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Old 11-20-2019, 05:45 PM   #109
Shik
NASIOC Supporter
 
Member#: 132
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: PA
Vehicle:
2006 GT Ltd 5spd sdn
'15 WRX 6spd CWP, '02 WRX

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVT_Dan View Post
The manufacturer really doesn't care to get involved in the aftermarket tuning world. The only correlation the manufacturer takes from the tuner interest in their cares is perhaps to get direction for the next model year
Understood. However, I'm not talking about tuning, I'm saying the people going to these places, spending hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars on Subarus because they enjoy it, these are people perhaps SOA should take a bit more interest in. Many of these people purchased brand new WRX and STi's. Spend a few afternoons out of a few weeks out of a few months getting to know these customers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by EVT_Dan View Post
SOA spends MILLIONS every year on community outreach. VSC puts MASSIVE effort into 2 dedicated "show car programs" visiting dealers around the country. SOA/VSC spends hundreds of thousands to be present at, perform at, and financially support literally every large gathering of Subaru enthusiast in the country - ask Robert Champion. SOA/VSC have had appreciation days at both HQ in NJ and at the factory for several years. Hell, rather than sell previous model race cars, VSC now uses them as show cars for fans to sit in.
And our appreciation for this is immense. I was fortunate enough to be at one of the first events SOA attended back in 1999 with their Impreza R"X" show car. So to see the level it is at today is astonishing.

But, and this is just my opinion, but at the events I attended, actual SOA people were scarce. These events are perfect opportunities to really talk to owners who recently purchased a WRX or STi, and I just haven't seen it. I'm sure Carmichael Lynch could spare someone from their dog campaign for a weekend to attend a show. While WRX and STi's are a comparatively small number, they still account for a minimum of over half a billion dollars annually in sales dollars for SOA and probably around $30 million profit for dealers, so taking opportunities to research the people buying these cars wouldn't be for nothing.

This is Subaru's WRX Fan meeting this year as I'm sure most have seen. Completely different atmosphere than the shows put on by SubieEvents, LLC.(granted, the Subaru enthusiasts in Japan are a bit older as well):

I do think SOA has a fantastic tool with the whole Bowes Media/Launch Control series. It can be used for so much more, like tech tips or to showcase new STi parts or all sorts of other ways to attract prospective buyers to the brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EVT_Dan View Post
Staying true to the company's motorsport heritage is an absolute blessing. Not only do they support a factory team in RX and Rally, they also financially support the series the factory teams race in, AND fund additional cars in times of need just to increase car count at the races. I think there's a hell of a lot more to them funding a couple factory teams than "spend millions on racing and hope they sell millions more on WRX/STI sales because of it"
There is a lot more to it, you are absolutely right. There has to be. Otherwise, all of the motorsports presence at enthusiast and "outreach" events, financially supporting race series, running extra cars at races, setting records at Isle of Man and Nurburgring , and now seemingly becoming more involved with NitroCircus would all be for nothing, as car sales for the WRX and STi have not improved.

Brand exposure is for sure a benefit of motorsport, but is intangible other than direct sales. The US has an absolute army of loyal Subaru enthusiasts which developed over years, in some part probably because of SOA's involvement. But even with tens of thousands of loyal enthusiasts, it's a tall order to convince a manufacturer that they are an actual benefit.

I do apologize for getting a bit off topic, but you mentioned "Nitro" as one
possible future for Subaru Motorsports in the US. I just don't see it being the long term race series that is needed to see some actual benefit from it. Then again, I am probably wrong .
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Last edited by Shik; 11-24-2019 at 09:05 PM. Reason: added more info
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