So in speaking with a few track operators today I offered some advice and figured I might as well follow it up with more info and hopefully it helps. Its going to be a mess scattered with ideas and information overload but I personally love when I can go back and read again and refer back to things. Enjoy and cheers to you even showing the commitment to seek out advice. You are a selfless person and Ive never met you and I know what you sacrifice already to make your local program even exist. Heres my advice and hope it helps!
Track Points- Learn how they work and the ins and outs of them. In speaking with someone today they told me they can win #1 track in their state because they dont race enough. I looked up his track and he was only 300 points behind the leading track. 300 points is NOTHING. Thats literally getting 6 new riders to commit to racing and getting memberships and racing 5 races. This person was 6 riders away from his goal. He likely didnt know the ins and outs. I will give you them in a nutshell in hopes you see why retention is the name of the game. A new full member is worth 55 points to your track. They can definitely earn you more but if you can get 55 points out of them you are doing better than 90% of the tracks out there. Its a sad fact that your average person is going to have just a handful of local races, so we need to focus on the new riders that you get and getting them to race minimum 5 times. What we do is we offer when we sell the membership we will add the 5 races into the system for lets say $8 a race instead of the $10 fee. The rider saves some money and you the track are ensured they will race 5 times to get their max savings. What we also can do is offer them the 5th race free. Most people love free. We hand out number plates that are $2 to create and the bottom has 5 circles on it and we give them a circle "SC PAL" sticker the first 5 times they race. When they hit the 5th race they get a freebie and we just punch a hole in the plate to notify the freebie has been redeemed. RETENTION is what I see as the biggest problem in BMX. We have a great sport but its not easy and to get to the real fun part I think you gotta get comfortable on your bike, balance in the gate, make a few friends etc. That takes time and to make that time occur I gotta get you to stick around for 5 races. The track gets points and hopefully you stick around longer. WIN WIN situation.
Giving Back- I have never seen a BMX track that generates $100k in profit. Ive seen million dollar tracks but never one that could support a household. If you need the track to pay your bills I hope it works. But for the ones who just go volunteer with no kickback I say this. REINVEST. Too many times do tracks not give back and not invest into their facility. Into the ridership. Into anything. In the past year at my track we have given out over $10k in "stuff". Backpacks, Jerseys, gift cards, raffles, national entry fees, its been never ending. To me the small amount of "profit" is better spent on giving your core riders a reason to come back and race more. Incentives are the key that nobody has figured out yet. I ran a jersey series 8 races earned you a jersey and if you did class and cruiser you got pants too. Now everyone knows you could buy any jersey for $80. You could buy any pant for $80 also. But you cant earn a possible 1600 points and get that gear at the same time, so it added value to them racing. Our numbers during the jersey series were 120+ riders per night which is about 40 extra people. And some would ride both bikes which is double the entry fee. Again that money was reinvested to add value and riders appreciate that. Greatly.We partnered with FLY Racing and when you can use the purchase power of ordering 100 jerseys you can negotiate a price break and use the money saved to...... REINVEST again. You can never have too many incentives. Give back.
Be consistent. BMX is a life altering sport and schedule. You need to program your race nights so that people and families just automatically block off those nights of the week. You as a track operator you know you cant take a night off and you never should if you want the best results. You need to get the momentum going and when the rider count is growing nothing will kill that faster than a closure for some reason. Rain should be the only reason you close. Consistency is key. If its one night a week or three you need to make it so ppl know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will be running.
Team sheets. These are normally viewed as national only right? You can run them locally and have a blast with them. I run them with promos and we point the novice classes with the same points as the experts. Rider count is usually the deciding factor and I will upload or email a copy of the point scale to anyone intersted. I collect $5 for each team sheet and I usually pay out $100 gift card for the winning team. The point is to not worry about breaking even on the $5 entry but you are again adding VALUE. its an exciting feeling for someone to win those and novice riders and groups and families really enjoy them. This was a great thing for us and you could also skip the gift card and do a traveling trophy of sorts where it goes with the winning team and comes back the next week. Ideas...
Thats all for now I have alot more to say and plenty more intricate details but I need to sleep cuz work calls! leave a comment or PM me on FB for more of my ideas and execution. Cheers.