November 25, 2015 Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting was brought to order by Kenji Sugahara at 4 PM via teleconference.

Board Members in attendance:
Russell Cree
Meg Mautner
Michelle Mercer
Mike Murray
John Wilson

Glen Gann

Also in attendance:
Joel Fletcher
Candi Murray

Joel provided a marketing report including statistics on social media outreach.  He also outlined some of the marketing work that has been done this year. Instagram and Facebook impressions are up with engagement also increasing.  He also mentioned that he will be heading to Cyclocross Nationals to cover OBRA juniors.  Joel highlighted the impact of Kenji’s drone video in helping create buzz around cyclocross with over 5,000 views through Willamette Week and 4,000 views through other channels.

Kenji provided a report on trends in the marketplace and a report on the relationship with Travel Oregon.  Road racing continues to follow national trends with a decline in road racing.  Gran Fondos and gravel grinders continue to gain traction.  Joel said that both the Gorge Roubaix and Ochoco Gravel Roubaix were highly successful. Recommendations included continuing to advise promoters that they should create products that are innovative and match the demand.  One concern was raised about OBRA being a racing organization, but Joel explained that if there is a finish line, then the event by nature is competitive.  The regulatory environment is becoming tougher with permits harder and more expensive to obtain.  However, it was noted that we should continue to support promoters who put on road events and help them overcome these barriers.

Successful promoters in Oregon who have engaged with destination marketing organizations (like Travel Oregon) and local economic development bodies include:  Kenny Graham, Chad Sperry, Brad Ross, Mike Ripley and Nick Gibson.

Mike briefly discussed his conversations with USA Cycling when he was back in Colorado Springs.  Derek B. seems to be more open to talking with OBRA.  Kenji then noted he had sent an e-mail message to Derek suggesting a possible solution to the national call-up issue.

John and Joel then briefed the board on the Junior Series and NICA.  Bill Warburton will be following up with NICA to see the costs involved with becoming part of NICA.  Joel noted it could be very expensive given the discussions on the conference call with the organization. John suggested we keep looking at whether we can leverage the JCS infrastructure on the MTB side.  The JCS is going strong though numbers are a little bit down.  The board then discussed the idea of capturing the “tweeners” (those who are too old for kiddie cross but too young for juniors).

Kenji made a motion to ask John to come up with a proposal for lowering the membership age to 9.  Russell seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Kenji then covered some of the projects that are underway including the annual newsletter, the change of credit card processors, adding the capability to the industry site to allow teams to submit their annual renewal information and pay for it (without having to submit separate paperwork), and creating a process so promoters can submit and pay for their race applications through the industry portal.

The board then engaged in a marketing strategy session.  Michelle provided a great analysis of the importance of social media in engaging with audiences and attracting new members.  Joel highlighted the work of Chad Sperry with the Gorge Roubaix Recon and how the use of social media helped create “buzz” and helped boost attendance.  Michelle also provided great feedback about the newsletter advising Joel to link to articles and to keep the e-newsletter mobile friendly.

The board then discussed the financials.  OBRA’s finances continue to be strong.

Kenji then advised the board of the current status of NABRA.  NABRA is continuing to grow and is healthy.

Michelle gave a brief update on the Bend Velodrome Project.

The board then discussed issues and ideas that were brought up in a letter submitted to the board.  One of the issues that was brought up was with the calendaring- OBRA will continue its policy of non-interference though it will now publicize when

1. promoters are advised of a conflict
2. OBRA did its due diligence in attempting to mediate the conflict; and
3. there was no resolution.

OBRA will also bring back the promoter’s gathering for new and veteran promoters.  Tony Kic will be taking over the equipment program and will be providing suggestions for equipment purchases.

The board then agreed to schedule out meetings one year in advance.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 PM.