interested in becoming a RACE PROMOTER? 

Offshore and Endurance Racing needs more promoters and more events. 

We actively seek out new promoters from all over the world.   

Wet created this document to provide new and/or veteran promoters who reach out to us for assistance in orchestrating an offshore race.  This document is intended to be used as a guideline / checklist and make potential (new) promoters more inclined / comfortable in getting involved in endurance and offshore PWC racing, ultimately putting on a quality event for the racer.  *This is the first iteration of this document  

Your creative and ongoing ideas and feedback back to us is welcome and appreciated - email pwc@pwcoffshore.com .  This document will grow dramatically, for now it is a first step.

 “Keepen it alive and thriving” 

April 25, 2014
Offshore Racing Promotions Guidelines for Promoters
Version 1.3
Source:  PWCOFFSHORE.COM
Marketing and Promotion Guidelines for Offshore Racing
The intent of this document is to provide new promoters with a general guideline regarding what it takes to orchestrate an offshore PWC Race, and provide additional ideas to veteran promoters to assist them in growing their races and achieving success.  This document will be continually updated and refined as the sport continues to evolve. 

“Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them every day, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor.”
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.  Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.”

CATEGORY 1:  VALUE PROPOSITIONS
Create value proposition for potential sponsors:  The XYZ PWC Race will challenged man and machine to take on the elements of the rugged and unpredictable XYZ Ocean.  This XX mile PWC race attracts the best machines, best PWC pilots combined with the best accessories and equipment that money can buy to pursue a class or overall win.  This challenging race receives coverage in all the major publications. 
Create value proposition for Racers:  Professional, Pro-Open class racers and weekend warriors compete at this challenging race!  Multiple classes to accommodate all skill levels.  Compete with the best, see old friends or make new ones and bring home a class championship or check this one off the bucket list. 

CATEGORY 2:  TIMELINE RAMP
Promotions, Timing and Lead-times: 
1. Race date announcement and race entry form should be communicated six months in advance of the race. 
2. Exciting one page flier created and distributed six months in advance of the race. 
3. From six months out, promotional forum posts should be executed on a weekly basis at a minimum (updated entry list, announce key racers entering the race etc.). 
4. Notify photographers two months in advance of the event so they can plan on being there
5. Pull permit two months prior to the event
6. Race Directors and Promoters should ensure a press release with results and a brief description of the race winners is released within 48 hours subsequent to completion of the race. 
7. Three months prior to the race, identify, select and coordinate with a team that will make up your race staff.  Keep them informed. 

