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The Fed & USET -- Marketing and Fundraising

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  • #21
    Budwiser is a GREAT sponsor - and, what happens to that sponsorship, and others similar to it, when the family behind it decides to get out of the horse business? Does it stop? Usually, unfortunately, yes!

    This kind of sponsorship, I suspect, is tolerated by companies because the owners/bosses tell them to, rather than a sponsorship that is fully supported by the company. (As it SHOULD be!!)

    And that, essentially, is the problem: we have for far too long looked within our industry for the support, and that is simply not what is needed for the future - that is NOT to undermine our WONDERFUL sponsors - that is just the we need to prove to their MANAGEMENT that we aren't just some whim of their owners'!!

    We need to sell the potential to the marketing managers, who can sell to their companies, and keep the companies involved even when the manager leaves.

    We have to share the passion for our four legged friends.

    And we will [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] - I find it very exciting!
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


    • #22
      I do believe that this job can get done. I can tell you that on our committee are very forward and open minded people looking at the bigger view of this sport.

      Years ago I was involved with the skating people and belonged to the traditional skate club. I have watched with amazement the progress they have made to generate public interest. Not unlike our eventing people being asked to modernize they had to drop the figures in order to be more attractive to spectators. They didn't fall apart, they blossomed.

      I think there are the glimmers of wonderful ideas to be implemented that will make everyone feel a part of what we do. Once we become mainstream and learn to be "crowd pleasers" we will have all the benefits that public appreciation earns.

      How do we get our sportsmen to compromise their individual desires and needs for those of the over-all welfare? Like skaters and golfers our athletes are self-contained and do not require "teamwork". We are unique because we need a partner which has a mind and a heart and a will of it's own.

      Can our athletes learn how to be crowd pleasers and how to share their victories with all those who can only have the dream?
      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


      • #23
        Showjumping for years enjoyed significant big money corporate sponsorship/involvement before liquor and tobacco brands were shunned. Budweiser is a rare exception and I wouldn't doubt as the Busch & Hagar families are less involved in the company it will be cut back.

        We'll see how well Spruce Meadows does with their new masters partner, Nortel, going forward. However, their $18 billion loss reported last quarter (yes, larger than the GDP of many central american countries) isn't a positive sign.

        I agree with Weatherford in that a wider net must be cast with sponsorship - far beyond the equestrian community of brands. Ariat and State Line might be household names to horse people. Yet Cadillac for example, spends more in print ads alone in one year than all the equestrian apparel and boot makers do combined.

        One question to ask is everyone prepared to embrace corporate money and the concessions which go with it? Partnering with any company prepared to pump a few million into underwriting more television coverage will come at some expense. Does anyone want to see the day of riders helmets covered in sponsor's logos? Or hard earned red USET jacket wearers bearing the USA flag next to say ... a Lexus logo?


        • #24
          Good question, Emmet, re attire.

          Of course, we are rethinking attire in the Jumper ring, anyway - perhaps logos are the way to go (as skier wear logos). However, I will point out that ice skaters do NOT wear logos - so that is not necessarily going to happen.

          Ice skaters do wear interesting costumes, and, as Snowbird pointed out, have gotten out of the school figures.

          Which, brings me to my other comment, our Dressage riders HAVE to leave the confines of the Dressage ring for that to be a truely popular spectator sport! Part of the spectator enjoyment is having the horse and rider (as in skater) do a movement NEAR you - just imagine what a freestyle would be like using a WHOLE arena!

          Just my belief! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
          co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


          • #25
            I can't take credit for the attire thing but the Europeans manage to promote their sponsors in an understated way. We can only hope, if we get into sponsorship European style, we Americans will follow suit.

            Bear in mind that the FEI will be painfully slow (if ever) in accepting any change of attire in International competition.

            Snowbird, I wish you luck with your appointment, however, as I stated, I do have my reservations.

            As far as Budweiser's sponsorship goes, it's already second generation so I see no reason the next generation will not continue the family tradition. Aside, my understanding is the contributions to equestrian sports is a mere drop in the bucket.

            I see nothing wrong with going within the industry for sponsorship. As a matter of fact, I would think it would be far easier to get one's foot in the door, especially when promoting a relatively obsure sport. I imagine it was a lot easier for the PGA to get sponsors from a corp. whose CEO knew how to use a nine iron.

