WMRC name change

Discussion in 'General Racing Chat' started by spero, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. spero

    spero Team Modern Racing

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    I'm so excited about this that I can't wait to share it...
    bcmra logo 1.png
    At the WMRC meeting on Sept 12th I brought up the idea of changing the name of our beloved WMRC to British Columbia Motorcycle Racing Association. We are going to look into what would be involved to change the name and present it for a vote at the AGM.

    From an objective point of view the word "club" implies some sort of exclusivity and as a racing organization that always needs new racers we need to be inclusive. The word "association" is far more appealing to would be racers.

    I have the biggest respect for the history of Westwood which is why I asked Murray Neibel who has been a past WMRC President and a long time WMRC racer and a few other old school WMRC racers what they thought of the idea and they all said that it is definitely time for a change, especially since there are new racetracks in BC.

    From a promotional point of view this proposed name change will be a dream come true. We could very easily get global exposure with a press release stating the history of WMRC and the excitement of the name change to BCMRA.

    I crudely altered the WMRC logo strictly for demo purposes. I suggested that we hold some sort of design contest to involve everyone in the process.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  2. mrwigums

    mrwigums Josh

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    +1 vote for change it.
     
  3. Jaybo

    Jaybo if you want blood

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    I encourage all to debate and actively participate in this discussion as this is very important topic. it seems so far the marjority of the discussion is taking part on facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2352067305/?fref=nf

    I've cut and pasted my response to that thread here as I feel it carries some important details that should be read.
    thanks

    I've been sitting back watching and reading. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well this idea has been received and how measured all responses have been for something that has the potential to be a very emotional topic. Please take note, this is not something to taken lightly, this is a very serious subject with a huge impact on the future of our club. If successful, it will probably take quite some time, a vast amount of work and some expense to follow through with.

    In order to proceed a vote by members would have to be taken at the AGM in November with 75% of the votes being in favour. I would expect that for this vote there would be a "for side" and an "against side" both sides should pick "champions/ leaders" to rally their sides and to build and present their arguments for & against. I would expect that the champions be named soon (publicly please) and start building their arguments as there isn't much time before AGM.

    Thank you for your interest in your club, let's all continue to work together to ensure that we are building a strong and viable club that will continue much longer into the future. anyone who is currently not a member can purchase a $40 social membership and be allowed to cast their vote. Thanks, Jason, current prez.
     
  4. Wblairlayton

    Wblairlayton Faster and Faster

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    I spoke with Spero about this tonight, and I too agree that the time has come to move forward. BCMRA is an easy acronym and in line with naming practices of other race organizations along the west coast.,

    See you all at the AGM, :) Time to be there and vote.
     
  5. Bernie

    Bernie Ranter Extrodinaire

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    I think almost all of the connection to the old Westwood is gone, or no longer required.
    In fact, any bad feelings or experiences can be ditched with a new name ;-)
    Myself, I have no problem with it. And using a similar logo connects to the old enough to keep the gray hairs happy.
     
  6. andre331

    andre331 New Member

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    so connection to old westwood is no longer required ? its not required to remember tom walther , pascal picot , miguel duhamel , steve cravier, or any of the geat names in canadian motorcycle road racing who raced with and promoted the wmrc ?.not required to remember that members of the wmrc who went to meetings and paid membership dues when we didn't even have a track to race on to try to keep the club alive? if you think changing the name of our club is going to fix anything give your heads a shake. we have a lot more problems with people feeling excluded ,members leaving with bad feeling over the last !0 years that changing a name will not fix .... if we are going to change the club name i propose the following, how about the WESTWOOD TRACK DAY PROVIDER ASSOCIATION because thats what we are turning into lets forget the political correctness crap and get back to being A F'ING RACE CLUB
     
  7. andre331

    andre331 New Member

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    btw I've been a member since 1990
     
  8. spero

    spero Team Modern Racing

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    I am so glad that you see the value in changing the name to BCMRA Bernie. I have the biggest respect for you and all the WMRC racers that raced at Westwood.