CATEGORY 3:  PROMOTION
Utilize Free Media Outlets and Social media:
1. You need good uniform fliers and a logo - quality.  It must have a quality aesthetic look and theme
2. Facebook, socalwatercraftclub forum, Greenhulk.net, pwctoday.com, Instagram, Twitter, city-data.com, LinkedIn. pwcoffshore.com, jetskisportfishing.com, promotional posts should be executed on a weekly basis at a minimum.  You must be on all forums, not just one or two. 
3. Create an event page on Facebook.  Invite everyone with a PWC, reach out and ask them to come and request they bring racers with them.
4. Post the race on Craigslist
5. PWCOFFSHORE.COM:  Utilize free marketing of PWCOFFSHORE.COM outlets – send an email to pwc@pwcoffshore.com and provide them with your plan and request their support. 
6. Place flyers posted at local dealers and all local Marinas
7. Emails to all of the AWA Club Presidents informing them of the race (Coordinate with AWA President Chris Manthos)
8. Contact all local media outlets and inform them of the upcoming event and request they cover it on July 20, 2014
9. Ask for FREE advertising in each of the online and paper PWC trade magazines:  ProRider, Watercraft Journal, PWCOFFSHORE.COM, JetSki Magazine, Boats USA (Jeff Hemmel), etc.
10. Engage local newspapers – request they come cover the race
11. Engage local news media – tell them to come cover the race
12. Engage the Bloggers
13. Share free FLICKR sites promoting the race
14. Request the winning Manufacture do a press release the week after the race announcing their craft won the race.
15. Actively engage new racers and the core enthusiasts
Targeted Marketing Campaigns:
1. Make sure you have a strong look, a theme, make your marketing documents and fliers must look clean and effective
2. Email and Direct mailing to all PWC dealers throughout the country (4-6 months in advance).  Racers buy parts and need services.
3. Evaluate and pursue paid advertisements in targeted magazines.
4. Google and target all PWC dealers within 200 miles of the race.  Ask for their support, post fliers at their stores, ask them to come out and participate.
5. Evaluate and pursue mailing to all major marinas across the United States. 
6. Who are the vendors most likely to be a race sponsor?  PWC Manufactures, wetsuit providers, helmet and goggle providers, PWC glove providers, aftermarket performance parts, safety equipment (SPOT etc.), communications companies (Marine Radios), local businesses, energy drinks & health foods, racers who are promoting a product or themselves, PWC magazines and Journals. (**Special care should be taken to ensure that sponsors to do not have caveats in their sponsorships that give them an unfair advantage on the racecourse or in any way change the structure of the race to give them an advantage – the race must be kept pure and it is your responsibility as the Promoter / Race Director to ensure this happens.)
7. Marketing must be ongoing, not a one-time event.
Marketing and Consulting Firms:
1. Evaluate marketing and promotions firms that solicit sponsor support.  Firms that are commission only i.e. firms that take a percentage of the sponsor money going to the promoter (no money out of the promoter’s pocket).
“Goodie Bags”: for each racer given to them at check-in:
1. Race Director to solicit free giveaways for racers from literally every vendor you know.  What’s in it for the vendor to send the promoter “free stuff?”  Inform them that inclusion of their logo and contact information will be in the hands of their primary purchasing market and possibly in pictures taken during the event.  It’s not a favor, its marketing for the vendor. 
2. Ensure photographers are there to take as many pictures as possible for release to rags and social media.  The more photographers the better. 
3. Put your next race date and entry form of your next race in the Goodie Bag. 
4. Place coupons in the bags for local deals on product or local businesses
5. Create a race feedback / after action document with specific questions about the race and how it can be improved upon for the racer to submit back to you after the race at the awards ceremony.
Individual Race Promotion:
1. Each racer to provide their background in written form in no more than one paragraph and a picture (preferably a head shot and or an action shot) of themselves 
2. Promoter publicizes that information on his/her website

CATEGORY 4: OUT OF THE BOX
Get Creative:
1. Referral discount if a racer brings a net new racer who has never raced that race before, the referring racer will receive XX Dollars off their entry fee.  Must create a segment on the entry form that states the racers they have “referred” and the entering new racer must list who referred him / her
2. Promoter purchases a 5.00 bottle of Champaign and gives to overall winner; winner sprays the Champaign – photo and video opportunity to be shared with all trade rags. 
3. Solicit support from Monster Energy to provide the Monster Energy Girls to participate in photo shoot with class and overall winners, included the awards ceremony giving out trophies etc. 
4. Promoter to build/provide the podium 1st 2nd 3rd blocks for the podium finishers to stand on during the awards ceremony (All materials can be purchased at Home Depot).
5. Evaluate costs for a completion medal – like the Mark Hahn Race, everyone who finishes gets the medal at the awards ceremony.  “Everyone is a winner”
6. If you work directly for a PWC Dealership (organic employee, not a contractor) and have never raced this race before, you race for free minus the sanctioning body membership fee.
7. Consider a SeaDoo Spark Class
8. Local PWC Racing Expert coordinates a how to class at local Marinas for beginners a month before the race.  Local expert provides guidance and insight on what it takes to complete the race. 
9. Consider a one hour standup free ride tournament during the race (if racers are offshore and not visible) at a location out of the way of the finish line.  Spectators will enjoy this
10. Consider a drag race as part of your event to take place after the event. 
Standups:
1. CONSIDER, evaluate the option of inclusion of standups
2. Standups start 30 meters behind the PWC’s but turn back at a turn boat located 10 miles out (a total of 20 miles roundtrip).  This turn boat can be a Jet Ski or a boat that stays on an exact pre-designated lat and long as the standup turn boat.
3. This range should allow for all standups to complete the leg with one tank of fuel (rule of thumb is 20 miles).
4. All standup racers must have a SPOT locator or an EPIRB device (mandatory).
5. A collateral benefit of this is additional entries which allows for additional revenue stream for the promoter.
6. Back protector mandatory for standups
7. Less race classes the better
8. Safety resources on the course must be augmented to accommodate this option.
9.  See mandatory safety items below

