Courtesy of Sharon Cox
2020 Motorsport calendar has sure up-ended plenty. No racing for months, no exposure and promotion for riders, racers and drivers at events. Not to mention any engagement of athletes with their fans on or off the track, show-casing whichever Brand-product-sponsors to an audience around the world.
Tough pill to swallow even given the slow return to ‘new normal’ with America taking the lead with GNCC and AMA SuperX back up and running.
So what are the financial numbers to crunch, now that everyone has lost so much track/TV/Media time where the long-held adage ‘what wins on Sunday sells on Monday’ has taken leave. Where do Brands draw the line on gaining return of investment supporting riders when there is no racing? What are the marketing strategies on promotion of Brand logos, products, services when there are no events or when there are no fans at venues- as in case of AMA SX Rounds at Salt Lake City.
New economic times call for new approaches on where the Motorsport financial circle starts and where completion ends. As KTM Race Director Pit Beirer stated, the circle becomes round whereby Brands gain exposure through supporting riders who endeavour to achieve top podium results racing. Circles have stopped for many months now, and what lies ahead is uncertain.
No doubt questions have been raised on the survival of Motorsport Championships along with Brands production of product when the financial viability of World Motorsport Series as per MotoGP/WSBK/MXGP relies on fans coming through the gates.
MXLink Live broadcasts during lock-down with Women Motorsport racers raised awareness on the value and worth of World Championship racers outside actual racing. Take the odds that these Women represent in achieving goals in their chosen sport. NZ has 3 International Women Motorsport racers out of 5 million population- that equals 1 athlete out of 1,666,666 million Kiwi’s made it to top of their game.
Italy has 2 International WMX riders, 1 F3 driver, 1 Dakar Rally driver out of population of 60 million. America has greater scope of Motorsport disciplines for Women to race including GNCC, however there would be at most 10-12 top Women racing at International level out of population of 331 million.
Even given variables in my stats, the premise remains the same. These Women represent gold to a company endeavouring to gain traction for sales of Brand, product or service to mainstream public. Spain, UK, Germany, South Africa, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Peru, Canada, Australia, Scotland, and many other Nationalities contribute to the elite pool of Women Motorsport athletes.
Do results matter- yes of course when racing exists. Outside racing, the endorsements, sponsorship and financial contracts between Brands-Companies-Business entities and racers who epitomise the highest form of Motorsport competition just matter more.
For certain, Motorsport athletes carry extraordinary ability to sway public opinion on product sales in and outside industry. Racers are role models inspiring fans, the young, the old and all in between to believe in themselves and their goals. And, these World Championship competitors are social influencers raising awareness on what it takes to be a racer against all odds- to be admired, respected and revered now and for the future.