            There is great diversity within our industry and quite a bit of biz savvy. Why not attempt to open the tap?


            • #26
              Snowbird, I think your statement "How do we get our sportsmen to compromise their individual desires and needs for those of the over-all welfare? Like skaters and golfers our athletes are self-contained and do not require "teamwork". We are unique because we need a partner which has a mind and a heart and a will of it's own." has been the key to all changes within our organization. Let's hope this new committee has said key!! We certainly need it.

              I guess like Emmett, I have my reservations. Sorry, not trying to be negative at all. Have seen many personal agendas, and they will not go "quietly into this good nite".


              • Original Poster

                Good point, Emmet. Having sponsors' logos doesn't mean a show/competition has to start looking like Talladega on NASCAR race day. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                I don't mind at all seeing the discreet Audi logo on Ludger Beerbaum's or Rodrigo Pessoa's jacket. It is a perfectly acceptable (to me, at least) way to have a sponsor's logo displayed without compromising the integrity of the of attire, just like the Nike swoosh or Fila logo on tennis outfits at Wimbledon, or the Callaway or Maxfli logo on golf shirts and caps at the Masters.

                I remember I was excited to see what I thought was a traditional women's fashion ad in a horse magazine (PH) a few months ago. It turned out to be for a new subsidiary of Millers that is expanding into the fashion area. Maybe this new marketing push will be able to get the word out to these non-traditionally equestrian industries about what a prime retail market participants in horse sports can be.
                "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                • #28
                  I think you are all making such good suggestions and you have opened my ideas to some of the snags we should be able to eliminate.

                  I agree that we certainly don't want to copy from Nascar where the spectators are sitting around waiting for the crashes and the cars are rolling commercials. Yes! the skaters and golfers have accomplished the same purpose with much more discretion.

                  Weatherford I think as we grow up and all the pieces start to fit together we will have spectator appeal in all the disciplines. I have for 30 years been waiting patiently for the Kur to be an important level of competition in Dressage.
                  And, perhaps as we grow up and get more sophisticated we will do more with the aires above the ground.

                  I can see a Team headquarters which is a tourist attraction like that of the Spanish Riding School. And, I hope for American bred horses which they will come to watch being schooled.

                  For the cynics, I have been around at least as long if not much longer than all of you and I fully appreciate the skepticism that you feel. I think however that this is our hour to make the difference and the changes that need to be made and we need all of you to feed the committee the information and suggestions from all of your personal experiences.

                  I promise you that I will be your voice on the committee and will forward your ideas to the whole committee. If we can find the will and give the effort our hour in time will be a landmark for generations that follow us. It's not going to happen in a day or even a year whatever the NGB status is, the Federation is taking steps to open the doors for changes. I think they realize that it is time to end the influence of special interests and turn to the members.

                  Maybe 10 years from now it will be possible for a talented rider to be selected to represent USA Equestrian at the Olympics without needing to have rich friends. Just maybe we will be able to create a system where every little kid in every backyard will have a chance to test their total talent.

                  Our job is priority which comes first the spectators or the sponsors. I think we will try to work towards both issues. We have created a "brand recognition" program, we have our mission statement. That's the first step on the road to sponsors. The next step is to modernize our shows. We as horsemen need to start to think about how to make spectators feel welcome.

                  In Europe since they are more socialistic in their thinking than we are they have structures, where the seats in an arena are sold. Sort of like a time share, and these seats become a family asset.
                  The show manager is their employee and has the job so long as they are pleased with the show.

                  So we have to figure out how to motivate the show managers here to offer spectator friendly shows for additional income instead of expecting the exhibitors to pay everything. Then the cash awards will be legitimate and the exhibitor will not have to pay back to management to costs for the awards. That will happen when we as the exhibitors (don't forget please show managers are very often also exhibitors) learn to consider our responsibility to the audience and the fans.
                  http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                  • #29
                    re: "I have for 30 years been waiting patiently for the Kur to be an important level of competition in Dressage.
                    And, perhaps as we grow up and get more sophisticated we will do more with the aires above the ground.

                    I can see a Team headquarters which is a tourist attraction like that of the Spanish Riding School. And, I hope for American bred horses which they will come to watch being schooled."

