Sunday, December 24, 2006
To those of you celebrating on the 25th -- Happy Christmas!
Just a tiny pre-holiday tidbit. Thanks for stopping by.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Last week I had the pleasure of joining The Spokesmen podcast, which is up for everyone to listen to. As I mentioned, it is a great group of folks talking about all things cycling related. I'm flattered that the guys have voted in this gal and look forward to many more chats with the group.
This episode the Spokesmen (or maybe now the 'Spokespeople'?) discussed topics that we felt were hot in 2006 - cycling related, of course. I chose to discuss how many more companies are now embracing new media including dealers, manufacturers and even the traditional media themselves. As we all know, one of the best examples of this is Masi Bicycles. Long before he was "New York Times Jackson", their brand manager was, simply, "The MasiGuy".
Now, Masiguy is running a video contest. Talk about using the 'new media'! This is great! What started as a spoof of his 'Daily Drive' photo feature by Tim Grahl and then Fritz got into the act with his video. Not to be out done, Phil took the spoof down under to Austrailia and added his video to the mix. Check them out, they are pretty funny.
Well, Tim liked the videos so much that he's running this great contest. Make a video of your daily drive, post it on YouTube and let him know where to find it by the end of January. If he and the other viewers (yes, you get to vote, too!) like your video best you'll win a sweet Masi frame. How cool is that? Check out his announcement for all the details.
Get in on the contest - the prize is fantastic. Our own Cubbie has made a video already so it's 'Game On'! Good luck.
Just some random cycling tidbits for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
With schedules being what they are, mine being hectic and not being able to keep up with my favorite bloggers as much as I'd like and her starting a company at such a fast pace I don't know how she does it, I haven't kept up with Tara Hunt as much as I'd like. Well, this week she let me know that somewhere along the line I've popped into her brain, she wanted to let me know and wants to know a little bit more about me. She's tagged me so I've got to come up with 5 things you all don't know about me.
And away we go....
1. I love popcorn.
2. My favorite NASCAR driver is Jeff Gordon.
3. I'm not a big fan of cartoons.
4. My favorite author is Dennis Lehane.
5. Rotties are my favorite dog.
Tara, thanks for the unexpected surprise! Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Just a little meme tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
This week on the Bulldog Reporter Audio panel that I participated in we discussed how to get across to management at companies, be it your own or a client, that blogging and new media in general is as significant as it is. Well, I think this appointment by Time will go a long way to showing some of the folks that may still not be aware of the power of new media just what it is all about.
What a great choice, Time. Bravo!
And bravo to everyone who has made this happen, including YOU!
Just a little tidbit for us all today. Thanks for stopping by.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
The first happens Thursday when I'm on a Bulldog Reporter Audio Conference panel. The conference is: "Responding to Crisis Online: Communicators at Top Brands Share Proven Tactics for Responding to Negative Bloggers." I'll be joined on the panel by Bob Pearson, Vice President at Dell and Billy Sanez, Media Spokesperson at American Airlines. These folks have had their share of crisis in the blogosphere, too. I'm just as interested in what they have to say, and learning from them, as our listeners will be, I'm sure.
The moderator is none other than Brian Pittman who is the person behind the popular 'Daily Dog'. We've chatted and emailed a few times in the last week or so. He's fun and energetic to talk to so I think he'll make sure we move along and give listeners some good tips from our experiences. I'm looking forward to it. If you'd like to join us there is still time to sign up on their website.
The second happens on Friday. For a month or so now a group of folks have been asking me to join their podcast but my schedule didn't allow. However, this week they changed their schedule to accommodate me (no pressure there!) so I am very proud to announce that I'll be joining The Spokesmen Podcast this week for their final broadcast of the year. This group consists of David Bernstein of the famed The Fredcast, Carlton Reid editor of BikeBiz, Tim Grahl of Crooked Cog Network, Jeremy from Triathlon Radio and, of course, my good friend, "New York Times"Jackson from Masiguy.
We are going to talk about the stories that were big news in cycling in 2006. We've each chosen a topic, will introduce it and see where the group takes it. As we've discussed many times here, I'm not a bike 'geek' so my topic won't be completely bike related. Check it out to see what we've all chosen. I think David usually goes live with the podcast a day or so after we record. I'm looking forward to joining the guys and they have been super kind about inviting me to join them every time they record, but I wonder how they'll truly feel when a gal invades them? Join us and see!
So, there you have it. I may have been 'quiet' on the blog for a couple of weeks, but there's no stopping me now, right?
Just a couple of tidbits for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
However, to stay ahead of the competition you need to find ways to stand out to customers. Sometimes it is good to not be traditional and stand apart from the crowd. Your gesture will be remembered far longer and stand out rather than be jumbled in with the crowd. In the last year I've been very fortunate to recieve two huge "thank yous" that completely blew me away. Neither have come in the last month, but both will be remembered and treasured forever.
