State Of Play: Part 2, The Promoter
After touching base with Motorcycling Australia head honcho, Peter Doyle, in Part 1 of Transmoto’s “State of Play,” an in-depth look into the current impact of the Covid-19 bug on Australia’s moto industry, this week we chat with Supercross promoter and co-founder of AME Management, Adam Bailey.
Bailey and his team work across a number of different motorsport properties, and have been having a big ol’ swing at making Supercross great in this country again, in the form of the AUS-X Open. With stadium sports taking a royal shot in the arse amid this pandemic, big plans have been put on ice for the immediate future, but will they return? Let’s find out.
Bailey, thanks for taking five with us mate. To kick off, what have been some of the immediate impacts on your business? Ones that you expected and perhaps were unexpected, for good or bad?
Aside from our promotion of the AUS-X Open and the Supercross Championship, our business circles a lot around producing content around sporting events, in particular the Supercars Championship – so this meant us completely re-looking what we do for our clients and pitching to plenty of new ones, content that had nothing to do with any event. It’s forced us to diversify, which I think will ultimately serve as a positive in the long run, however was a definite challenge.
The impact on the events themselves is an entirely other issue. We’re incredibly lucky that the timing of this wasn’t much worse and that we were not already deeper into planning for and covering expenses for the events. There’s a lot of uncertainty around any event at the moment, but the timing was very lucky for us.
How quickly did the changes come about?
The changes were incredibly quick. As soon as F1 was cancelled, we knew that would change everything for the majority of our content clients, in particular Fox Sports, Monster Energy and Holden.
What is your current situation with staff and business operations in general?
We’re still operating both pitching for new clients and work and producing content, albeit in a much quieter sense than normal for this time of year.
What initiatives are you/your business working on to adapt?
We’ve taken the opportunity to diversify. The AUS-X Open is a great example of all the various skills we have in the business from content production, to digital marketing, sponsorship and brand strategy. We’re now offering all of those services and expertise to other brands and clients, when previously we focused mostly on ourselves. We’ve also started pitching for TV commercials and brand content away from events, which we used to do more of, but kind of became too busy to focus on. It’s good to be back pitching for that kind of work now.
How have you been impacted by international markets? Product availability, currency etc..
We haven’t yet, which is lucky as I said previously because of timing. Had we committed to international athletes for AUS-X Open, for example, then seen such a huge currency swing … that would have hurt us.
What do you see as the biggest challenges over the next six months?
Managing cash flow is the biggest challenge, particularly as there’s so much uncertainty around how quickly the economy will bounce back. None of us have a crystal ball, so we have to be very cautious – however in saying that, hope others are not too cautious, or nothing will get done and the economy will not kick back off again. Managing moral and mental state of mind will be tough too. We all had goals and aspirations for 2020, both personally and professionally, which mostly likely just aren’t going to happen. We just have to take peace in the fact that the majority of the entire world is in the same boat and not let it get to us!
How will this change the way you do business in the future? What does April 2021 look like?
It will ensure we never get complacent. I don’t think we ever did and we won’t rest on our laurels, but this just highlights the fact. It’s a reminder to have diversification in your income streams and structure business to not be too reliant on any one industry or area. I’d say we have done this okay, which is why we’re not in too bad shape with all this, however it’s a very solid reminder.
How do you see this all playing out before we return to some kind of normality?
I like to think (hope) that society is resilient and will bounce back pretty quickly. I kind of hope that it does spark some change in us though, and perhaps teaches us to look after our planet a lot better and overall slow the pace a little. I’m hopeful that we appreciate getting out and about more, embrace events and appreciate what we had/have.
Any other thoughts about the wider moto community industry in general?
Unfortunately, we’re going to hurt for a while, but I think the good news is, motorcycle riding is awesome and hopefully people appreciate how good it is and are keener than ever to get involved again. I just hope we all support each other a bit. The moto community, as much as I love it, is famous for wanting everything for free and/or a heavy discount. It’s times like these that, if we can, we must support the local dealer, buy our gear in Australia, pay our way and understand that everyone needs to make a dollar along the way. If we can manage to do that, I think we can bounce back quickly and the sport can and will thrive better than ever. A little less take and a little more give from us all, is all it will take for us to be much stronger as an industry than before. I truly believe this will happen.