CATEGORY 5:  SAFETY
Safety:
1. Safety of the racer is your first priority.
2. Reach out to K38 Water Safety www.k38watersafety.com for safety related information and consultation regarding safety for your event.
3. Professional safety personnel should be located throughout the course and should maintain radio communication with the race director and each other on a pre-designated channel.
4. Race Director should have a meeting with these safety professionals the day prior to the race to communicate the plan and set direction. 
5. Coast Guard should be notified of the race and on stand by
6. Ambulance and medical evacuation should be onsite or on standby. 
7. Not recommended but should there be no professional safety personnel be available, volunteers on watercraft should be located throughout the course with communication with the race director and accessible to assist racers
8. SeaTow and/or Vessel Assist highly recommended for all racers
9. Race Director should promote (not mandate) the use of SPOT and or an EPIRB device with all racers.
10. Race Director should ensure that every racer has the following phone numbers preprogrammed into the racer’s phone that is in the racer’s possession during the race.
a. Race Director
b. SeaTow/Vessel Assist
c. US Coast Guard
d. Local Lifeguard
11. Racer must call the Race Director and keep him or her informed if the racer is have issues while on the water, leave voice mails if you receive voice mail.  The racer will continue to inform the Race Director of his/her status until the racer has informed the race director of his / her status of being in safe harbor and back on land.
12. Spectators should be positioned in locations that are out of harm’s way should there be a broken PWC steering cable or stuck PWC throttle. 

CATEGORY 6:  RACE STRUCTURE
Race Structure:
1. Classes should emulate the predominate sanctioning
2. With the exception of safety related items unique to offshore racing (Bilge pump, fuel cell), there should be no significant deviation from the sanctioning body’s race classes.  Deviation will result in races being exclusionary i.e. racers may have to change engine setups etc. to be able to participate in one or the other race.  This cost and effort could result in racers foregoing participation in one or the other event.  Net result will be less attendee in specific races. 
3. Woman’s race class should be pursued – class should be a minimum of three to six women racers.  Provide a woman’s winner trophy at a minimum.  Engage in targeted marketing campaign at women racers.
4. 2013 LB2CAT Race Classes (Consider using the UIM or IJSBA rulebook as a guide if you are going it alone – much of the below classes are IJSBA):
• Pro Open Class:  Professional Level. All IJSBA Modifications authorized.  IJSBA Modifications are authorized. This is an "open" class.
• Veteran Master Class: Racers that are 35 and older are allowed to race in this Class. Modifications are authorized in this class. These racers can’t hold a "PRO" card.
• Manufacturer Stock Class:  No modifications are authorized in this class but an aftermarket bilge pump ONLY.  300X Racers, the override and/or washer modification is not authorized.  Override modules are no allowed on any craft.  Winning craft will be checked in detail for compliance after the race. STOCK means STOCK and racers will be held accountable via an aggressive post-race technical check. 
• Super Stock Limited: Hull modifications are allowed i.e. lifter wedges, handlebars, seat covers, etc. You are not authorized to do anything to the Power train. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE POWERTRAIN.
• Amateur Open Class: Modifications to the Power train is authorized in this class
Mandatory Equipment:
1. Full Wet Suit (No Shorties), DOT Approved Helmet, U.S. Coast Guard Approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD), Gloves, Booties, all vessels must have current registration (show proof at registration), Bottled Water, Snack Bars or Food Rations, Fire Extinguisher, Signal Flares, Hand Mirror/reflector, Orange Flag, Functional Compass (no wrist compass), fully charged Marine Radio, fully charged Cell Phone, Marine Tow Rope – 2 Hooks, At Least 12’ feet in length. All competitors are strongly recommended to purchase a Sea Tow Membership or have current Sea Tow Membership.
Racers must provide at check-in:
1. The race will must show proof of Health Insurance at Registration and sign whatever documentation the Director needs the racer to sign.
2. Racers must turn in a valid Driver’s License at registration (to be returned after race).
3. All items must be presented at time of registration and verified at time of tech inspection
Tech Check:
1. Pre-race tech check:
a. Should be allowed the day before the race and the morning of the race.
b. Sufficient time must be allocated to allow for quality technical inspection.
c. Ideally there should be a minimum of two qualified tech check inspectors prior to and after the race. 
d. Qualified technical inspector is defined as a minimum of five years of experience as a professional PWC mechanic (PWC Technician is their job and primary source of income).
e. It is critical that the racer understands what modifications are allowed to his her craft in each respective class well in advance of the race.  It must be very clear and promoters should spell it out in great detail, then hold racers accountable prior to and after the race.
2. Post-Race Tech check:
a. Race official waiting for winning craft at launch ramp
b. Class winners craft should be quarantined immediately upon extraction from the water
c. Technical inspectors utilize a checklist unique to the class being inspected to evaluate the craft (Race Director to create checklist per class to be utilized by technical inspectors)
d. Technical inspectors need a minimum of five years’ experience as a PWC Technician and must be briefed and understand the various classes and what to look for during post-race inspection. 
e. Those racers who are caught blatantly cheating are disqualified from racing and/or those specific promoters’ races for the period of one year. 
Pre-Race Safety Brief:
1. Race Director must provide a pre-race course and safety brief.
2. All relevant detail regarding the course, unique items of the day, communications plan and safety brief is communicated by the race director.
3. The Race Director should come prepared with a checklist of all items to be communicated during the safety brief.
Race Numbers (No duct tape, period):
1. White background, minimum of 8 inch black numbers placed on each side of the hood or side of the craft – the larger the numbers the better
2. Racers utilizing duct tape as numbers should not be allowed to race.  These numbers fall off, can be hard to see, look unprofessional and essentially dumb down the race and quality of follow up pictures. 