Last winter I received a letter from the Falmouth Road Race directors. It mentioned that the race was building a 'park' at the finish line with some benches and a brick path. It was something to remind folks at other times of the year that something special happens at that spot each and every August. It is also a place where people can sit and enjoy the ocean view. People could buy bricks and put their names on them or a little message for everyone to see. However, the race directors decided to add some of their own bricks in there for key, long time race workers. The letter was informing me that I would have a brick, too, come May. Wow.
This summer I took a trip with my mother to go see my brick. Here is what we found.
This is a view of the whole 'park'. Great view, huh? This photo was taken at the finish line of the race. It's a great place to be.
This is 'my brick'. Yes, I share it with some other key volunteers, but it is completely fitting that I share it with the Smiths as they are long-time, close friends. Sue is my mentor, she taught me all of the foundations that I needed to work in the business I'm in and be successful at it. She's also the person who brought me into the Falmouth family the first year - 15 years ago.
The second huge "thank you" came in September when I got a call from Dave Perewitz asking me what I was doing that coming Saturday. He asked if I'd come to their shop because he wanted to show me something. In the last year Dave and his family have truly made me feel like part of their family so it would take something very important for me to turn down such a simple request from Dave.
I had no idea what to expect - maybe he had a 'special guest' coming by that he wanted me to meet (you never know who you will run into a Dave's) or maybe he was building a super special motorcycle that he wanted to give me a sneak peek at before it went out the door. No matter what I thought it couldn't prepare me for what was waiting for me. When I arrived at the shop I was completely surprised to be presented with my very own custom painted, flamed (!) trashcan. Yes, I have my very own Perewitz paint job! Holy Moly!
This can is a one-of-a-kind and can not be bought anywhere. No, not just because it has my name on it....Dave doesn't sell these, he only makes them as gifts and as items for charity auctions. Here was my very own. I couldn't believe my eyes. Why did Dave give it to me? Because they wanted to thank me for all the help I'd given them with their charity events, which I gladly did because the beneficiary of all was the National MS Society - an organization that is near and dear to both our hearts. And, let's face it, getting the NASCAR driver signatures for the helmet for the auction wasn't exactly a 'chore'! But, Dave wanted to say 'thanks', in his own special way. Again, WOW! And, by the way, you know I don't use this for trash, right?
Both of these gifts are grand in scale and I am humbled by them. But, the point I was making is that sometimes you don't have to be traditional to make an impact with your 'thank you'. And, your 'thank you' doesn't have to be huge in scale, although, to me, both of these are. They are memorable gifts because of what they are but also the timing - they were given at no particular time of year. The Falmouth directors didn't thank me at the end of the year - if I'm not mistaken, the letter came in February. Random time, but wonderful - a touch of summer in February in New England (brr!). That in and of itself is priceless! Dave didn't thank me at the end of the year, either, rather at a random time, when I least expected it.
Take a note from these folks - sure, feel free to say 'thank you' now, but also think about how you may thank your customers and associates at a different time of year, when they are truly going to remember it, away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Maybe a take on the 'Christmas in July' theme or something equally as non-traditional. Think outside the box, or can, as the case may be.
Just a random tidbit for today and THANK YOU for stopping by.
Anywho....I've come across a few things in the last couple of days that made me smile and I wanted to share them with you. First, is the online holiday card from Specialized. I'm normally a traditionalist when it comes to the holiday cards - mail them, please. But this is just fascinating. It's "The Nutcracker Suite" performed on bicycle parts. I'm not kidding. Check it out.
The other thing that I've come across gave me a smile so big I thought my cheeks were going to crack. It started with a Google Alert for "Tyler Hamilton" with the Cyclingnews.com article, "Tyler Hamilton Meets His New Tinkoff Teammates". I clicked on it and found this photo. Rock on, Tyler!
Just a little tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Congratulations to Tyler and Haven. It's been a long time coming.
Now...I'm off to figure out how to order some new team gear in support.
Just a tiny cycling tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Here's hoping that you all have some good things to be thankful for today, no matter where you live. And to my friends here in the U.S. "Happy Thanksgiving"!
Thanks for stopping by.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sounds like an official announcement can't be far off. I see some Tinkoff team gear in my future....
In other team news, it seems as if Ivan Basso is with Discovery now and looks good in their gear. Congrats to him.
Just a little cycling tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
What did you do with your Sunday? I hope it was equally as nice. Happy Monday, y'all!
Just a quick, little tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
What an interesting night for the country. Some huge changes coming.
Just a morning tidbit. Thanks for stopping by.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I'm off to vote right now. Thanks for stopping by.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Speaking of Tyler, his foundation announced the route for MS Global next year. What is MS Global? It's 8 days on the bike in Europe having a challenging, yet great time, all while raising money for Multiple Sclerosis programs. Here is what the THF has to say about the funds raised by this bike event:
A portion of the proceeds goes to fund the Jacqueline du Pre Research Fellowship & Grant through the MSIF. Increase public awareness of MS ,MSIF and THF. Promoting the health and personal empowerment of individuals with MS through cycling.