    Andre, we can still remember Tom Walther, Pascal Picotte, Miguel Duhamel, Steve Crevier and all the great names of Canadian Motorcycle Racing.
    We can homage to the rich history of Westwood more than ever have by digging up all the championship results, pictures and stories from 1959-1990 and posting them on the website, Wikipedia & Social Media for the public to see. All the racers that ever raced at Westwood risked life & limb and there isn't even a mention of the word "motorcycle" on the Wikipedia page of the Westwood Circuit.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westwood_Motorsport_Park

    There is more content about Westwood on the Modern Motorcycling website than the WMRC website: (click the track map)
    http://www.modernmotorcycling.com/Westwood/index.htm

    Changing the name of the WMRC to BCMRA won't fix everything but it's a step towards a bigger vision of what motorcycle racing can be in BC, especially since we have 2 new racetracks in this province. Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit and Area 27 in Oliver.

    The majority of the public doesn't even know that we race at Mission Raceway Park. We need to attract new riders and listen to what people looking in are telling us.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  9. *Jay*

    *Jay* Member WMRC Exec

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    Would a name change fix any disgruntled club member? No. Would a name change improve the feelings of excluded members? Nope. Would changing the attitude of the club’s members improve the situation for everyone? Absolutely! The WMRC has a past that should be honored and cherished, and the club should look for ways to improve our image. Would a name change improve our image? Possibly…


    Whenever I do hear a negative comment about the WMRC, far too often it is because of something that happened to someone at sometime in the past. Usually followed up with "I would never race with those guys again” etc. blah blah blah. The problem is that "those guys" don’t run the club anymore, and possibly don't even race with the club anymore. Too late though, the damage is done. New members coming on board with the club today may not be aware of anything to do with the past of the WMRC, good or bad. So does a name change help out with any of these things? I am not sure. Would a name change make these problems worse? I don’t see how it could.


    Andre brings up a point that a number of national and international racers have competed with the WMRC in the past, along with sacrifices made by members during years that the club had no track to race on. The inference is that a name change would be a slap in the face to their memory and efforts. Impressive that we have had racers of the caliber of Tom Walther, Duhamel, Picot etc. associated with the WMRC in the past. Frankly, I rarely hear any comments about those guys with regards to the club (side note: I had a beer with Miguel Duhamel last year in Vegas and talked motorcycle racing, he never mentioned the WMRC), so we should take pride in our past accomplishments, but not spend all our attention looking back and remembering the gold old days. Most new members don’t even know these names anyway.


    Saying the club is turning into a trackday provider with a negative tone really confuses me. I could understand maybe if the trackdays happened on all the weekends and racedays were held in the middle of the week but that is not the case. I believe that the racedays get the most desireable dates offered to the club. However, costs for running race days aren't getting any cheaper and require a minimum number of participants to break even. For many years those numbers were dwindling to a point that the race days cost the club. Trackdays have more participants, ever stop to think why that is? Far less drama for one. The very real up side of the WMRC providing trackdays is that every profitable trackday eases the financial stress of racedays. Rain soaked trackdays in the summer seem to get more participants than rain soaked race days.


    We have seen grid sizes increase over the past few years as a trend, and as more members let go of the past problems we will hopefully see this trend continue. Coincidentally, members with bad attitudes have been absent or present in very small numbers over the past couple of years...hmm.


    I hope this idea of a name change encourages members to come out and be a part of their club. Come to a meeting, and share your opinion on what happens with your club. Name changed or not we will continue to be a race club and require members that want to participate. I just want to race because I think it’s fun, challenging, and rewarding. I got on board with the executive because there were vacancies and I felt that if I want the opportunity to race locally I should assist the club in providing that opportunity to its members if I can.
     
  10. Georgie G

    Georgie G Animal Viking

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    We'll I wasn't going to chime in on this topic but after hearing some recent comments I thought I would share my perspective. First off a name is not just a name its a brand- it means something to people. When I hear about people interested in motorcycles, track day riders, or new racers not knowing what Westwood was or what WMRC means, I see it as a good thing because it lets me give them an education on how motorcycle racing began in BC. In my opinion, this is something of value. Just look at some successful brands out there today. Kraft, FORD, motogp, etc. all had faced hard times at some point in time but what's important is they retained their name aka brand. Jay pointed out that grid sizes have increased over the years and I can attest that our race schools and track days have been great success. So why change something that is currently successful? I think if we want to achieve "a bigger vision of what motorcycle racing can be in BC" we need to improve upon how the club is promoted. However, I do want to stress that I understand the difficulty of being in an executive position and the lack there of in the help department. So I think the remedy is to have more people who have the time to get out there and promote our club, or perhaps, the executive should hire out an external promotions director who can deliver our club's desired results. I would love to write more on this, but I've been typing all day.....

