Tag Archives: business ethics

A ripple effect of a big fish in a little pond.

With the announcement of Hobbico going bankrupt, it has run shockwaves through the RC community. We all saw the writing on the wall, for the ones that were paying attention anyways; that something bad was taking place with this RC giant.

Companies that are under such heavy financial burdens have a hard time concealing these types of crisis’ with social media at the tips of their fingers. It is crucial for “news breakers” to be first to break a story, leak information, whether the facts are all out or not. With a company such as Hobbico filing for Chapter 11, the leaks as well as the stories came from all types of social media outlets, with some unexpected people and companies chiming in.

Prior to the announcement that Hobbico was filing for bankruptcy, little clue dropping companies were jumping the proverbial sinking ship by announcing that they needed new distributors for their products. Some companies even went as far to shame Hobbico by posting screenshots of money owed, why they were no longer apart of Hobbico, and as to why consumers were not receiving their products.

With such a bold style of business tactics, do we join in, read aloud the complaints, add to the fire with our own fuel? Social media is a dangerous vessel to further ruin one’s reputation, from the poster to the story being posted, no one is safe. The complainer can be shamed for making such outrageous posts where it tries to put the other in a bad light. There is a fine line to publicly shaming someone/company with the hope that everyone will side with you, and ride that wave, without a second thought to those affected, business is ugly.

Do we carry a thought past our own needs for those losing their jobs or the families this will affect? The communities that will be changed because Hobbico is possibly going out of business is a real concern. People should not be an afterthought to our needs for parts and pieces. Most understand business is business, but a families livelihood shouldn’t be adjacent to the cost of closing.

The effect of unpaid bills hurts the smaller companies that count on that income for their business livelihood. Maybe, some companies can survive that big missing piece of inventory, with some layoffs or other money sustaining revenues. The smaller mom & pop stores that relied on Hobbico for distribution of products may suffer a little more, and this may send them straight into closing their doors. The reasons as to why are lengthy, from trying to find a new supplier that carries everything they sell, waiting for shipments, and ordering from new suppliers that often want “x-amount” of dollars to order from to just name a few.

What greater view of Hobbico filing for bankruptcy does this have on the RC industry as a whole? When you take a way the infrastructure of such a giant company as Hobbico, you may see some side effects such as, prices of products go up, while supply of the products goes down, and the longer no company steps into that role Hobbico held, the more prices will go up. Production may slow as well as there is no large conglomerate buying up the items for the consumer. Further that, when you remove such a industry giant for so long, you suffer the totality of this gaping hole in consumerism. All communities, families, businesses, and the rc market suffer from this potential loss of a huge company, it is a ripple effect that is an unfortunate result in a major company closing, or at the very least, selling off brands, and/or possibly restructuring.

My humble opinion is to understand that businesses close and open all the time, so that should be a normal experience, but trying to have empathy for those hard working people losing their jobs should be a never ending practice. People always say, “That business is just a machine”, so we shouldn’t be surprised when that machines breaks, and needs to be rebuilt, or be a total loss. Let’s have some compassion for those losing more than just some parts. No person is worth the loss of humanity, and we should all be reminded that the machine will come back, and we can get our stuff, but we shouldn’t be so removed from life that people other than us are affected in a negative way.

Trevor Rushford

Just some thoughts on Sponsorship.

No one that I know of has touched on sponsorship, other than to criticize, make fun of, be jealous of or the best question of How?

I’ve been sponsored with a lot of different throughout my life, from Skating, Biking, band, clothing, to now RC’s. I know quite a bit about it, how it worked before SM, and now with SM. There are pro’s and con’s about sponsorship, from who it is being sponsored, to how they promote, to how they fail or exceed.

I will touch on just RC sponsorship.

This is what sponsors look for in their drivers; not all apply:

Active Social Media Presence.(ASMP) What this means, and what some misinterpret to be. ASMP means you’re posting about what you’re doing with your hobby, comps, builds, sharing others work, etc at least 4-5 times a week. It means you’re engaged with others and you at least enjoy your hobby.

