Thursday, June 19, 2014

Minutes of the Challenge Advisory Board- Executive Committee’s meeting

A Skype Teleconference was held on the 29th of May
In attendance:
Mike Mederios 
Adam Brock
Jeff Leonard
Mike Weikamm
Cheri Ardion
John Pennington
Items Discussed in order of recollection:

1. Budget & Scott: We cannot camouflage the fact that our sponsorship dollars have been substantially cut. In all cases, we have attempted to lessen the impact by offering options to keep our key personnel on board. Everyone has the freedom to decide their own future with the Challenge, based upon the value that they place on their time. We do this to survive since we cannot have any expenses uncovered. This is not some dire warning of peril, but the practical reality of living within our means. We executed a three-year agreement and will continue to bring the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge to cities across the US and Canada. Said another way, operating the Challenge has become expensive. Big trucks represent big bucks. Airfares are skyrocketing and very few teams now have the financial backing from their departments that they once did. Virtually all of our military teams have had travel funds cut. We are ramping up our efforts to recruit new sponsors- as everyone knows, a daunting task. I think that most firefighters understand that the economy continues to limp along and when stations are being shut down and firefighters laid off, discretionary spending on activities such as the Challenge do not rise to the same level of importance of operations. 

2. Reorganized Rules: Daniel spent a considerable amount of time reorganizing the rules by Sentence and Paragraph format. The one change that has evoked a response is the subject of Hammers: We will consider modifying the hammer rule: i.e., no touching the hammer. Jeff Leonard suggested that up to five hammers be put in the rotation and Cheri proposed that we color code the hammers to preserve the rotation. I will run this past Ron. I still believe that we need to disallow Competitors to pick up any hammer other than the one to be used. I proposed that we find some type of a cup or receiver in which to place the hammer head to standardize the position of the hammer for both distance from the sled and angle (which is the same thing). 

3. LA World Firefighter Games: We are determined to make this work. To this end, we’re working on securing some sponsorship to fill-in the gap left by the insolvency of the Games. The PR benefit is extraordinary as we can be “The Only Game in Town.” We are, as of this writing going to Ontario, CA. With over 2000 registrants, and not knowing how many of these people are still coming, we will be advertising heavily to see how many days we will need to accommodate what might be the largest Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge ever. 

4. Hybrid Teams: Several options were discussed; we all realized that this is complicated and will require more study. We’ll come back with some approaches that might work. 

5. Phoenix Logistics: LiftMaster is the Host for WCXIII. We are attempting something that has never been done before; four days of Wild Cards followed by a move to the track. We can pack up the show in about 3 hours. This come at the end of a log day. However, we do have a staff that is double that of our typical regional. And, we will call for assistance for a limited, but skilled group who have experience in Road Crew logistics. An advance trip will take place within the next couple of weeks whereupon we will be able to speak much more intelligently about the whole scenario. We do have a seminar planned for Friday, sponsored by Keiser. 

6. Pro-Am, Firefighter Fantasy Camp, Cross-Fit - FCC event: We believe that the only thing that this needs is marketing. Cheri had successfully used this gambit for the event that she held at Lake Charles. We need to write up a marketing plan for rolling this out on a trial basis at selected locales. 

7. 2014 Scheduling Matters. Anyone in the event business can attest that “it’s a jungle out there.” If you think that this is easy, you need to think again. We’re at the max of what we can reasonably expect to raise by way of appearance fees. Even at $25K, that’s a lot of bread. LiftMaster will be ending all of their contracts this year and will make a determination if their NASCAR program has been cost effective. I believe that state fairs are a more cost effective model. But, we’ll need to see what transpires at the conclusion of their analysis. 

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