Jam Sports, AMA Pro Racing announce 2003 AMA Supercross markets

Press Release: PICKERINGTON, Ohio – JamSports and AMA Pro Racing today announced the list of major-market cities that will constitute the 2003 AMA U.S. Supercross Championship. The season will kick off in Los Angeles on January 4 and conclude in New York on May 3.

The cities included in the 2003 AMA U.S. Supercross season are: New York, Los Angeles (two rounds), Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans, Charlotte, Tampa, and Daytona.

The 2003 markets reinforce JamSports’ and AMA Pro Racing’s commitment to spread the AMA U.S. Supercross Championship geographically and to include more heavily populated areas that better represent the entire country.

“It was extremely important that our 2003 series send a clear signal of our commitment to the sport and its incredibly talented athletes,” said Jerry Mickelson a principal in JamSports. “We are dedicated to growing AMA Supercross, and we will not allow cost factors, yesterday’s excuses or obstructions of any kind to deter us from doing the right thing.”

John Farris, AMA Pro Racing vice president of commercial development, concludes, “The announcement of these markets comes as a result of extensive conversations with our participants, our television partners who help us promote the series and its stars, and current and prospective sponsors of both the Championship and the teams. Brands like Chevy Trucks, Budweiser and Parts Unlimited sell their products nationwide. In 2003, we will deliver a superior marketing platform that will take AMA Supercross across the country into a great list of major markets.”

JamSports’ Tony Dimitriades adds, “We have tried to demonstrate that in this new era of AMA Supercross we will listen to the needs of everyone who has a stake in the growth of the sport. Our series will be showcased in the largest markets available and the riders and sponsors will benefit from exposure in seven of the top-10 markets in the country.”

“I am delighted with the new relationship with JamSports,” said Scott Hollingsworth, CEO, AMA Pro Racing. “The next era of growth of AMA Supercross is dependent upon live television and nationwide markets. We were excited to announce this month a live television package with Speed Channel, and now we have markets in place that will ensure AMA Supercross is seen by fans coast-to-coast. Combine that with the heritage of the AMA Championship, our rulebook and our plan to ensure rider participation in the growth of the sport, and the foundation is solidly set for a successful season in 2003 and beyond.”

For the first-time in its 29-year history, the 2003 AMA Supercross Championship will be broadcast LIVE nationally on Speed Channel. Speed Channel will also promote each race in every venue weekly prior to telecast, providing racing fans with a consistent, live schedule of the best riders in the world.

About JamSports

JamSports is a team of business professionals, with a rich history in entertainment and racing with many years of collective motorsports experience from every discipline: Series Promotion, Event Promotions, Race Team Ownership, Sponsorship Acquisition and Driver/Rider Management. Jam is the largest independent producer of entertainment events in the United States. With over a quarter century of expertise in production and stadium entertainment, JamSports has a successful track record in developing, producing, scaling, financing, marketing and merchandising live events and television and creating integrated branding/marketing strategies for increased revenue and mass consumer recognition.

AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for professional motorcycle sport in the United States. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit AMA Pro Racing’s web-site

For more information (AMA Pro Racing):

Jeff Mochal

Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.

6901 Canby Avenue, Suite 105, Reseda, CA 91335

Ph: 818-344-6195 x121

Fax: 818-344-1714

e-mail: [email protected]

For more information (JamSports):

Janie Hoffman


3701 Wilshire Boulevard

Los Angeles CA 90010

Ph: 213-639-6195

Fax: 213-639-3950

e-mail: [email protected]

It’s official – McGrath Racing & Bud Light team up

It’s official – McGrath Racing & Bud Light team up

Hollywood CALIFORNIA: There was an official press conference today to announce Jeremy McGrath’s new relationship with Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light beer.

[img1] I spoke briefly with Jeremy after the conference was over.


RJ: With your first Bud Light press conference, you’ve gotten a small taste of the huge amount of corporate pressure that will now come your way. Some of the other sponsors in the past like 1 800-COLLECT, Mazda, and others did great things with you, but they were not as pressure-cooked as the situation with Bud Light will be. Obviously you are seeing that Bud Light does things on a huge corporate scale.

