entertainers to perform the promoter could not put on a show. Therefore, it is another responsibility of the promoter to make certain he has available to him a supply of entertainers that is capable of providing a well
rounded show. Knowing a little about the entertainers, the promoter will be in a better position to fulfill this responsibility. With the exception of the announcer, flag man and a few others, the entertainers on which
the promoter most often relies to provide a show are the actual racing participants. This group of entertainers, consisting of race care owners, drivers, pit crew members and sponsors provides the promoter with the bulk
of entertainment necessary to provide a show.
It has already been indicated that the number of entertainers is directly proportional to the number of spectators, which is naturally
proportional to the amount of money a promoter makes. Any promoter would like to satisfy and increase the number of his entertainers. But it seems there is usually a barricade in the promoter's way... money.
Almost everyone would like to turn his hobbies or semiprofessional skills into income producing ones. This can not always be accomplished. Neither can all racing participants make a monetary
profit from their racing related endeavors. To the dismay of many, only a small percentage of these people will even break even. It costs most entertainers more to perform than they are paid. Like so many other hobbies,
auto racing is not, at this time, one in which the average participant will make a monetary profit from his investment.
Therefore, most entertainers the average promoter deals with
are involved in the sport as a hobby or at most, on a semiprofessional level. Although these non- professionals realize they cannot depend on the sport for their livelihoods, they also recognize their value to the
promoter. For this they expect and rightfully deserve some monetary consideration.
Most promoters agree that the entertainers should be compensated for their efforts, thus they
attempt to satisfy them. The following methods are most commonly used by promoters to determine the amount of money that is distributed among the entertainers in the form of prize money.
1. In many areas of
the country, where the sport is popular, tracks are plentiful and often compete with each other to obtain the services of not so plentiful entertainers. The competition usually makes way for extraordinary high purses.
Yet some promoters post only a small purse, and race on an 'off night", such as Wednesday. They hope the entertainers will choose to race for a small purse rather than stay home. in such cases some promoters obtain
the services of numerous entertainers they could not otherwise afford, at less than the going rate.
2. The majority of promoters simply post the largest purse they can afford and blindly hope it will be
sufficient to attract adequate entertainment. This is done by subtracting the promoter's overhead from his expected income. The difference minus his anticipated profit, becomes the amount of the purse. This purse, as
the previously discussed one is extended to the most popular classification of entertainers and equipment in the locality.
3. A third method involves determining the expenses incurred by the entertainers.
This means the purse will be based upon the cost incurred by the entertainers to build and maintain equipment of a particular classification. This purse allows the opportunity for a predetermined percentage of
entertainers to make a profit or break even. For example, the purse may allow for an entertainer winning a certain number of races in a season to win enough money to pay for the construction and maintenance of two or
more average price race cars in a particular classification. Or, it may allow for an entertainer who averages a tenth place feature race finish each week of the season to break even, based on the construction and
maintenance costs of an average price race care in his class.
4. It is becoming more and more common to find entertainers under contract to the promoter to put on the show. In most of these cases, the purse
is determined by allotting a specific percentage of the promoter's gross receipts for prize money, but there is also a guarantee. The guarantee establishes a minimum amount of money the entertainers can expect.
5. The size of some purses is determined primarily by the entertainers. In these instances the determination is usually made under circumstances of which the promoter is in an unfavorable position to
negotiate the matter. Such a case would be the existence of a strike by the entertainers, demanding a higher purse, five minutes prior to race time. If the promoter bows to the demands of the entertainers, he takes only
a blind chance the proposition will be profitable to him then and in the future.
There are other various considerations given by some promoters to the entertainers in the form of
appearance awards, point and crash funds, etc. But the five methods discussed here are most commonly employed to make the overall determination of how much prize money will be posted. Some of the methods appear to be
fair to both promoters and entertainers. Others do not. The important thing is the end result. Somehow the fairest propositions seem to breed the most success.
A promoter knows how
much prize money he can afford to pay. He should then determine how to attract the most entertainment for the amount of money he has to spend. This means sensibly determining rules for classes of racing equipment that
will meet previously discussed criteria. If the resultant rules, purse and purse distribution are reasonable, the promoter will be able to satisfy most of his entertainers. If the rules governing the equipment are
strictly enforced on every entertainer, the promoter will also gain the needed respect of his entertainers. When the promoter does these things he will notice the number of his entertainers grow. He will also notice
these entertainers will provide a better show, resulting in more income and fewer headaches for him.