Response to a question posted on the new Canadian Racing Pigeon Union Forum site
Hello Mike Taylor
Great question, and if I may say, nice to CU on BOARD. HaHa.
Let me start by saying the CU Convention in Calgary was a great success. The CU meeting was eventful. There was great discussion on promotion, with much participation from the members, particularly when Mr. Lance Jones stood and asked if he could discuss the Rotary Club event hosted annually in Dawson Creek. He had contacted the CU earlier in the year, asking if he could present his powerpoint presentation at the CU Convention. It is unfortunate that he did not contact myself (as promotion director), or that the message had not been forwarded to myself.
I asked Lance if he would come to the head of the table and take the floor. He was pleased to tell of the successful community promotional event. From the moment he took the floor, he had his audience captivated, and wanting to discuss the promotional idea further, which continued even after the meeting was over. To answer your question, Lance Jones had brought his idea to the Rotary Club of Dawson Creek. The idea sounded just crazy enough that they thought it would work. It worked so well that it replaced their Casino night fund raiser and raised double the funds.
This is how it works. Local businesses sponsor a bird for $300. In the first year 50 birds were sponsored and only 76 people showed for the Rotary Pigeon Race banquet. In 2009, 81 birds were sponsored and the banquet was full to capacity. The event raised approximately $45,000 for the community and provided 4 weeks of racing pigeon entertainment. The racing itself consists of 4 races, flown from Lance Jones' loft. These birds are released with Lance's club, but calculated separately for the Rotary club The growing popularity of the event has stemmed many rivalries throughout the community, not so much about who comes in first, but whose business team beats the other (car dealer vs car dealer...) It also has created positive awareness of our hobby, and given back to the community, so much so that the Mayor has spoken of it and the local paper (Dawson Creek - Daily News.) has given it front page coverage, and The Mirror has printed full results of the race series.
Perhaps we can ask Lance if he would be willing to give us his powerpoint presentation at this year's CU Convention. We could all learn so much about promoting our sport, and realizing that the sky is the limit. Crazy ideas can sometimes do alot more than we think. Let's learn to "Think outside the box". Hats of to Lance and his team.
Voyo RadomanPromotions Director Canadian Racing Pigeon Union