CATEGORY 7:  ENGAGING VENDORS
Vendor Ally:
1. Vendor Alley should be offered to all takers to come and attempt to generate revenue for their businesses.  In return, they must announce their attendance on their website and must participate in pre and post-race promotion.
2. Depending on the amount of traffic anticipated at the race, vendors can pay a fee for displaying and selling their product at the race.

CATEGORY 8:  RACE DAY
Parking:
1. Overflow parking should be coordinated with the city and communicated with the racers prior to the event. 
Spectators:
1. Race Director / Promoter’s team to orchestrate cookout at a predestinated location for all support personnel and support structures during the race
2. The promoter must create “an event” of the event. 
3. Create a social gathering, promote the fun of the event to come and participate.
4. Consider a one hour standup free ride tournament during the race at a location out of the way of the finish line.  Spectators will enjoy this
5. Create a vendor row at the marina / launch area or where there is the greatest foot traffic watching the race.
Local deals for racers on race weekend:
1. Coordinate with local hotels and eateries for racer and Pit Crew discounts
2. Onsite vendors on racer ally provide a discount to all racers entered in the race. 
“Goodie Bags:” for each racer given to them at check-in:
1. Race Director to solicit free giveaways for racers from literally every vendor you know.  What’s in it for the vendor to send the promoter “free stuff?”  Inform them that inclusion of their logo and contact information will be in the hands of their primary purchasing market and possibly in pictures taken during the event.  It’s not a favor, its marketing for the vendor. 
Awards and Ceremony:
1. Winner bonuses:
a. Solicit cash payouts for winning racers from all vendors – This solicitation process should start at a minimum of three months in advance of the race.  These sponsors that donate substantially should be listed as event sponsors and included in marketing material associated with the race.
b. The more cash payout the better in this area – this is a selling point for many racers
c. Focus should be on the Manufacture Stock class – this promotes growth in the class that allows for the greatest ease of entry for new racers and the growth of our sport. 
d. Promoters should be hesitant to state a specific amount of cash payout unless the cash is locked in / guaranteed.  Overcommitting on a cash payout and not being able to deliver should be avoided.
2. All racers get a completion medal
3. Ensure you acknowledge the top three for each class and the top ten overall
4. Award or acknowledge the youngest competitor and the oldest competitor
5. Trophies should be of quality commensurate with the entry fee and the best the promoter can afford.  “Cheap” looking trophies or plaques should be avoided. 
6. Should there be an additional food cost associated with the awards ceremony, racers should understand what this cost is prior to the event (keep the food cost in control and low if possible).
7. Start time of awards ceremony should allow for racers to rinse and flush their craft.
Post-Race:
1. Race Directors and Promoters should ensure a press release with results and a brief description of the race, winners etc. is released within 48 hours subsequent to completion of the race. 