Positivity goes further than you may expect. If you are constantly dogging people and their builds, posts, comments in a negative way, it will spread faster than you being a solid person. More respect and appreciation for your peers will go a long way!

Use of product. This is lost on a lot of people, if you believe in a product, then support it before/during/after in whatever it is you do. You may think, well I’m not promoting something they aren’t giving me, 1st mistake, and sponsorship isn’t for you. Most of your lower tier sponsorships only give a 10-20% discount, mid level to top tier sponsorships give you 30-50% off and Top tier is 50%-Free. The last is rare.

THEY ARE WATCHING… Believe it or not, companies care about their Social Media Presence, (SMP). So they will have someone watching popular people, high-ranked competitors, hashtags, group pages, competition results, and or word of mouth. So they see you being negative or positive, what others are saying about you on SM or at comps.

WINNING IS AWESOME, but not everything. Some companies want winners, but not douchebags, yes, sometimes that goes hand and hand, but it is changing, thankfully. If you’re winning keep it up, but be humble, and be kind, your hard work is getting rewarded, by trophies, prizes, etc, why be a jerk to those that are watching & supporting you at your local tracks, and major events. Sore winners are just as bad as sore winners. Sponsors are watching you on the stand, in the pits, and on the podium.

Building RC’s is also beneficial, some sponsors want to see you build with their products, so don’t be afraid to show off your talents.

Most importantly, just do you. No need to be a counterfeit, no need to put on a show as to what you think others want to see you as. Don’t float around to the latest trend or bandwagon. Which leads me into the next,

Don’t be a sponsor junkie, meaning, don’t just chase any ole sponsor or jump from sponsor to sponsor because one can offer you more. Loyalty breeds loyalty, and if you gain a reputation of jumping ships, you will eventually sink with no ship beneath you. Having a lot of sponsors is ok, but floating around to this or that, will cause friction and a bad reputation.

Misconceptions and or fake news:

What I see others misunderstanding as far as sponsorships.

Sponsorship does not mean every post has to be about them. Yes companies want exposure, but not at the expense of drowning the internet with their product. The issue here is when a company has 50-100 drivers and they all share something all at once, boom, market flooded, consumers annoyed. That’s why some companies/sponsors get labeled with that stigma.

Only winners get sponsorships, only people with big social media accounts/presence get sponsored. Yes, this is 100% accurate, but not all there is. I have seen positive people that have not won anything, or not have a huge ASMP get some sponsorship love. Therein lies the jealousy aspect.

Companies are in the business of making money, period. So don’t be jealous of those who can help those companies make more money, while helping those who help them. You throwing rocks from the side, is why they don’t choose you. They are watching.

I’ll end this long article on a few points.

Yes, some sponsors want a strong ASMP, because business trends say that’s important for the future of any business as we progressively move forward in the industry; so naturally those companies will want those types of drivers/builders.

Yes, some sponsors think that a winning performance is the key to a solid selling product. So they will look for those winners, those achievers. Nothing wrong with that.

Sponsorship isn’t for everyone, for a variety of reasons, make sure you are ready, as it is a responsibility, not just a logo on your car.

Sponsorship is a cool aspect to your career, whether it’s racing, building, or being an awesome person, but don’t let that sponsorship define you, or change you. It’s just a nice confirmation that you have been doing something they like, so stay the course.

EVEN if you do all of these things, and are a pillar of your rc community, you still may not get sponsored, but don’t let that get to you, because you’re in this hobby for the love it, not the fame of it. Remind yourself that when you’re feeling neglected from the sponsorship aspect of the hobby.

I’m sure there is a lot more I can cover, but here’s a start, and I am ready for any type of conversation, bot arguing, about this! Negativity will get deleted as my intention here is to help us learn, and grow as a hobby.