There is only ONE Oklahoma

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Long Wait is Over, well sort of

Word from Sadlerville has finally come down and the Sadler Fan Club Barn party date has finally been announced. But the story just doesn’t stop there with the SFC Webmaster’s announcement.

The ‘Goatfish’ states “Sept 3rd which is the Wed before the Fall Richmond race will be the date of the Barn Party”. (Hallelujah chorus in the background) Now Sadler fans are scrambling to find the best airfares, and might be a bit distraught and dismayed when they realize that airfare prices have risen over 25% to 50% since the original claims of ‘details coming soon’. To many Sadler fans, that 25% to 50% is a significant price to have to pay due to the procrastination of this announcement.

I don’t think many expected full details to be announce before the beginning of this year, but my contention has been since the original announcement that the fan event was indeed going to take place over 8 MONTHS AGO, simply announcing a date so fans can make travel arrangements should have been a priority. But it seems that the mantra when it comes to the consideration of the paying Sadler Fan Club members, is on a ‘need to know’ basis. How many times have we heard “Stay tuned and look for details soon!!” I have lost count!

There is a natural progression for fan questions when it comes to events like these, but for some reason the powers that be at SFC don’t understand them. What is this natural progression and curiosity for fans after the original announcement of an event? (and trust me, these questions have been asked over and over and have not been answered for some strange reason)
1) What is the date of the event so I can make some plans (take off work, make travel reservations, lodging etc)
2) When will tickets for the event go on sale?
3) How many tickets can a single member purchase?
4) Can I bring a non fan club member guest?
5) What are the specific details of the event (how long, who will be appearing etc)

So after 8 months and some waffling, this event that has been promised to be ‘bigger and better than ever’ has finally got passed step NUMBER ONE. (Hallelujah chorus in the background) It might not be so bad had we not had to go through 6 or so months of quotes like these:

“The plan is to announce a fan club party (aka barn party) 'details' before the end of the year.” Brett Griffin, October, 2007

“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.” Elliott Sadler, January 2008

“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. Brett Griffin, January 2008

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

since those quotes, nothing has been said about this event nor questions been answered when asked. Me thinks this has been strung out long enough and the paying Sadler Fan Club members are indeed paying for it with ever-rising travel costs. ‘Steps 2, 3 and 4’ should not be that difficult to figure out and announce let alone step 1. Step 5 at this time really as not applicable till closer to the event anyway.

Now before the hate mail starts flowing, this event is probably one of the ‘top’ events offered by any Nascar driver to their fan club. I have yet to speak with a fan club member who attended the ‘annual’ party two years ago who felt they did not have a good time or felt like it was not worth it. But the fact is that not everyone has a private jet to fly around the country on a whim, or live with in a stones throw of Emporia. It is funny that there is a movement to ‘get back to your roots’ and return to catering to the ‘average fan’, instead of the ‘cooperate luxury suite’ fan. But the first 8 months since the announcement of the barn party, some may need to hitch a ride or sneak into a pool party just to feel like they are a part of something.

I realize that working out details for the recent 2 year contract extension between Sadler and GEM does take priority (but we all know those contracts don't mean much anyway), like always, I am sure there will be ‘more details coming soon’.

On to Phoenix where Elliott Sadler got those "Bob Uecker" qualifying tickets and is starting on the front rooooowwww!


Anonymous said...

I would like to say that you are trying to nitpick, but you are absolutely right. For the life of me I do not understand why basic questions cannot be answered, and the they are being ignored on the fan club message board as well.

My best racin buddy is a huge Elliott fan and we had planed to go, but because of the delay, we aren't sure we can afford it. She is so mad now!

Anonymous said...

Sadler is just another average driver, he really should treat his fans better than that. He caters to the boobjob and corporate suite crowd, not the real Nascar fan. That realestate thing in Virginia shows that. Lots starting at over a half a million and thats before any foundation has been poured.

Anonymous said...

I am going, but I only live a couple hours drive from Emporia. I can understand the frustration for those who want to go, but have to fly and the delays in naming a date.

My only question is who is driving this bus, Brett or Bel?????