T-Dog’s Takes: Team Solitaire Gives You Their Secrets to Running a Successful Regional Team

Notice that this column now has a sponsor? That’s right! Troy Dog joined the Blu Cru and you should too! I have one in my garage right now and I can’t wait to go shred it this summer! Thank you to Yamaha for believing in my ELITE columns on this dirtbike website enough to sponsor me. What a dream come true! 

When I hit up THE Team Solitaire/Nuclear Blast Records Yamaha this week for help with this article I knew they would do an amazing job. I did some low key editing and passed it onto Slaw Dog for the final edit. That’s it! They did the rest.

I wanted them to tell us their five important MUST haves in order to run a successful Regional Supercross team. They get an A+++.

1) Marketing

This is a big one! Unless you’re Mitch Payton and Pro Circuit who have a physical product to sell that would allow you to help fund yourself and in turn market yourself you’ll need to act as a marketing agency of sorts for your sponsors to fund your efforts. The reality of the 250 Class is unless you win, it doesn’t really matter and while obviously you want to be competitive and give riders a reliable package, you’re better off controlling the narrative through marketing efforts. This will hopefully allow you to provide even more for your riders through built relationships that you’ve been able to provide a return to both from a digital level, but also through event activation. “Deliverables” are a big thing when going after sponsor dollars and that’s where marketing, not necessarily those top ten finishes, come into play.

2) Reality

Being realistic is crucial for a private regional team if you want any longevity. What I mean by that is knowing that the cards are so stacked against us before we even pull into the stadium parking lot. Sometimes it’s comical to think how small our budget is compared to our “factory” level competitors. And while it’s easy to get out of hand and spend beyond your means, it’s important to remember that there is no pot of gold at the end of a top five or a podium rainbow. So, all you can do is build a reliable package for your riders and give them their best shot at getting noticed by the manufacturers and if you/them are lucky, they’ll get a ride.

3) Understanding

Being very clear with riders and mechanics about what they can expect is very important to us and by that I mean making sure they understand a deal/job with most regional teams (definitely ours) should be looked at as “transitional” and not “transactional”. Meaning, we should be looked at as a transition from your van, to a semi with some structure, to what hopefully is that ride you’ve always wanted with a factory. You will not make a ton of money, if any, but what you hopefully will have is a solid support system and reliable/fast bike package to thrive. At that point, it’s up to you to get factories to take notice. Hopefully, that turns into a contract and that would be more “transactional” with a salary and better bonus programs.

4) Fans/Connection 

You need actual fans that want to support you. Whether it’s buying merch, interacting on social channels, or even coming to races to see you, everything we do, we sit back and talk about what fans will think and decide how to move forward with their enjoyment in mind. We are 100% for the fans.

Other Team Solitaire MUST Haves:

1) A credit card you earn air miles or cash back on.

2) Riders that spend the majority of their day upside down or throwing nac-nacs!

3) A mascot.

4) An accountant who is good at breaking bad news to you.

5) Race Tech rocket ships for motors.

Main image: Team Solitaire

Written by Troy Dog

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