items that never sell. 

 

One crossover to the RC world I've wanted to try/see would be Kyosho mini Z races on a slotcar track. They run really well on carpet and it wouldnt take much to make a carpet track cover. A track could also have RC races in a parking lot and it'd be a great way to get the word out that a track also carried RC supplies.......


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#17 MattD

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 06:39 PM

One thing a slot track is good for is "hanging out".    You get guys just coming in to see what is going on and talk to their friends.    The opportunity is there to cater to these guys with models, magazines,  hobby supplies.    Guys standing around will look at what is there and that might open up a revenue stream.   

 

There aren't many affordable locations where you might pick up a lot of walk in business.    The lease factor makes it likely that slot guys are 95% of your business.  They have to be your target for profit.   The track owner and other racers need to encourage any slot guy coming in.    You don't need a core group that makes anybody feel like they aren't welcome.   

 

Sadly, this situation is probably not enough basis for much profit.   


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#18 Robert BG

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 08:24 PM

MattD,I spent my teenage years hanging out at my local track in the 90's. It was a blast and we'd ride our bikes there,hangout and get our cars dialed in for races.

The place had a good hook to get walk in traffic at the time because he had a video rental business. They were one of the first in town and they had very little competition so it brought a lot of youngsters into racing...........But we all know what happened to the video rental business and my friends and I had started driving around the late 90's right before they went away.

 

It's funny but I used to save all the change I had found for years in a big water jug and that jug bought my first Parma controller along with a few cars to race. To this day I still remember counting out $50 worth of change for my controller lol. Needless to say the owner Bill was glad when I turned 14 and got my first job.

 

I've always wondered if anyone on here remembers Village Video and Rio Raceway in Rio Grande NJ. The owners name was Bill Farr and I became friends with his nephew who was a bit older than me. But I lost touch with him after going in the Navy.

 

 

On a different note the old Bolink RC cars that one of the guys from Champion started have been making a comeback. The company is called RJ Speed these days since Champion went under.

They are super simple and essentially a 1-10 scale slot car with radio controls. A few guys from the local WASP RC club are going to start racing the Legends again in a church parking lot. But they'd make a great possibility for a raceway looking to dip their toes into RC while bringing racers in during the summer when things are slow.

They might not sell a ton of cars,but I'm sure they'd sell parts because half the fun is rubbing fenders with the competition.


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#19 MattD

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 09:24 PM

Robert when I was a kid we rode our bikes to the slot track, also.    There weren't any video stores back then, just 3 channels on black and white tv!!!


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#20 Modelville Guy

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 03:44 PM

1. A slot car is an electric powered model car which you "drive " around a track. If you go too fast the car will fall out of its groove.

2. In my younger years I have drive 1 to 2 hours to race at a weekly race events in New England. When I was involved in the NECC travelling series I would drive three hours to go to the event. I was luckly I lived in the middle of the area. Would stay over night sometimes. Now I own the only track in 80 plus miles. I have customers that drive an hour or so to race at my weekly events.

3 Slot car racing if fast and it is cheap. You can race your kids, parents, brother, sister, family and or friends. Or maybe by yourself or with the other person who was at the track by themselves.

 

Good luck with this adventure.


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#21 Revtor

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 08:41 AM

Brian I think your questions have been answered pretty fully by now, I will add though that
3- The hobby is great because there are many aspects to it from the fine hands on model making to social racing casually with friends to full on professional level and expense down to economical small scale home based slot cars. When you go to the shop or two and see the breadth of the hobby, there really is some thing for pretty much everyone. That breadth is great because as you get involved in one aspect, after you get hooked, you naturally start to explore and enjoy other areas. A lifetime of enjoyment.



We used to run 1/10 Pan cars (Bolink style, but made by many mfrs back in the day) at Zeppelin when they had their big indoor carpet rc track. Cool to see their simplicity making a comeback. They are like Womps!!
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