A good press release should be newsworthy by focusing on why people should know or care about your message. It should be written in a compelling way and, when done effectively, it can tremendously help reach new audiences and keep followers informed of recent happenings.
It is vital, therefore, that a press release delivers its message clearly and concisely. People want to know what the story is about. Right now. A press release isn’t a suspense novel. Get it wrong and you stand a chance of attracting unfavourable publicity for whatever it is that’s being promoted – like this article on the ailing Superleague Formula series, for example.
A welcome update on the football-themed series arrived in my Inbox a couple of days ago. It described Superleague’s future plans for 2013 onwards. At least, I think it did. I’ve read it at least three times now and still can’t fathom out the significance of it (read it in full here).
There could be a new chassis for 2013. It might even be produced by Lola. Who knows? The organisers obviously don’t, so why then should you?
A cynic could suggest that it is nothing more than an attempt to prove that there’s still life in the old dog yet. One might even go so far as to imply that it’s a not so subtle bid at extorting current chassis suppliers – the rather diminutive Elan Motorsport – while also tackling any grumbles from those questioning the current car’s relevance after four years service.
But like I say, who knows? I’m not privy as to the full goings-on behind the scenes, but what I do know is that Superleague has far more important things to be focusing on than teasing us with a new chassis.
This year has been nothing short of depressing for Superleague fans, but the truth is that the series has been on the decline for some time. It was dealt two fairly hefty blows last year, when its founder, Alex Andreu, resigned and title sponsors Sonangol chose not to renew their contract.
With sponsorship money and the football link beginning to weaken, a decision was made for 2011 to re-brand the series as ‘Superleague Formula World Cup’. As a result, national team entries were permitted, a lá A1GP, and there were ambitious plans to visit four continents through the course of the year.
However, races began to suspiciously vanish from the calendar as the season progressed (there have only been two rounds thus far, with just three more confirmed) and, in what was a severe case of amateur hour, Superleague were forced by the FIA to remove all reference to the word “world” in any communication surrounding the series.
With meagre interest from competitors and spectators alike, and with the series seemingly in disarray, a decision was recently made to relocate its operations headquarters from Barcelona to Silverstone to “bring the championship closer to a number of its suppliers, which will help strengthen existing partnerships and open doors to new ones,” apparently…
Whether the change of backroom staff will help revitalise Superleague remains to be seen, but it’s clear that something needs to be done urgently as it is like the the dying days of A1GP all over again.
What would I do? Well, as interesting as a new chassis is (and the Lola ‘World Senior Car’ is), the extra horsepower and fancy gizmos from any new vehicle won’t make people flock to watch Superleague. It is a fantastic little category; with a talented field of drivers, great racing, and the current 750bhp V12 monsters make a wonderful racket that fans simply adore.
It’s also clear that after four years that football and motorsport don’t fit together, and as a brand awareness exercise it has failed. The concept has also restricted the potential number of followers, so proceed down the national team entries route and be done with it. That way it can reach out to potential followers from countries that aren’t best known for its football clubs (the likes of New Zealand, for example).
I know that originally Superleague didn’t want to be another A1GP, and that my proposal sounds exactly like the once self-proclaimed ‘World Cup of Motorsport’, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A1GP was a brilliant racing series – it’s downfall was due to its poor management, not a lack of interest.
Superleague may be on the slippery slope to single-seater oblivion as well, but, with improved organisation, realistic ambitions, and better marketing and promotion, it can come through this rather bleak period, and then begin to contemplate its future.
But there is only so long it can be kept on a life support machine, and I will be pleasantly surprised – and hugely impressed – if it is still kicking about in 2013, let alone showcasing any new machinery. Lola or otherwise.