CATEGORY 9:  RACE SITE SELECTION
Site considerations and suggestions:
1. The safety of the race course and racer safety should be your first priority.
2. Plenty of parking
3. Modern launch ramp
4. Utilities for accessing water
5. Superior spectator access to start and finish and/or key parts of the race course
6. Travel amenities (food and hotels)
7. If possible, get the event close to or be part of the same weekend as a heavily trafficked event
8. Sell the city officials on the local revenue generated by racers and their support team attending the race and spending their money – attempt to get the venue for free in return for the return of revenues to their city. 
9. Facilities should be left in better condition than what you found it or you will not be invited back. 

CATEGORY 10:  SANCTIONING BODIES
What are the Sanctioning Bodies and Race Groups for PWC Racing?
1. Sanctioning Body UIM  http://www.uimpowerboating.com/   http://www.aquabike.net/
2. Sanctioning Body IJSBA  http://www.ijsba.com/
3. If you choose to work with a sanctioning body, reach out to the sanctioning body and request an application package.
4. The APBA is no longer involved in PWC Racing
5. P1AquaX:  http://www.p1aquaxusa.com/
**You need to determine if you want to “go it alone” as your own entity with your own rules or work with and become a Promoter / Race Director working with one of the sanctioning bodies.

CATEGORY 11:  LOGISTICS
Race Coordination:
1. Purchase or borrow buoys, white Flag, green flag, checker flag, marine radios / communications equipment
2. Coordinate with the city to pull a permit – do so well in advance of the race
3. Get insurance for the race
4. Identify and coordinate safety team
5. Inform the US Coast Guard of the event
6. Get SeaTow or Vessel Assist to be in the water and ready for racers
7. Notify local lifeguards
8. Coordinate with Emergency Responders / local hospital
9. Identify and coordinate attendance of qualified tech check personnel
10. Negotiate a deal with a local hotel that benefits the racer and include that information in promotional updates
11. Coordinate location for the awards ceremony
12. Notify photographers well in advance of the event so they can plan on being there
13. Depending on the complexity of your race course (number of turns and distance), consider transponders.  Should your race be a straight line back and forth straight line with only one turn, this is likely not required.
14. If you are going it alone, consider speaking with an attorney regarding an appropriately worded release of liability document.

CATEGORY 12: PRESS PERSONNEL
1. Press personnel should be identified.
2. Press personnel and Photographers should be given a press pass.
3. Photographers should be briefed the day prior to the race regarding where the best locations are to shoot from.

CATEGORY 13:  CODE OF CONDUCT
1. Unacceptable behavior:
a. Physical altercations of any kind
b. Verbal altercations (threats etc.) with other racers and/or promoters
c. Altercations with spectators
d. Vulgar displays
e. Intoxication of any kind (drugs and/or alcohol)
f. Running your ski up on a beach or ramp intentionally due to unsportsmanlike behavior
g. Deliberate rubbing of another ski
h. Unsafe distances to another racer on the course

CATEGORY 14:  OTHER
1. Note that should you miss some of the above timelines, the time to start is NOW.  Get moving. 
2. Most people are not organized, make sure your communications are clear, concise and information sharing is thorough – leave no gray area for interpretation.
3. A good promoter gets in there, get to know the local authorities and key local businesses and makes it happen
4. Evaluate pricing for standardized Jerseys for racers to wear during the race.  Include sponsors on the Jersey.  Different colors for different classes
5. Race Director’s staff should wear the appropriate, consistent attire and be able to be easily identified as Race Staff.  Uniformity is key.
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