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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

Last week, the ‘Southern Gentleman’, Elliott Sadler was participating in Daytona testing, so naturally we got to hear a few quotes from him. One particular Sadler quote stood out for me, but for a different reason than most might think. While this quote was referring to ‘on track’ performance, maybe Sadler and his handlers should apply it to their treatment of his fans, and more specifically his paying fan club members.

“It's easy for me to sit here and say, 'We're gonna do this, we're gonna do that,' but we have to show it,"

‘Show it’? Instead of just talking about it? Now that’s an interesting concept. If only this premise was applied to Sadler Fan Club Events and Promotions. Flash back to the 2007 SFC Fan club Event and this press release after the event; just watch the ‘show it’ in action.

“Hermie and Elliott would like to thank everyone for their support not only for this event but for everyone's support this season. What was the highlight of the night? Well, the roar of the evening was when Elliott announced plans for the 2008 Sadler Barn Party. Look out because we've been given the power to make it bigger and better than ever before. For those of you that came to Race for Hope or the Barn Party last year, you know what that means!!! This will be huge!! We've always wanted to have great fan club events and for 2008 this will be the best event of the year for NASCAR fans. Stay tuned and look for details soon!!”

This press release was made on SFC in early October of 2007 and almost immediately the speculation commenced of just what race date could be used. The ‘natural date’ for such an event would be a race date in the fall, with some sort of close proximity to Emporia. Problem is, that could be a multiple of race dates (Richmond, Mville, Lowes) spread out over a seven-week period. So the SFC fan was put in ‘wait and see’ mode.

Just a week or so later, ‘spotterman’, aka Brett Griffin makes mention while addressing some of the speculation on the SFC message board that ‘the plan is to announce a fan club party (aka barn party) 'details' before the end of the year.’ So the ‘wait and see’ mode is continued for at least another two months.

In Early January, even the ‘Southern Gentleman’ himself made an unusual appearance on the SFC message board and once again ‘talked’ about what they ‘were going to do’ instead of following through with what they said they were going to do.

“This year we plan on having more fan events including a bigger and better barn party. Our folks are working out the details now and we're hoping you'll like the lineup of drivers and entertainment we're trying to put together. We should have details out regarding the event in September by February.”

While this post does give a bit more of a hint as to the date of the 2008 event, it still doesn’t answer speculation as to the actual date. Not even narrowing this down to a week. An educated guess would be that this event would fall in the first week of September prior to the fall Richmond race. However, it also could be early in the week FOLLOWING the Richmond race. For the ‘regular’ NASCAR fan, what maybe more important to know is the actual day of the event (be it Wed or Thur of that first week in Sept or whatever it is) as not only the obvious travel plans have to be made. But for many, the first of the year is when vacation or paid time off, has to be submitted/bidded to their respected employers. For this very reason, there were many paying SFC customers that missed out on the 2007 event who had full desire to go.

Just a handful of days ago, a very long and well thought out suggestion post was made by a long time member of SFC in which she raised many legitimate concerns and offered a few solutions to the way the fan club was operating. To date, the only 'official' response was from the SFC Webmaster (aka the 'goatfish') was this:

"We should have some information to announce for the Barn Party soon along with other Fan Club news for 2008. "

So we go back to the original quote:

“It's easy for me to sit here and say, 'We're gonna do this, we're gonna do that,' but we have to show it,"

Bottom line, announcing a ‘bigger and better’ event and still four months later not even announcing an event date is not ‘showing it’. The specific details and “who’s who” of this event is not the priority for the everyday fan at this time. After all, history has shown that SFC fans have been disappointed before because they were forced to speculate on event dates, and even questioned the fan club about said dates, only to be later told that no event would be held. The sting of the 2004 ‘fan event’ still bites at many of the Sadler Fans who have continued to stay on the band wagon. But that wagon has more room on it every day.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sadler will never be "major league" because he surrounds himself with "minor league" minions who are uable to think outside the "small time hillbilly" box.
The Sadler-ites have mega-bucks but lack class, kindness and consideration. They simply do not know how to relate to fans and they do not care about them.
It is far simpler and easier to take fans and admirers for granted. It is also a mistake, as nothing lasts forever.
2008 may be Sadler's Sad Year and Swan Song.

Too bad....

"He coulda been a contender," instead of a spoiled brat, used up also ran, whose heyday has passed.

Barn Party ? Please.
Why not just have a donkey show ?

Anonymous said...

I have serious doubts I will renew my membership to the fan club. I thought there was suppose to be "fun things through out 2007."? Did I miss something...the only thing I heard about was the bowling thing. I don't want to sign up again and get another 15yr old picture and some stickers for my car...ya know what I'm saying!

Jill said...

I reluctantly rejoined yesterday as a matter of fact. I feel like last year was an off year as far as the fan club because they were trying to deal with Ms. Belle's health issue. To be fair PHIL, you really should have mentioned this.

I resigned up, even though at the Atlanta race I didn't like the fact that Elliott didn't even acknowledge the sign I made for him even though the stage crew made a big deal out of it and it was shown several times during the show. Guess I was in dream land. All he had to do was give a little wave or thumbs up or something. Wasn't expecting him to jump off the stage and come meet me. Not that stupid, but he totally ignored and never even looked my way.

So why did I rejoin, I guess I wanted to give them another year to see if things are better as far as the fan club is concerned, but like others, I am growing tired of the Sadler attitude.

okla21fan said...

JILL writes:
I feel like last year was an off year as far as the fan club because they were trying to deal with Ms. Belle's health issue. To be fair PHIL, you really should have mentioned this.

Just a note:
I was made aware of Bel's diagnosis in mid July about 4 months before Hermie announced it. I was asked out of respect for the family not to mention this on this blog. Because of this fact, much of last year (as far as the fan club events goes) could be given a mulligan. The point is to set dates for events far enough in advance for fans to be able to make proper travel plans and such. Like the weather, there will always be circumstances that the Fan Club cannot control, and there will be occasions when events and promotions may have to be altered. Few (if anyone) would have issues with that.

Anonymous said...

Hey Phil, looks like someone is reading your blog. Brett's latest Fan Club post on the subject, but still hedging on the actual date. I guess narrowing it down to two days is better than nothing! My only question is, if it is 'safe to say we have a date for the barn party', then why not just announcing the freakin date? More talk, no actions. You are right, they just don't get it.

Brett's SFC post
It would be safe to say we have a date for the barn party. I know you guys are eager to find out as Sean and I have been getting numerous Emails.

What's happened is the barn party is going to have multiple celebrities so we can't announce it until "everyone" is ready. Can you save a date? Yes I can help you with that.

To be safe... save 2 days -- sept 3 & 4.

We'll make an official announcement as soon as we can get everyone's blessing on what we'll be able to release.