This year the riders will be tackling the might Dolomites! This is just an 'all good' event! If you are interested in joining this group of riders, check out the information on the website.
Austin, Texas is getting its own pro race in June, 2007. Read about the 2007 Austin Invitational here. C'mon, does this surprise anyone? Austin....the home of some racer-or-other that you might know about....what's his name anyway?
The big news for the cycling trade this week is that Eurobike, the largest bicycle tradeshow in Europe, has decided to have a go of it here in the U.S. They will compete with the only bicycle tradeshow in the country, Interbike. What do I think about this interesting bit of news? I've written all about it over the the Krew's site. Check it out.
What is a cycling tidbit section without Lance ? He's still not gone from the public eye. He's in New York to run the New York City Marathon tomorrow (November 5) and looking complete the course in 3-hours. He's been taking some running advice from the mother of his kids, too. Since she did well in her NYC Marathon debut, that might be a smart idea.
Just a few little tidbits for this Fall Saturday in New England. Thanks for stopping by.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Wishing you all a safe, fun evening. And if some of the candy in the bowl calls your name....indulge a little!
Just a little tidbit for this morning. Thanks for stopping by.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
From the beginning I didn't think it was quite fair that all of these guys were tossed by their teams before 'the big dance' on suspicion alone. Now, before you get all uppity, I do understand the teams wanting to be firm on doping and drugs. No arguement from me there. However, I live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty. There was no confirmation about any of this 'evidence', just names on a list and 'poof' - gone from the Tour Day France. Ullrich, Vino (because they couldn't field a whole team) and Basso among others. Gone.
I have to say that, right or wrong, I was pretty correct - that some conclusions were jumped to that can't be proven. Including the clearing of Ivan Basso and now the Spanish authorities have dropped the whole affair. If you want to see a good detailed run down of the whole mess from the beginning check out cyclingnews.com's coverage.
The Spanish did not feel they had enough evidence to go forward with any further investigations. Hopefully, they are correct. However, the damage to cycling has been done, it is a doozie and, for those of us who love the sport, it's heartbreaking.
People's livelihoods have been compromised, possibly for the rest of their racing days. Teams have fired riders. Riders have left teams. Teams have had to disband all-together. Sponsor dollars have gone down the potty. Sponsors have walked away from the sport, maybe never to return again. All because of a list - and an unsubstanciated list at that. One that now is not being persued any longer. There will forever be doubters as to every single person on that list. Were they guilty and got away with it? Some will say, "we know so and so is guilty". All because they were on that list. Well, the authorities didn't think there was enough evidence so what makes me or anyone else out here just reading things on the internet expert enough to pass that judgement?
Pat McQuaid is frustrated, as he should be. The whole shananigans has bought more than just a black eye to his beloved sport. His solution? Have each of the riders implicated in this mess give DNA samples to prove that they are innocent. Excuse me? Didn't the Spanish authorities say there wasn't enough evidence to go forward with this? Maybe that doesn't mean everyone on that list is clean. Maybe someone will get away with something, but maybe, just maybe there are a lot more innocent people on that list than not. I'd like to think so. However, it isn't up to me to decide - the authorities did that and we have to live with it. That's the way the legal system works.
I, for one, won't hold it against anyone if they don't submit to a DNA sample for McQuaid because, personally, I wouldn't either. Think of it this way -- you are on that list and you truly are innocent (McQuaid conceeds that there are innocent people on that list). You have lost a whole season of not only doing something you love, but also been barred from making a living at. You may have lost sponsors and even your team over this. And, your name will forever cause cycling fans to have a doubt about you and never truly think of you the same way again. Would you be so willing to give in to McQuaid's 'solution'? Or would you be a little bitter at your treatment, where your word meant nothing, and simply tell him, 'you will not be getting my DNA."?
That's just my little opinion on the whole situation - I know you will have your own strong opinions - feel free to share them.
I wish we could turn back the clock and redo the Tour Day France over again, with all the players....wouldn't that be something to watch? Ah well, there is always 2007.
Just a little cycling tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
The Beachcruiser (update: link now fixed!)reports that you will be able to get Harley Davidson Beef Jerky in January. Beef Jerky and riders don't surprise me. However, I personally associate Harley Davidson with high end merchandise. So, this is a little curious to me. But, more power to them.
Denis Leary doesn't joke around when it comes to the welfare of firefighters. He started The Leary Firefighters Foundation six years ago and raised millions to help firefighters around the country. Recently, he went to New Orleans to present the fire department there with 15 search and rescue boats. The department previously had none. This seems like a must for these folks. Bravo, Denis!
Ever wonder what it is like to be a bike messenger in New York City? One of the best known is a guy named Squid. Here is a piece that World of Adventure Sports broadcast last month on Squid and some messengers in NYC. Check it out.
Speaking of Squid, if you'd like to see some great photography of messengers and bike events, check out his wife's website. Amy's a pro photog and a super sweet lady.