    Former disgruntled WMRC executive :)
     
  11. spero

    spero Team Modern Racing

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  12. *Jay*

    *Jay* Member WMRC Exec

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    I am super excited about this debate, because no matter what the out come we are all saying that the club needs to be promoted better. Anyone that has held the promotions director position with this club would agree. The WMRC needs to update its image, and focus 100% of the energy towards getting that image out into public. If you feel that the club should retain its name and be promoted better, then share your thoughts and volunteer to execute. If you feel that the club should change its name and be promoted better, then share your thoughts and volunteer to execute. Ideas are like belly buttons, everyone has them. Action is required! Please continue this debate because it proves that a passion for our club exists. Follow that up by attending a meeting.
     
  13. jcathie

    jcathie Member

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    I disagree that the point of view is 'objective'. It is subjective through and through. For me, the word 'club' is less formal than the word 'association'. Also, I always infer a person would join an association, much as they would join a club. The subjective inference of the word 'association' leads me to conclude the 'association' is more formally constructed than the organization I would join that refers to itself as a 'club'. To me, both offer an impression of exclusivity. I feel a 'club' is less exclusive than an 'association'. Is there any proof or data to substantiate the claim that the word 'association' is really and truly 'far more appealing to would-be racers'?

    I have the utmost respect for Murray and value his view and the view of the other 'old school WMRC racers'. But I disagree. There is not a shred of information that I am aware of that the WMRC will ever be involved with any of the new race tracks in BC. For the most part, the membership is derived from the Lower Mainland and will continue to derive the bulk of it's membership from the Lower Mainland. There are always a few that will make the sacrifice of time and expense to come race at Mission (thanks Oli, Al Schmidt, Mel, Dean Thompson, Nevada, et al). The notion that the WMRC will spread it's wings and host events on the Island or at Area 57 is a very, very long shot. Which brings up another question: has anyone asked either facility point blank if they would let us race there and how much money they would want for the privilege?

    How many of our Lower Mainland racers would sacrifice time and money to travel to either Area 57 or the Island? What about the logistics of getting the officials and volunteers to these out of town venues? We all know spectators form an important revenue stream for the club. How would this revenue stream be effected at the other venues?

    What value would come to the WMRC from the global exposure of a name change announcement? Tangible benefits in the form of ... what?

    When the club rose from the ashes in 2000 to start holding events at Mission the club was still the Westwood Motorcycle Racing Club. The Executive of the day handed promotions over to Andii Adamick to raise sponsorship money and promote the events. It was then the club started being promoted as the WMRC instead of the long winded Westwood Motorcycle .... You get the idea. Most current members never knew the club as that long winded entity. But time marches on. If the membership as a whole decides to make the name change, I'm sure they will do it with the best of intentions and I respect that. But to make the name change on what I perceive to be weak or spurious logic, that, I don't agree with.

    For what it's worth, I love the notion of an effort being made to bring our history out into the public and digging up old results and championship data, photos, what have you. Put it online. Absolutely. Should have been done a long time ago but with volunteer time at a premium, I understand why it hasn't already happened.

    It's taken me a few weeks to think this through and I hope I've given everyone food for thought.
     
    ctardi, Dean Thompson and Bernie like this.
  14. Bernie

    Bernie Ranter Extrodinaire

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    I don't agree with everything John, but thanks for posting.
    Way back when I did a lot of work getting people back into the fold.
    I reached out hard to the old members of the WMRC. I worked at it!
    I didn't know a lot of them (never even saw the track), but thought it was worthwhile, and it made good business sense.
    I think there were a lot of them at the first trial race weekend in Sept., and maybe the first few races the following year.
    That was a long time ago. I think Kenny would be the only name the still recognize.
    Also, how many are in the stands?
    Not reasons, but points to consider.

