The Gumball3000 Auto Race is one of the most exciting events of the year. A social and athletic spectacle, the race allows car enthusiasts to demonstrate their love of racing -- and to have a good time into the bargain. While not a traditional business event, the Gumball3000 follows many of the same precepts of any carefully-coordinated, and well-planned marketing extravaganza. The logistics, in and of themselves, are daunting. The Gumball race may be held in either Europe or North America. And in whichever case, the participants dash, fight, cheat, and party their way across thousands of miles of "unsuspecting" territory. Nevertheless, there can be only one Gumball Champion, and it is up to the initiative of each individual or team to achieve that challenging goal.
Though a lot of fun, and often very freewheeling, the Gumball3000 is also a lot of hard work -- at least for those who plan the spectacle. As with any other kind of event, one of the first considerations involves setting the overall tone of the competition. Organizers follow a strict mission of fun and adventure. They must mark out the course, and lay down the guidelines. This is a not for profit event, so any funds raised go toward the event itself, as well as any other "incidental" expenses incurred along the way. Covering such long distances, and with so many hundreds of participants, planning can be a huge task. Participants pay several thousand dollars to have themselves a good time, and so expect the event organizers to have their "nights off" schedule around a lot of fun and wild activities. In many ways, the Gumball3000 is, in fact, a gigantic party on wheels. Half the fun is just getting there!
As the typical Gumball3000 Contestant is a wealthy, private individual, or a Hollywood celebrity, they expect more than the average tourist when it comes to entertainment, accommodations, and amusements. Gumball Contestants expect to be put up at first class hotels. They expect their wealth and status to count fro something when they go "a little too fast" down a public street, or when some over-eager partiers get "a little too crazy." At times, the antics of its participants can make the Gumball3000 a headache for its sponsors, but that is the name of the game!
As for other aspects of the race -- contestants supply their own vehicles -- the faster and crazier the better. They are also responsible for any breakdowns and other mishaps along the way -- at least those that bear directly on their transportation. A battle of wits, anything goes in the individual driver's, or team of drivers', quest for the gold. The outside world participates vicariously in the celebrity funfest. Though not technically a part of the event at all, the viewing public helps to generate excitement, and to create an aura of glamour around the race. Thousands pack the various venues, lining public streets and squares, cheering on their favorites, and hoping ... perhaps ... just perhaps ... To get in on the fun that is the Gumball3000.
The Gumball3000 auto race is a race like no other. Rich, Celebrity car enthusiasts compete in the event of their lives. The Stakes: Win at all costs ... Or at least have a lot of fun trying! It is the mission of the organizers of the Gumball3000 to make this event a memorable one for all participants. The Gumball is as much about have a fantastic time as it is about winning a car race. Everything about the event is carefully calibrated to ensure a maximum of carefree fun. Contestants are encouraged to "let themselves go," and to do whatever it is they feel they ought to do in order to win, or just plain compete.
Though the Gumball3000 is open to any one with the entry fee of more than eight thousand dollars (the 2005 price), participants must also remember that the Gumball3000 is a spectacle in its own right. Flashiness is not only welcomed, it is encouraged. This includes way out cars, extravagant costumes, and lots, and lots, of bold, head-turning antics. Gumball300 Contestants would do well to think of themselves as college students on one hell of a spring break, and with one hell of a budget! That is precisely the atmosphere that the event's organizers try to create. Contestants should not feel bound by any constraints. They are there to have a good time, and to do something which they -- and millions of others around the world -- have always dreamed of ... they are going to compete in a big-time auto race, with tens of thousands of people watching and cheering them on. For a brief time, they will be part of an experience few others will ever have, with enough memories to last a life time.
III. Preliminary Analysis:
The Seventh Annual Gumball3000 Auto Race will begin on Monday May 13 in London, and finish one week later in Monaco. The circuitous three thousand mile route (that is why it is called the Gumball3000) will take contestants across the continent of Europe. Drivers will be greeted by cheering crowds in London, Paris, Brussels, Prague, Vienna, Dubrovnik, Sicily, Rome, Monaco, and elsewhere. One hundred Twenty cars will participate. The vehicles will range from ultra-luxury Ferraris and Lamborghinis to antique Aston Martins and even the General Lee. As for the human participants in the race, they will include everyone from actress Daryl Hannah to Jackass and Dukes of Hazard star Johnny Knoxville, to film director Quentin Tarantino ... And let us not forget, Gumball3000 founder, and multimillionaire, Maximillion [Yes, that is how he spells it] Cooper.
Clearly, organizing such a gigantic race will be a daunting task simply in terms of the mileage covered. As you may note, from the list of cities visited, not all of the territory covered will be reached directly by car. Racers will require oversea transportation from Dubrovnik to Italy. There will also be the matter of ferries between England and France, and Sicily and the Italian Peninsula. Transportation, therefore, is a matter of primary concern.
In addition to transportation between sites not directly accessible bu automobile, there is also the need for lodging, food and entertainment. Again, it is important for the event's organizers to remember their clientele. The average Gumballer is not accustomed to second-rate accommodations. For most of these people, only the very best will do. In all cities where contestants can be expected to stay overnight, organizers will need to reserve accommodations at five star hotels. As well, given the fact that so many of the contestants are celebrities, security is also a matter of concern -- especially once the hotels are reached. During the day, and well into the night, drivers will be on the road, but for those several hours during which they are not behind the wheel, the drivers will want to relax. Of course, relax, in this case means party, but you get the idea!
The various contestants will need to be provided with plenty of top quality food and beverages -- the very best of gourmet delights, and the finest wines, whiskeys, and so forth. There must also be entertainment that is up to the standard of the typical contestant. This means access to world-renown night spots, big name entertainers, and the opportunity to rub elbows with other people like themselves. The nightly Gumball parties are legendary. The organizers of this event have a reputation to maintain. As mentioned before, drivers come as much for the thrill of the course, as for the celebrations after the day's work is through. Many Gumballers will get little sleep in a week packed with outrageous and adrenalin-pumping activities.
Lastly, as the Gumball3000 is not an officially sanctioned event, organizers will need to be particularly carefully of right-of-way arrangements along the route. Local Authorities may need to be "persuaded" to allow the Gumballers a free hand. There will also be "minor infractions" that cannot be avoided. These might include traffic tickets, or instances of minor property damage, either on the road, at the hotels, or at one of the many parties. If pursued in the proper spirit, with proper approaches made to local officials and police personnel, this should not be a problem. The public is, on the whole, very enthusiastic about the race. During previous races, hundreds of thousands of spectators have shown up at specific locales. One must also keep in mind the fact that many of the contestants in the Gumball3000 are idols of the public. Spectators are turning out as much to watch their favorite celebrities as to watch a race. The Gumball3000 can provide a lot of positive publicity and exposure for the areas through which the race passes. Contented Celebrities always make good salespeople. Treat them right, and it will go along way toward selling your city, town, or attraction.