Keeping with the messenger theme...here's some television footage of this year's Cycle Messenger World Series held in Sydney, Australia earlier this month. The little boy right at the start is just too cute.
Know your movies? Check out M&Ms online game "50 Dark Movies, Hidden in a Painting". It's perfect for Halloween time. It's another promotion for their dark chocolate M&Ms, which are a little addicting. Good for the folks in their marketing department - they didn't miss a beat when their first promo was cut short.
If you are a super respected custom motorcycle builder what do you do at Biketoberfest in Daytona? Well, Dave Perewitz rescues a turtle from possible death. Nicely done, Dave!
Just a few tidbits for this Sunday afternoon. Thanks for stopping by.
Update: Thanks to Train The Beachcruiser link is now fixed! My apologies.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Here are just a few of the places he's been in the last week.
He bought a new hybrid car.
He talked about his relationship with Matthew McConaughey. They're just friends. Did you really think any differently?
He has 'denounced accusations' of a new book by the same guys that wrote, "L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong".
And, lastly, he's been training for the New York City Marathon on November 5. Here's the training shot, ladies.
In case you were wondering, he's not sitting still next week either. He's visiting Lexington, Kentucky as part of the President's Cancer Panel on Monday.
No, we'll be seeing Lance for a long, long time. I only hope it is more for his supporting cancer research and programs and even his environmental stance rather than the athletics or the defending against attacks on his cycling career (news flash - he's retired now!). For whatever reason, people really listen to Lance. He has the ability to continue do some real good in the world. I wish him well in that.
Just a little tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
As many of you know, Floyd is fighting a battle over whether or not he won Le Tour fair and square or whether he had a little artificial help. Everyone has an opinion, which is what makes the world go around.
Whatever your opinion on the situation, Floyd has decided to use his blog to be totally transparent. Today, they posted a link to his case information, which can be downloaded by any and all. Included in that is a powerpoint presentation by an MD that, admittedly, I've never heard of and don't know anything about. However, I read the powerpoint and realized that I didn't need to be an MD to comprehend what I saw on slide 3. The lab results report has the athlete identification number as 994474 (this is clearly seen on the snapshot). Floyd's ID number (also clearly shown in a snapshot) is 995474.
Number on the report: 994474 Floyd's number: 995474 Similar, but not the same. That is the key here - 'not the same'.
Was it a simple transposition of numbers? Maybe, but it is the same wrong number on another results page, too. That should give enough doubt about who the sample belongs to.
If you are interested in the case, it's worth downloading from Box.net. When you get there, click "Login" and then use "PublicAccess" as both the login and password.
Bravo on being so transparent, Floyd.
Just a Tour tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
- TSA officials need to have their belongings screened at security at the airport, too. At least in Boston. They have to send through the x-ray their shoes, change, coat etc....just like the rest of us.
- Kids are way too awake in the early morning. When you are trying to just sit and wait for your early morning flight, not even able to really focus on your book, having kids running around and playing tag is just a little much. They weren't even loud - just had way too much energy for that time of the morning.
- Just found Roland Burns' take on Interbike on his blog. You can read it here and here. Part one is an interesting twist on the Interbike experience. Part two, well, is completely flattering. Thank you, my friend. For those of you who don't know Ro, he's a founder and owner of R.E.Load Bags in Philly. All of their bags are custom and done by hand. Yes, by hand. Check out the process that goes into making a custom bag. Magic.
- The Viper Owners Group was in the Venetian, right next to the Sands Expo Center where Interbike was held. I have to say, for the first day I would have rather been there with them. Hey, they had signs that said "transportation to the track". Seriously. The new models of Vipers.....on the speedway......sweet!
- The best billboard I've seen in a long, long time was on the highway heading into Vegas.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Monday, October 9, 2006 (tomorrow night), the Discovery Channel is going to air the Dave Perewitz vs. Paul Yaffe Biker Build-Off episode. It's on at 9pm EST. If you are in the US, turn it on, sit down and prepare to be entertained. Yes, we know who won and are very excited about that, but what you might not know are some of the serious trials and tribulations that happened on the road to Sturgis and the big win. Let's just say that there was a night without sleep, parts flown in and other things along the road. It will make for great, dramatic TV even if you aren't totally into motorcycles.
As we all know, the success of any television series is based on its ratings. The more people who watch, the better the ratings, the greater chance you'll be seeing it week after week and, possibly, year after year. Not only would we like to help Biker Build-Off have another successful season to be picked up for another year, we'd like to make this one of the most popular episodes of the season! Why? Well, I don't know this for a fact, but I have to think that the episode with the most viewers would likely guarantee another build-off for those two companies the next year. Right? Audience demand and all.
I will be seeing the episode for the first time tomorrow night with all of you so I don't have any knowledge as to the editing, but I do know the story of the build and the ride and, as I said, it has the makings of great reality TV.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I also saw a few of the new items coming to the bike industry next year. Although I didn't get out of my booth much, I do know there are some cool things happening.
