THE NEW GAME

Denny Gen­try ad­dresses changes to the USTRC Na­tional Fi­nals of Team Rop­ing.

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Departments - By Denny Gen­try

When Ac­tive In­ter­est Me­dia an­nounced its pur­chase of the USTRC mid-year, rop­ers had to know there would be a few changes at the Na­tional Fi­nals of Team Rop­ing in Ok­la­homa City. The Au­gust ad­ver­tise­ments for the NFTR went out be­fore any­one had an op­por­tu­nity to re­view, much less al­ter, them. As a re­sult, this Septem­ber is­sue of the mag­a­zine con­tains the of­fi­cial new forms and new sched­ules. You may also find this in­for­ma­tion at the web­site ustrc.com.

Af­ter a slow de­cline for sev­eral years the 2016 US Fi­nals dropped nearly 2,000 teams from 2015. By late July, a man­age­ment team had been as­sem­bled to brain­storm a few ideas at the re­gion­als and then ad­dress the 2017 US NFTR. The mood of this new group is very up­beat, and it didn’t take long for them to cut to the chase. While the US NFTR is the largest-at­tended rop­ing in the world, the time has come to ac­cept its po­si­tion as sec­ond-rich­est rop­ing in the world, and stop the chase. That will al­low the event fo­cus to change from baby boomers with deep pock­ets to pro­vid­ing a bet­ter over­all ex­pe­ri­ence for a broader group. That’s not to say that the NFTR will not pro­vide at least four rop­ings fo­cused to­ward that group; but the un­der­ly­ing ef­fort will be on sim­pli­fy­ing ev­ery­thing, giv­ing cus­tomer ser­vice wherever pos­si­ble and tak­ing pride in the event, its his­tory and what it has meant to thou­sands of rop­ers over the years.

With that said, the plan emerged very quickly: sup­port those who have sup­ported the pro­gram all year long by soft­en­ing the price of Shoot-Outs. For rop­ers en­ter­ing with flex earnings, Shoot-Out fees are re­duced to $400/roper. Di­rect en­try for rop­ers with­out flex earnings will be $500/roper. This is not a late fee! All the en­try money will find its way into the pot. The think­ing is sim­ple. Rop­ers en­ter­ing the pre­lim­i­nar­ies in the past were fight­ing to get into Shoot-Outs. By elim­i­nat­ing the pre­lim­i­nar­ies, we can pro­vide them the op­por­tu­nity to go di­rectly to the Shoot-Outs for no more than the price a Shoot-Out has been over the last cou­ple of years.

Pre­lim­inares are elim­i­nated and re­placed with di­rect en­try to the Shoot-Out.

To sim­plify mat­ters, af­ter decades the “Pre­lim­i­nar­ies” have been elim­i­nated. The man­age­ment team de­cided that the amount of money moved to the Shoot-Outs from the pre­lims, and the amount of purses paid in the pre­lim­i­nary it­self, made both ef­forts medi­ocre. Those mon­eys will be bet­ter spent where they are in­tended. If rop­ers want to run at the big money then rop­ers with­out Flex earnings will be pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity to di­rectly en­ter the Shoot-Out. Those sim­ply want­ing to jack­pot will find op­por­tu­ni­ties both in OKC (where time per­mits) and at the Guthrie Cham­pi­onships.

The elim­i­na­tion of the pre­lim­i­nar­ies will re­duce the num­ber of rop­ings at the Fi­nals by seven (21 to 14). The ben­e­fits of hav­ing one-third more money fo­cused on fewer di­vi­sions should help pay­offs.

The pric­ing strat­egy re­volves around re­ward­ing cus­tomer loy­alty. If you act early, and have sup­ported USTRC, on-time pay­ments are dis­counted. If your en­tries are di­rect or late, you’ll pay a higher fee. There are no such thing as late fees, the higher en­try fees are added to the pot. Same with stalls rentals. Re­serv­ing a stall by the deadline will be both cheaper and eas­ier than show­ing up and stand­ing in line. Phone en­tries and stall reser­va­tions will also be avail­able.

Those mon­eys will be bet­ter spent where they are in­tended. If rop­ers want to run at the big money then rop­ers with­out Flex earnings will be pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity to di­rectly en­ter the Shoot-Out.

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