    I will tell you from legitimate experience that not everyone I dealt with was doing so because of the WMRC, Westwood, etc.
    Some did it because they liked my plans, some because they just liked racing, and yes, some had Westwood love still flowing.
    There were times when I had to work around prejudice against it as well, as some didn't have these fond memories (business wise) from the past.
    Yes, the name helped more than it hurt for sure, but that was 18 years ago?
    When RMS gave me the Ninja 636 to auction off, Rob Goth told me Mike gave it up because I was good at the promo game and would work it for him, not because of any Westwood love he had. Let's face it, Mike didn't have much love for much ;-)

    I do 100% agree that the history could be much better represented. If nothing else comes of this, that would be great to see happen.
    Also, if there is a name change, and I say if, there should be a prominent button that takes people to the WMRC page with buttons of it's own.
     
  15. Bernie

    Bernie Ranter Extrodinaire

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    Spero, to be clear, I never raced at Westwood, and I never even saw the track once! I was just a guy that wanted to get racing going again ;-) I am okay with whatever the members decide. As I posted after John Cathie's post, it's not 100% either way, and I think it's important to listen to all sides. If I was buying it as a company, I'd make a division of my new company, but in business that's easy to do.
     
  16. andre331

    andre331 New Member

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    great post john, you hit all the points. Couple of questions to bring up. i agree that we need a rainy day contingency cushion in the bank, but with 50k in the bank, how much are the race fees going to drop next year? I propose that first race fee ? 40 bucks second race 25 third 15 and free after that. Also drop the ambulance fee to 25 dollars. We have to make racing more fun and cheaper than track days. One way i thought of to get the track day guys out to race as an alternative to hybrid days ( i don't think track day prepped bikes should be out on race days due potential track oiling) is to bring back the sportsman class. No scoring, have fun, and be there on a race day to get a feeling for it.

    We need to figure out how many track days and race schools it would take to support a full season of racing and only offer that many. if that means only 2 or 3 track days then so be it, we are still a race club and need to refocus on making it better for the racers. That in turn will hopefully draw more people out to race and watch
     
  17. Jaybo

    Jaybo if you want blood

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    I guess it all depends on how long you would like to race for Andre. My only goal is to make the club as viable as possible so we can continue to race for as long as possible, using your model and some quick math we would need approx 85 racers a day just to break even. that's just not long term thinking.
    You know, it hurts my feelings every time you bring up how much you hate the track days and how you feel the focus isn't on the racers. It really makes me feel like all that work is for nothing so thanks for that.
     
  18. Andrew Marles

    Andrew Marles Moderator

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    I think that it's important for the club to keep a strong cash reserve. We have less in the bank than EMRA (they have more than 100K), and that limits what the club can do and how secure it will be in the future. 50K sounds like a lot, but it could all be gone in 5 rainy weekends; ie one year of bad weather.

    To answer one of John's questions, and also illustrate why it is good for the club to have money in the bank, I will say that we absolutely talked with Area 27 about hosting events there. I spent more than 6 hours sitting down with the president of A27 last year after all the other racers had gone home at the end of our tour. At that time, we could have bought into the track for about $120K which would have guaranteed us dates and given us a real stake in the faciility and how it is run, especially combined with other motorcycle-oriented corporate members. If we had a balance sheet like EMRA that would have been a couple of bake sales away, but we were committed to the season at that time and were borrowing money from members to pay the bills so it was never going to happen.

    I don't get the hostility towards trackdays. Maybe there is an impression that the exec is running trackdays instead of races for some reason? I dunno, but everyone on the exec is a racer and I'm pretty sure they would rather race than spend their time chasing gopros around or watching street riders get caught up in someone's back wheel.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
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  19. Edward

    Edward New Member

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    Yay for name change as I had never heard of Westwood let alone seen the track before I started track days at Mission. BCMRA does sound bigger. And in conversations with people who ask me about racing I usually say, "it's just at club level." But with a name change I think there needs to be racing at other tracks not just at Mission.
     
  20. jcathie

    jcathie Member

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    I agree, Edward. But if we race at other tracks, it's still 'just at club level'. But that club level is where a lot of really good racers started; Steve Crevier, Steve Dick, Gary Goodfellow, et al. I would venture to guess that every single pro racer on the planet started 'just at club level'.
     

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