Nov 21, 2009

Off to Dallas during SX silly-season

I'm in a plane to Dallas, blogging at 35,000 feet on Mi iPhone. Actually not that easy to write so much with a finger, yes, I admit that the double-thumb typing is not a skill I have mastered.

So off to Dallas, for less than 24 hours, to represent AGV helmets and Dainese apparel at Moto Liberty's annual Midnight Madness sales bash. One of my best clients and voted Best Texas Motorcycle Accessories & Apparel Shop 8 years in a row, this is one of their events one can't miss. Caught my flight out of O'Hare at 11am, landing around 1:30pm, rental car then off to the store. Work all afternoon and night, the event usually ends around 2am, then off for a quick sleep before carving my 10am flying bus back to Chicago where I hope the Bears will take one over the Eagles.
The weather was great - yes chilly too - when I left and I hope that we'll have the sme tomorrow because I really want to take Taao and Tanner for some shredding at the Elgin BMX track.

The 2010 SX season is closing in pretty fast, and even if some riders are still racing at the four corners of the world, from The Madrid SX to the Australian SX series via the Lyon SX, Genoa and Geneva. Teams and riders are getting ready, programs are bring finalized although things are really late this year, especially in the gear segment. I am still in talks with 3 riders in the US and know that 3 or 4 more interesting guys are available for helmet deals.
In Europe, It looks like we will concentrate in the MX2 Motocross World Championship with 2 riders, including one that I really would want to make sure we sign because I believe that he has a great future and has a very cool personality. He would spank me on the bmx track too by the way. So crossing fingers, and lobbying strongly, so that we sign him.

Of course I'm not allowed to give banes right now but after a few good weeks of talks and lobbying, we finally gave our word to a rider that I believe in. Someone that could have a break away year and bring us a good amount of exposure. I believe ge has the ability and the speed to be a regular top 7 in SX in 2010, even if the competition will be pretty strong.

Of course we are not going to see an AGV helmet on Bubba (still under contract with Bell and for sure way too expensive for us, we already have Valentino and Marco at that level), not on the Factory Kawi Monster Energy Thor Parts Unlimited boy, Reedy and RV2 (those lads belong to Thor forever I would think), not on Mike Alessi neither and although there was a very short discussion/interest on our part, the #800 was to expensive for our budget and for the exposure we thought we would get from him; over $60,000 for a helmet deal for a racer doing the AMA Nationals only and no SX or no X Games isn't really someone we would want right away. Not until we build on our sales and have a stronger sponsoring budget, in order to afford to grow the team. I do think that Mike has a good amount of exposure, can win races in 2010, but I'm not sure we are rich enough to afford the controversies that usually follow him and we know that riders' endorsements are not a strong impact on products sales, the Alessi Broz and DV didn't really boost the Shark MX helmets sales in the US. Riders are a very strong part of marketing and exposure for sure, but as part of a whole strategy, not as purchase influencers.

That's why I believe that our choice of riders for 2010, will help us re-enter the already saturated off-road market. They will bring us enough exposure to back-up the rest of the marketing effort.

Of course there is one more rider I'm trying to sign but I'm not sure we have the budget. I have to say that I really would love to find the budget because that is one of my favorite rider; great exposure, great personality, no controversy, great family and easy to work with. Not an AMA SX winner but a definite MX race winner. I'm crossing fingers on that one and lobbying my mangenent ro find the extra ressources, because that would be a good match.

1 hour left on our flight. I'm going to go back to reading the latest Racer X issue. I really love the new look they gave to the magazine. Great editorial by DC and especially by David Bailey this month. Also liked Cox and Ping's columns, and Steve is right, it is time we get involved in concussion management and prevention.

I'm going back to finish the 'zine, but I think that 2010 is going to be a great racing year in AMA SX/MX as well as World MXGPs.
From Anaheim 1 to Sam Boyd Stadium, we should have a very good battle and although I believe that the 3 podium spots will be squatted by James Stewart, Chad Reed and Ryan Villopoto, we should have all out dash for cash races with Josh Hill, Josh Grant, Andrew Short, Davi Millsaps, Ivan Tedesco (on which bike or team?), JB114, Ryan Dungey, Dan Reardon and Kevin Windham.

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