All those sights....yet my favorite 'sight' were the people I got to meet. I mentioned that I met up with some old friends, but this year there were new friends to meet. Actually, meet them in person as I've 'known' them through the blogosphere this last year. I even attended my first blogger get-together at Mist in Ti. Imagine that...me. At a blogger get-together. Seriously. There are even pictures to prove it.
We all know that I saw "New York Times" Jackson, Cubbie (no, I hadn't met Cubbie in person before last week!) and Chipps. But I met other bloggers, too. Curtis and Skiles from missingsaddle.com, Graham from Goclipless.com, Alan Snel, James Asher from altbike.com, Michael from cyclelicious.com, Kris from B.O.S.S. (brand new blog! check it out), Guitar Ted and even Michael from mtbikeaz.com, who has the best story. He was in Vegas at another convention during the same time and happened into Interbike with a big ole grin on his face (he may have been playing hookey from his conference...).
One person I did get to talk to at both our booth and the get together was Tim Grahl. I'd been talking and emailing with Tim for months now. In some respects, I felt like I knew him, especially with all his podcasts going on. But it was just nice to chat with him for a bit. Although online is good, in person is better. We all know that. Tim did a podcast from our booth with Bob Roll - here they are in deep conversation. That was the first podcast ever from our meeting room location high above the show floor.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Seeing people that I only see once a year in person! I'm a people person, which is probably in the profession that I am! I enjoy spending time with people one on one or in small groups. It's great to see some old friends (Chipps, Garrett, Joe, Jennifer, Dave) and some new ones (Jill, Cubbie)!
I got to meet people in person that I've only 'seen' online! More on that later....
Celebrity sightings! Including my first, non-bike industry celebrity ever while in Vegas, Dennis Rodman. No fuss, no muss, no wild costumes, just sauntering through the Venetian with two other people. Dang, he's tall! I know, that's a silly comment to make about a former pro-basketball player, but he is!
Cycling celebs that I saw included Bob Roll (of course!), Gary Fisher, Mario Cipollini (The Lion King), Kristin Armstrong, Ned Overend, Dave Zabriskie and, of course, Tim "New York Times" Jackson. Yes, Masiguy was the lead, photo and all, in a New York Times article about blogging while we were in Vegas. That is just too cool. Congrats, Tim!
What else was fun for me? Going to my first ever blogger get-together! More on that later.
So, while there is a lot of work, there is some fun, too, thanks to the fun people in the bike industry. There will be more in the coming days...
Just an Interbike tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
"Ten years ago today, I was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. Like most young, healthy men, I had ignored the warning signs. Going untreated, the cancer had spread to my abdomen, lungs and brain. Next to the challenge I now faced, professional cycling seemed insignificant. A lot has happened in the past ten years. Seven Tour de France wins later, I still consider beating cancer my greatest victory."
As part of the celebration of Lance being cancer free for almost 10 years, the LAF is giving 10% off their LiveStrong merchandise for 10 days. Checkout code is: tenyears There are many other ways to contribute to this great foundation, too. Check 'em out.
Just a happy tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Singletrack Magazine - Chipps will have nightly reports as he does every year. I have no doubt that they will be fantastic!
Crooked Cog Podcast - Tim Grahl has an incredible goal for thie year's show - 15 podcasts per day from the show floor! Wow. Here's a tip. I know that he's got Bob Roll slated for Thursday afternoon....
Masiguy - Yes, our friend and smart cookie Tim Jackson has said he's going to try to blog from the show floor.
Bicycling - The Rodale team are on a mission during the show. They have product features every day on the site.
I'm sure there will be many other people there as well. Check these out and then look for others. If you have a favorite Interbike site, let people know here so they can follow the fun and new, shiny gear, too.
Thanks for stopping by.
The NASCAR helmet went for $1,000! That's pretty cool. Nobody guessed who the drivers were that signed it. There were 29 including: Tony Stewart (#20), Dale Jarrett (#88), Ryan Newman (#12), Denny Hamlin (#11), Mark Martin (#6), David Gilliland (#38) and my two favorites...Jeff Gordon (#24) and The King, Richard Petty (#43).
Seeing Richard Petty was the only time I can say I was star struck. Seriously, he's The King. 7-time series champion. Wow.
Richard Petty in the garage area at the New Hampshire International Speedway
Tony Stewart, David Gilliland and their crews also donated to the auction. A couple of panels off each of their Richmond cars. They went for a pretty penny at the auction, too!
One of the two panels the 20 team donated and both the panels from the 38 team.
The group of people I met at Loudon were all fantastic. The NASCAR drivers are accessible and agreeable to signature requests even when they don't need to be. It was a fantastic experience. My thanks, again, to Brent on the 38 team! I couldn't have done all that I did that day without his help. It's much appreciated.
