If you were SX commissioner for a day, what changes are you making? We put that question to some of the Vurb staff. Drop your changes in the comments below.
1.) I would create a fund that riders could opt into and let them invest part of their salary, pre tax. Kind of like an internal 401k that the teams would buy into and match. These careers are short, and most athletes will have second careers after they retire. Having a long term plan and educating these young athletes is essential and will only help grow the sport. Lots of details on how this would work, but it would be my number 1 initiative.
2.) MORE MEDIA! I’d open access to the best of the best, encourage the teams to participate and have mandatory rules in place to ensure they did so. I would also work to set deals with as many platforms as possible (Netflix, social platforms, etc) and would be pitching to them non-stop. Want to pay the riders more? Want more notoriety from the general public? This is how you get it.
3.) Finally, I’d invest heavy in the virtual reality, the metaverse, web3.0, whatever you want to call it. Car racing has a massive following because everyone knows the feeling of driving a car fast. Maybe not F1 speeds, but once you’ve driven a car at 90 mph, you can begin to understand what 200 mph must feel like. Most people will never even ride a motorcycle, much less on a dirt track, with jumps, at 50 mph. Let’s give people the experience of riding an actual motorcycle and then, maybe, they will understand how elite the athletes in this sport actually are.
1.) First thing I’m changing is the format. Heat races are gone, LCQs would start the night, followed by two or three “mains” per class. Sorry, two hours or so of races for gate picks doesn’t make sense to me and the casual and hardcore fans would be better off seeing more racing that actually matters for the championship. Imagine the NFL playing two quarters and it really doesn’t mean anything? Ok, bad comparison, but you get the point.
2.) Mandatory injury reports. Yep, EVERY team would be required to turn in an injury report before every race that is then distributed to the media. As fantasy, and maybe down the road gambling, continues to grow, it’s essential to actually know what is going on. Every stick and ball sport requires this, so why can’t we? It would be vastly beneficial to the media AND the fans.
3.) This next one is an East Coast bias, but whatever. NO RACE SHOULD EVER START AT 10 p.m. Eastern. Look, I get why they do it, but man, starting a TV broadcast at 10 p.m. ET on a Saturday night isn’t great for ratings, or the fans. When the main starts around midnight, half the fans are asleep. Further, if you’re trying to engage a younger audience this is important. No way kids are staying up that late to watch the races.
1.) The first thing I’m changing is that I’m making sure that Slaw Dog has a lifetime ban from going to all events. Then I’m going to put in a CEO box suite at every stadium we go to with a buffet of food, Twisted Teas, and an endless array of assorted Thomas the Train Trackmaster pieces for Bub Dog. Only a select few will be allowed in my suite and definitely my best friend Chili Dog will be at every round to party with me. The suite also makes sure that my pineapple squad has a comfortable place to rest in between racing.
2.) The second thing that I want changed is very important to me. I will make selling merchandise by the riders in the pits legal. Look, we don’t have a show without these guys and they are putting their lives on the line. I’m not mad if the factory riders want to make some money off of selling $25 t-shirts, especially not mad if it’s the privateers that want to do it. It’s either that or I’m making sure I have a solid shirt option for most riders on the circuit available and in stock on the SX website and an organized way of distributing them to the customer. The riders will get the majority of those profits.
3.) The third thing I’m changing is a very important subject to me. I’m bringing back my buddy Ralph Sheheen into the broadcast in some way. Whether it’s Race Day Live or the live broadcast, Heen Dog deserves to be included. To me, he’s the voice of Supercross and it’s literally nothing personal to the crew we have now. Ralph got me pumped up to watch some great racing and is one at a kind for carrying a show. Viva La Heen Dog!
Main image: Honda HRC