MX Nats Handed Back to MA
Confirming widespread speculation for some time now, Williams Event Management (WEM) has announced that it will officially step down as the promoter of the MX Nationals series at the conclusion of the 2020 season, citing sustainability of the sport as the driving force behind its handing back of the series’ commercial rights to Motorcycling Australia. Here’s WEM’s full press release on the development, announced today…
After 23 years as the promoter of the MX Nationals, Williams Event Management (WEM) will officially step down as the promoter of the series at the conclusion of the 2020 MXstore MX Nationals season, handing the commercial rights of the series back to Motorcycling Australia (MA). WEM’s Kevin Williams wrote this open letter, explaining the decision:
“First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Motorcycling Australia and all of the MX Nationals series sponsors, teams, riders and stakeholders that have supported our time promoting the MX Nationals over the past 23 years. We began managing the series back in 1997, when there were only two factory team trucks and a handful of full-time staff in what was essentially a cottage industry. I am extremely proud to see where the industry sits today, at what I would estimate is well over 500 full-time employees or small businesses. That includes the teams and their personnel, our event staff and NRGTV crew, independent suspension and motor technicians, media outlets, coaches and fitness trainers … the list goes on.
“WEM has and always will be a family business that provided us with an incredible lifestyle, memories and camaraderie whilst travelling the country with my wife Christine, our children and our small staff, running MX Nationals events. Our time promoting MX Nationals is something I will always cherish.
“I’m sure many people are asking why it is now time to step away from promoting the series at the end of 2020. The honest answer is, it is a reflection of the times, where the industry currently sits and the fact that the landscape of sporting events and digital entertainment is changing. Through our various initiatives over the years, we have kept audiences entertained trackside, along with TV coverage and more recently MX Live on the NRGTV livestream. But the expense both to WEM and the industry has to be realistic and in this current environment that is something that as a private promoter I feel we can no longer achieve if we were to proceed into 2021. WEM has always prided itself as a company that has been able to pay our bills and remain solvent; whilst many promoters over the years have come and gone, some with great detriment to the industry, our business model has always remained solid. This is not a knee-jerk reaction, although unfortunately the Coronavirus outbreak has further changed the business landscape of the industry for the foreseeable future. I was honest and vocal about my concerns regarding the 2020 season at the end of 2019. As everyone is aware, Motorcycling Australia has stepped in to ensure the viability of the series for this year, but a new model needs to be established for racing at a national level in Australian Motocross to remain sustainable.
“It is my opinion that a more grassroots model for the Australian Motocross Championship is needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the series, and WEM will continue to work with Motorcycling Australia to help establish what that model looks like for 2021 and beyond.”
According to Peter Doyle, CEO of Motorcycling Australia:
“This announcement marks the end of an era. On behalf of the Motorcycling Australia Federation, I would like to thank Kevin, Christine and the entire WEM team for their contribution, dedication and passion over the last 20-plus years. The last decade has brought a significant amount of change to racing, and WEM has always been at the forefront of supporting and creating pathways for Australian Motocross competitors. Motorcycling Australia is currently in the process of developing a plan for the future of Motocross and the 2021 National Motocross season, in consultation with Championship stakeholders. As outlined at the beginning of 2020, the objective of Motorcycling Australia was to support the WEM team throughout their final season. We still hope to do this in the second half of the year, when we are able to go racing once more,” Doyle went on to say.
The 2020 MXstore MX Nationals is scheduled to begin at Conondale, Queensland, on August 9.