Just another racing tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Dave Perewitz and his family are hosting the 14th annual Fall Foliage Run this weekend. It's an invitation only weekend on Cape Cod with a cookout, fishing trip, poker run, poker chip stroll and a seafood banquet. Both the cookout and the banquet have auctions - a silent one at the cookout on Friday night and the live auction on Saturday night with Dave as the auctioneer.
The charity auction portion of the weekend started eight years ago with a docation of $2,200. That number has swelled in recent years with over $177,000 being divided and donated to the Floating Hospital Children's Cancer Center (Boston, MA), Louisiana native Charlie "Doc" Leggio (after Hurricane Katrina) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This is truly a family who has had some good fortune and gives back as much as they possibly can.
There are some fabulous items up for auction this year. How do I know? No, I don't have a complete list but some of the items are sitting here in my home office. Things I picked up in Loudon on Friday...see, I was getting back to that!
Each year Dave asks some of his friends in the NASCAR community if they will donate items to his charity auction. Each year they say 'yes' and bring the items up to Loudon where Dave picks them up. However, this year Perewitz Cycle Fabrication had not one, but two shows to attend on the same weekend as Loudon. Dave asked if I would mind going up on Friday to pick up a few things and take a plain white helmet up and have the drivers sign it for the auction. Let me think.... a free pass into the NASCAR pits to see all the teams and drivers? I would have left the day he asked me (2 weeks in advance!) and camped out if I had to!
So, up to Loudon I went on Friday morning with a plain helmet and a big expectation - I wanted to get at least 35 drivers' signatures on the helmet. That was my goal.
Robert Yates' 38 team were my hosts for the day. Brent, Mike and the rest of the guys were so hospitable and very helpful with my quest for a fully signed helmet. I very much appreciated their time and help. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have caught a couple of the guys that I didn't recognize while they were in street clothes and not their racing suits.
I spent the whole day in the pits and had a great time even though I didn't reach my goal with the signatures. This was not due to any driver saying 'no', they were all unfailingly nice and more than willing to sign the helmet - it was due to the lack of catching them all before they got in their car or made it back to their hauler. It's easier said than done. I only came away with 29, but I'm hoping the helmet will still go for a good price. It did last year.
Here are some photos of the helmet. See if you can pick out your favorite driver. Let me know who you think you see there and I'll let you know if you guessed correctly. I'll post a list in a day or so. Some are easy for race fans since they put their car number next to their name.
Much more from the pits soon including: the only person I was truly star struck by, the other items I brought home, and other observations. This may have been a task for a worthy cause, but it was a blast for me. Now I wonder how I get this same 'job' next year.....
Just a racing tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Monday, September 18, 2006
I was lucky enough to be at the New Hampshire International Speedway twice this weekend for all of the NASCAR festivities. This was the first weekend of "The Chase". It's always a good time at NHIS but this time I saw the weekend from a little different perspective as I spent Friday in the pits. I was working on a project for a charity auction this weekend, but more on that later.
During practice and qualifying, if you don't have a 'hot' pass you need to leave the fenced in garage area until they are done. This is a safety issue as many people who get the passes sometimes aren't as aware in the pits as those of us who have been around racing our whole lives. They may not understand that when the official blows his whistle that a car is coming off the track and MOVE out of the way. But, I digress...
During qualifying I noticed a little boy - maybe 7 years old-, his sister (14-15ish) and dad just outside the fence waiting for the ok to get back into the pits after the session. They were strategically located as there were two exits from the pits but this one had Ryan Newman's hauler right on the other side of the fence. This boy was a Ryan fan threw and threw. He had on the #12 hat, a Ryan shirt and was carrying a replica Alltel Dodge.
Everytime someone with Ryan's team gear on would come out of the hauler the little boy would run over to the fence and politely ask if Ryan was still inside. Clearly, he was just biding his time until he could get back into the pits and simply wait it out. Ryan had to come out sometime, right? The only issue with the location of the truck was that you could see the back door from where the boy was but not the side door, so he had to ask everyone if Ryan was still in there. After awhile the dad went to the other exit just in case Ryan came out that way so he would, at least, have Ryan's autograph for his son. Good dad.
I saw the little boy ask 3 people if Ryan was still in the hauler before a group of 4 came out - two men and two women. They came out of the gate and the little boy asked one of the women if Ryan was still in the hauler. I didn't hear what she said, but the four of them got into a golf cart - the preferred mode of transportation for drivers and such getting from the garage area to their motor coaches. The quartet started the golf cart, drove a few feet to the little boy and stopped. One of the guys got out, took his hand and then his sister's hand and walked them through the gate and right into Ryan's hauler!
I went up to the golf cart and told the three people waiting that I thought it was a nice thing for them to do. The man said, "He's the future of this sport". Meaning that the little boy is the current and next generation of NASCAR fans. It's important to NASCAR and the teams that he stays a fan for a long time to insure that their brand stays alive and well. I sincerely doubt that this boy is ever going to be anything but a Ryan Newman fan, let alone step away from NASCAR. Are you kidding? After that?
