Working Capital Problems : LUSENET : What keeps you up at night? : One Thread

I am the owner of a grassroots sports team (full contact arena mountain bike racing)the company and league is seeking capital to build this unique extreme team sport. The league currently has a private placement offering on the street seeking investors that despite best efforts is not selling well. There are various reasons for this however the biggest question is how to find interested, qualified investors to see the potential in this venture?

Any and all comments are grealy appreciated.

-- Luciano Annatone (, October 31, 2000


Have you tried to enlist the sport of cable tv outlets such as Speedvision or even the Outdoor Life Network, indeed has the PBL even considered outdoors as an appropriate format for competition.

Right now, I couldn't tell the difference between the National Bicycling League and the PBL and the impression I get of it is confusing. One moment I read that its got Olympian class participants involved in it, the next I read that its the bike version of a rave party.

Investors have to see not hear the concept, they have to see and not be told about the audience. I saw a three minute streaming video on the web and I think it absolutely missed the spirit and the vitality of the sport. It showed what looked like a schools sports hall with some riders in it. That isn't enough to get investors hot.

Your best bet is to start get some of the World Class and Olympian riders you have and start putting them on center stage. You don't hit the investor base before you stimulate the fan base. Its a bit like Malcolm McLaren going to investors to fund Punk Rock when Punk Rock was just a street idea between a few hundred street kids.

You need to see faces, pictures that bring home the action and a more concerted approach with the PBL itself to provide a unified message and the collateral you need to take the obvious serious attitude that exists in the sport and make it serious to investors. I don't know how much data you are taking in but you will need it to show growth in your sport. An investor interested in how much you love the sport, she or he just wants to know that there are enough people in it who will hear their message.

Work with all six teams to get your websites planned and coordinated. I did see one, I think it was which was very good, but if every web owner does his own thing, an investor will see that as uncoordinated and unplanned, they would worry about putting money into something doesn't look organized.

Yes, the culture of this sport is radical, but for an investor, it is far more important that the radicalness of it is packaged and delivered properly rather than the fact that it is radical.

Look at what this guy called Jernigan is doing in a "rich" sport like baseball:

You have to adjust your thinking as much as Jernigan has and start transfering fan power into something that the investors can see and taste.

Of course, if you can get an investor interested in this, you can get a magazine like Fast Company interested also. Personally I think your sport is a fast type that would be a great match for a report by Fast Company, but unlike Jernigan, right now you don't have an angle and the question you should ask, why wouldn't someone like Fast Company be dying to find out more about you?



M. To be or not to be, that is the question:

-- Mark Zorro (, November 02, 2000.

Luciano, I'm going to pass your question on to a friend, who used to work with a racing bike team. We'll see if he stops by here to offer his insight and ideas!


-- Heath Row (, November 03, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