                    I would like to encourage a push for the USDF to join the Fed at KHP - as well as as many other national equine organizations - I believe that great synergy could come of having them together
                    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                    • Original Poster

                      S, having been to the KHP and seen the headquarters, next to the Pony Club headquarters, it is a lovely environment and horses are everybody's primary focus.

                      There can also be substantial savings from such a move -- the Fed is saving hundreds of thousands per year by moving out of NYC to Lexington. I don't know where the USDF is headquartered right now, or the USEA, but they couldn't ask for a nicer place than Lexington. Kentucky loves their horses and their horse businesses!
                      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                      • #31
                        Believe it or not Portia, the USDF is located in that hotbed of Dressage competition - Lincoln, Nebraska! Office space is cheap, but I think they'd be better off at the KHP. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                        Snowbird - I love the idea of adopt-a-rider/adopt-a-horse. I'm not sure that the money COULDN'T go directly to them, but in any case I think the very deep and specific fan-club-style connection that could be made would be good for both contributions and overall interest in the sports. Just think how cool it would be to have gotten a quarterly newsletter to hear about (say) Jet Run's morning routine or Biko's latest competition? It would work well for up-and-comers as well as the current stars.

                        This could work thru the auspices of the Federation, or the fed could simply set up someone whose job it was to guide new riders through the process of setting up a fundraising group like this. (If the rider can't write well, perhaps she can give some free lessons to someone who can?)

                        I remember a friend of mine telling me that she had gotten a letter from Holly Fox asking for support to go to the Punchestown CCI*** a few years back. She sent Holly some small amount, like $20. She was surprised and pleased to get a thank-you note, along with some great commentary on the competition. Experiences like this will help get people to contribute - and not just to the already-stars.
                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                        • #32
                          in most cases. However in this atmosphere of change we should remember some things will never change.

                          In order to field competitive International Teams in most disciplines, talented riders need good horses. Good horses cost a lot of money, if not to initially purchase then to develop. It is the rare owner today who will allow a coach or The Chef d' Equipe to match horse and rider. Even in the hay days of Bert deNemethy, many of the riders rode their owner (read sponsors) horses. Frank Chapot rode Carl Twitchell's horses, the Butler's bought horses for Kathy Kusner to ride, etc. Without having to remove too many cobwebs, I can recall Billy Haggard (Bold Minstral and Mainspring)as being one of the few who left the decision of who was to ride his horses completely up to Bert. Very few of the USET's string were "donated". Many more were "on loan."

                          I believe we must be very careful not to alienate the current and future owners of world class horses by dictating to them who, what and where.

                          Our elite horses encompass more entities than just horse and rider. That makes our sport quite different than a Tiger with a Titanium putter.


                          • #33
                            Since you have 'fessed up, I assume you can answer my question.

                            Since USA Equestrian is non profit, I'm guessing one can make a donation to same. I know from experience that with the USET, one can earmark donated funds. Is that the case with USAE?

                            I'm also curious as to the identity of the other members of the M & D Committee.


                            • Original Poster

                              Here's the link to the USA Equestrian committee page that lists all the members and their contact information. I think it is up to date, since it's a new committee (they haven't updated the Legal Review Committee list yet, <sniff sniff, whine whine> ). [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                              USA Equestrian Marketing Committee

                              The members are:

                              Mr. Eugene R. Mische, Bradenton FL, Chair

                              Mr. Anthony F. Hitchcock, Bridgehampton, NY, Vice-Chair

                              Ms. Kathy Knill Meyer, Edwards, CO, Vice-Chair

                              Ms. Kathleen Cox, Greenwich

                              Ms. Diana De Rosa, Huntington, NY

                              Ms. Hellen Krieble, Parker, CO

                              Mr. Larry Langer, Burbank, CA

                              Ms. Susan Lucas, Roswell, GA

                              Mr. Ronald G. Olson, San Marcos, CA

                              Mr. Robert A. Ridland, Irvine, CA

                              Ms. Elizabeth A. Shorb, Camp Hill, PA

                              Mrs. Vikki K. Siegel, Long Valley, NJ

                              Mr. Wyatt A. Stewart III, Washington, D.C.

                              Ms. Ellie Trueman, Dickerson, MD

                              [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                              "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                              • #35

                                No one has done more for the sport of show jumping than Committee Chairperson Gene Mische.