One of the women said to me that she'd noticed the little boy at 11am, which was FIVE hours earlier, staking out the same spot. She wanted him to learn that sometimes persistence does pay off. Good lesson. One I'm sure he won't soon forget.
This wasn't any quick visit; this was a full-on, private meet and greet with the little boy's favorite driver. It doesn't get any better than that for a 7 year old. Or his sister, for that matter. About 15 minutes later they came out with the car signed and a story to tell for years. The little boy was speechless. The sister came out telling everyone around how nice Ryan is, how nice his family is and how good they are for the sport because they are so nice to the fans. Oh yea, if she wasn't a Ryan Newman fan before she is now. She got on the cell phone right away and started to tell everyone she knows about their visit with Ryan.
That is how you make fans. It's the little things that mean the most to people. It's that way with any brand. It might be something small to you - a coupon, a free product here and there, 15 minutes of your time - but to the person on the receiving end it could mean the difference between being disappointed in your brand and becoming a consumer evangelist. This little boy will be a Ryan Newman fan for life and he will probably try his best to convince all of his friends to be Ryan fans, too.
Nicely done, Alltel/Mobile team. Nicely done.
Just a little racing tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
1. Matt Kenseth (2003 champion)
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Kyle Busch
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
7. Mark Martin
8. Jeff Burton
9. Jeff Gordon (4-time champion!)
10. Kasey Kahne
NASCAR changed their scoring a few years ago to include a 'play off' type of scenario at the end of the year. "The Race to the Chase" is during the first part of the year where drivers need to be in the top 10 in points to have a shot at the championship. They needed to lock that into place by last night's race at Richmond. These ten drivers did just that - some just squeaking in. However, now that they are 'in' the chase for the championship the playing field evens out. Each of these positions is only 5 points from the guy in front of them. So Kasey is only 45 points away from Matt going into next weekend's race in Loudon.
Good luck to all the drivers and may the most consistent driver win. I have my sentimental favorite that I'd like to see win the championship and then my overall favorite driver that, of course, I'd like to see win. We'll know in a couple of months.
Just a racing tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Cingular Wireless isn't exactly representing itself well on its bills. In the summary of charges on the bill there are 4 lines (on my bill anyway): XX Rollover Minutes XX N&W Unlimited Expd M2M Daytime
So, the way I read this is that the first line is the amount of minutes that rolled over from the month before. You know about their roll-over plans because they tout them on television all the time - whatever you don't use in one month rolls over to the next month so you can use those minutes.
The second line is the minutes for nights and weekends. The third is the text messaging and multi-media plan. The fourth is the amount of daytime minutes in your plan this month.
Right? Wrong. When I got my bill this month it was slightly higher than it should be so I called Cingular. Apparently, the first line is the line of minutes in your plan for daytime use. Period. Not actual rolled over minutes from the month before. The 'Daytime' on the bottom is the amount you went over. I found this to be a little bit of false wording and told the customer service person that. He told me it was all explained on their website. Hmmm....that just doesn't fly with me. Granted, we (if you are reading this, I mean you) are all connected on the internet. But, there are millions of people who aren't - that's just a fact. So, all of those people don't get this explained to them? Ok, maybe in the fine print when they get their first plan - maybe.
Buyer Beware - read your bill every month and understand what each line means before going too far into a service contract or renewing one. It might not always be as it seems. Shame on me - I should have understood this false wording much sooner to keep my bill lower. Shame on Cingular for the misleading wording!
Also, another tidbit I found out - the higher the rate plan you have per month the less the overage minute billed rate is - another way that the 'haves' get more in life than the 'have nots'. Ridiculous!
Just a little grumbly tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
So nicely done that I went to their website the other day while eating a package. I found that they launched a promotion (The Unveiling) at the end of August where they offered 2 million M&Ms dark chocolate candies for the return of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" painting which was stolen on August 22, 2004.
Interestingly, the painting was recovered less than two weeks after the promotion started. I wondered what the company would do now. Turns out, they are pretty wise (someone who makes this type of product can only be smart, right???) and announced that they will honor their promotion.
"We chose to feature The Scream in the campaign because it is one of the world's most recognizable dark paintings," said Anibal Martini, M&M'S® Brand Marketing Director. "We're obviously delighted that the painting has been recovered and we're absolutely going to honor our offer of the reward."
Details are still being worked out, but it looks like a police station might be getting 40,000 bags of the dark treats. Yum!
However, I have to wonder if the company is slightly disappointed that, after two years, the painting was recovered so quickly after their promotional announcement. After all, it was just the start of the promotion and I wonder what additions there would have been to it as time went on. Ad campaigns? Upping the stakes (adding in more candies) etc. I'm sure it will all work out for the best - after all, there are some folks in Oslo, Norway that are going to be getting a lot of great candy for their efforts. Maybe they will share with the children in the area. That would be nice for everyone involved.