                                The Hampton Classic is jammed with heavy hitters, sponsor wise, courtesy of Tony Hitchcock.

                                The others whose names are familiar have or are involved with major national events.

                                Kudos to whoever was responsible for these excellent committee members.

                                An aside: Does anyone know which members are not associated with the hunter/jumper discipline?


                                • #36
                                  I sell advertising for a living to a very targeted, high end business reader. The demographics that this sport offers are so high end that people should be climbing over each other to sign up. The people going after sponsorships need to be aggressive, but also creative - go after the non traditional sponsor.

                                  If we can get 14 big high end sponsors to an event which brings only an audience of 1,000 and has visibility to our pubication's readership, then it should not be difficult. I love selling sponsorships, it's a blast.

                                  [This message was edited by coreene on Jul. 20, 2001 at 06:21 PM.]


                                  • #37
                                    I couldn't agree more coreene.

                                    I'm Canadian and thus not familiar with the governing bodies of the sport in the U.S., but we do share the sponsorship challenge in Canada.

                                    It's always baffled me that individual horse shows and the governing boards of the sport in Canada have so lacked imagination and a clear understanding of 'reciprocal value' when approaching companies for sponsorship $$ - signage isn't sufficient to compel many to fork over a $25,000 cheque to sponsor a class. Our frustrations in Canada are further compounded by the fact that volunteers not only oversee the marketing of the sport - they also execute the 'campaign'. Marketing is like burglary, better left in the hands of the pros.

                                    Be creative and use what I consider to be the greatest asset of the sport - the high number of well-educated, successful, adult women. We women buy cars, insurance, health care and beauty products, we invest our money, we buy homes, make a weekly trek to the grocery store; we're also highly computer literate.

                                    Rather than selecting a singular athlete or pro as the 'face of the sport', use the demographic that dominates the sport.

                                    "Mommy, does it really matter?" - Sumo toddler, age 3


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Hmmmm, Emmet, I really don't know. I'm pretty sure Kathy Meyer is an Arab person, horse-wise, and a financial and accounting person professionally. Diana De Rosa is a journalist, but I don't know what her discipline or breed preferences are. Susan Lucas is a marketing person, but again I don't know her breed or discipline involvements. The only other one I know of is Wyatt Stewart, who is on the FEI Committee as well as a few others, but none that are breed or discipline specific.
                                      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                      • #39
                                        This committee is supposed to be generic in it's purpose and look at the broad picture. My feeling is we will study the things that attract the big national sponsors and then we will create the means for that to be accomplished.

                                        It is sort of a think tank and is not breed or discipline oriented. I think that is the reason for the choices you mentioned. I wish all of you with marketing expertise who might be interested in this project would email me and I will forward your interest to the committee. I am certain there is a need for consultants to advise and recommend. Or feel free to email directly to Scott Carling at the Federation.

                                        What is needed is people who do not follow the beaten track and have innovative new ideas for how the Federation goals may be accomplished the most efficiently.
                                        http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                        • #40
                                          But in the best of all possible worlds the breeders might be a big help too. And, it does depend on what the reward is that is expected as a result.

                                          In the past the idea was to send made and finished horses that were owned and I would guess from the perspective that an Olympic horse would sell for much more especially if it was a winner.

                                          But, let's just speculate a little and change the scenario. Suppose that the breeders were willing to send their finest and best young stock to the Federation Team headquarters where they were trained under the direction of the "Riding Master". Those who did the training were our best athletes also in training with the "Riding Master".

                                          Now the benefit would be not from just one sale of one horse but from the sale of young stock with an appropriate whole blood line. And, we could have elimination trials to find those best suited to be in training with the Riding Masters. They could be tested for courage, talent willingness to comply and that would also benefit the breeders even if the horses were turned down. They still could be certified as almost!

                                          The Team Training Center would be the Tourist attraction I mentioned because everyone would want to watch and see what exercises and gymnastics were used for the Olympic caliber horses.

                                          Anyway that would be my hope for the best of all worlds. I think you can all visualize the wonderful process that would eliminate and select the horses and the riders. Since the owners would benefit from a horse trained by the very best I think they would be willing to concede ownership with a lease to the Federation Team for lets say 4 years.
                                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org