Just a sweet tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
For example, when I create a press kits for trade shows now, we use the cute little CDs. They hold all of the information I want the media to have yet they are so compact the writer/editor can put them in his or her pocket and take it home without wondering how to lug it on to the plane. They then have all of the latest product and company information at their fingertips when they get back to their office.
However, this past weekend at the Falmouth Road Race, media folks were given the traditional paper press kit folder. You know - when you open the folder there are pockets on both sides filled with informational sheets. The media folks prefer this kit type at the race and wouldn't have it any other way. Why? Again, it's all about knowing the audience.
The press kit at the road race includes sponsor info as well as press releases and fact sheets. Pretty standard stuff - some of which was already emailed or faxed to the correspondents. Yes, faxed -- Again, knowing your audience...assignment editors prefer faxes. Email them until your fingers fall off to no avail, but fax them and you might just get a call!
A bib number list is also included in the race press kit along with biographies of the elite runners and photos of the runners. This is an invaluable tool for the writers and on-air talent to have as they are riding the press truck in front of the men's lead pack. Each writer has the bib number sheet with notations on it, folded in their own special way, that they take from the truck to the press tent after the race and then back to the office that afternoon.
Sure, you could do the press kit on a CD and just print out the bib number sheet, but I'll pretty much guarantee that the CD would not get looked at. This way, they need to open the press kit to get the bib number list and, inevitably, they will flip through the rest of the paper in there catching some of the tidbits you want them to see.
Yes, there will probably be a new technology in the future that will make the bib number list obsolete, but until that time this 'audience' will continue to get the paper press kit. It's what they want and what they need to do their job the most effectively. Ultimately, it's our job to make their job easier and this accomplishes that goal in this setting.
Just a little tidbit for tonight. Thanks for stopping by.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
We've seen some of the folks that make the race happen, but there are thousands more that work so hard to make sure the runners have a fun, safe race. There is no way to take photos of them all and this won't do justice to all of them, but here are just a few faces in the crowd.
Today was a special day for one runner we know. Phil Smith of Celebration, Florida returns to Falmouth each and every year, usually taking care of every little detail in the press tent. He's done it all and is invaluable. This year the race fell on his birthday and he decided to let us fend for ourselves in the tent and have some fun running the race. Although I don't know his time yet he had a great run along this scenic course.
Happy Birthday, Phil!
Just a birthday tidbit from Falmouth. Thanks for stopping by.
It was an absolutely perfect day for the 34th Annual Falmouth Road Race this year presented by CIGNA. The weather couldn't have been more perfect - cool, clear and not that windy. I'd guesstimate that is was about 70 degrees and no humidity.
Here are some of the photos from before (Friday morning) and after (this morning) on the ballfield as well as some random shots from the day. Enjoy!
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Just a little tidbit. Thanks for stopping by.
This year we have a new family connection. Multi-time winner Catherine Ndereba has brought her brother, Samuel, to run his first Falmouth Road Race. We all welcome him for his first experience here on Cape Cod!
Just a little afternoon tidbit. Thanks for stopping by.
Over the years, their children have all become involved in the race and are important parts of the race in many different ways.
Patriotic co-director John Carroll discusses the race with his daughter, Christine Berndt, after the Friday night supper. Christine is doing 'double duty' this weekend. She's not only helping out in the office and put her husband, Mark to work parking cars, she's also Vice President Sales & Customer Relations at CIGNA Healthcare, the presenting sponsor.
Co-Director, Rich Sherman, and his daughter Elizabeth chat about number pick-up before opening on Friday. Elizabeth has been working the race for more years than she can count and is now in charge of the Saturday Expo. Co-director Kathy Sherman was busy all day setting up the Friday supper. We'll get a picture of her later....
Co-director Lucia Carroll is happy to have both of her kids back for the race on the same year. Her daughter Christine is based in Denver while her son, Capt. John Carroll III, is based in Georgia. John has worked in the office many, many summers and now comes in for race weekend, when his schedule allows, and pitches in everywhere.
Neice, Andrea, was too busy running around hauling boxes back and forth from the expo to the office to slow her down for a photo. We'll capture her later....
It's truly a family affair here at Falmouth, which is part of its infinite charm.
Just a morning tidbit. Thanks for stopping by.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Supper is always whatever you can find as you continue to work. Tonight it was a slice of pizza and homemade Italian cookies. Yea...not bad. The office staff needs the cookies to keep going until just about 1am when the last of today's athletes arrives. They are a hard-working group of people, that's for sure.
Just a yummy tidbit. Thanks for stopping by.
Volunteers wait for the crush of runners to come get their numbers. Saturday there won't be any space at the table - it will be a sea of people!
Each runner gets a race mug, poster and program when they pick up their number. Yes, many volunteers spend hours and hours rolling the posters and putting them in the mugs for the runners.
Here are some runners leaving the gym after getting their numbers. It's such a nice setting over here - so Cape Cod!
More later on athletes and other goings on at the road race office!
Just a little tidbit for this afternoon. Thanks for stopping by.