Their corporate way requires a lot of commitment on your part, along with learning various educational programs on how to communicate to kids on drinking and driving. Is it what you thought it would be?

Jeremy: I believe that everyone elevates in life. They are always moving up, trying more, doing more. Same in any business endeavor. In the past, I’ve been lucky to have so much control over my schedule and what I wanted to do. When you go to the next level as we have with Bud Light, there will be more time commitments, and possibly at times it will be strenuous.

However, this is a great opportunity for me, my family, and the McGrath Racing team. I have to take the bull by the horns so to speak. I can’t shy away from it. I have to learn to accept some things as they are, and try to roll with the punches. I can make it a positive instead of a negative. Everyone has that same opportunity with whatever choices they make in life. They can make it a positive, or they can make it a negative. I want to make it a positive. That’s how I am, and that’s what I will do.

I’m actually looking forward to it, and it will be good.

[img2] RJ: I heard you are pretty stoked. Anheuser-Busch was talking with “Little E” (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and he said “Jeremy is THE MAN!”

[img3] Jeremy: I was really excited when I heard that! I watch him on TV, and he’s a tremendous competitor. I’m looking forward to meeting him and building our friendship. Hopefully I can check out a few of his races, and we can get him to a few of our races.


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Press release – AMA Pro Racing & Jam Sports announce live TV for 2003

Beginning in 2003, Speed Channel will broadcast three hours of live, national television coverage of every AMA U.S. Supercross Championship race in each venue.

AMA Pro Racing, the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the U.S., and its new Supercross promotional partner, JamSports, today announced a television partnership with Speedvision Network. Speedvision, the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to the excitement and heart-pumping action of motor sports, is being re-launched early next year as Speed Channel.

Beginning in 2003, Speed Channel will broadcast three hours of live, national television coverage of every AMA U.S. Supercross Championship race in each venue. Speed Channel will also promote each event weekly prior to telecast. In addition, AMA Pro Racing has the option to take eight 250-class programs to another television network. The television partnership runs through the 2005 season, with an option to extend.

“Our television package is a home run,” said Scott Hollingsworth, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. “Live coverage of AMA Supercross benefits fans, teams and riders and is the single most important element in growing the sport in the future. The nearly 50% increase in coverage provides opportunities to build the fan base, develop rider personalities and serve the commercial needs of teams, riders and sponsors.”

“A consistent, live programming schedule, week in and week out, from January to May is by far the most important component to ensure the growth of AMA Supercross,” said Mike Held, a JamSports principal responsible for television and marketing. “This, along with the commitment of our partners at Speed Channel and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will give these amazing athletes national exposure on a level never before available.”

“Speed Channel is thrilled to finally be able to bring live Supercross coverage to our loyal motorcycle viewers,” said Jim Liberatore, president, Speedvision Network. “We have been partners with the AMA since the start of Speedvision six years ago, and we share their vision for the future of Supercross.”

The 2003 AMA Supercross season will consist of 16 events in stadiums across the United States. The 2003 AMA Supercross Championship will begin in January in Los Angeles, visit many of the major media markets in the country, and conclude in New York in May, where the champion will be crowned.

About JamSports

JamSports is a team of business professionals, with a rich history in entertainment and racing with many years of collective motorsports experience from every discipline: Series Promotion, Event Promotions, Race Team Ownership, Sponsorship Acquisition and Driver/Rider Management. Jam is the largest independent producer of entertainment events in the United States. With over a quarter century of expertise in production and stadium entertainment, JamSports has a successful track record in developing, producing, scaling, financing, marketing and merchandising live events and television and creating integrated branding/marketing strategies for increased revenue and mass consumer recognition.

About Speed Channel

Speed Channel, which celebrates its sixth anniversary in January 2002, is the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motor sports and the human fascination for speed. Speed Channel is home to much of the world’s marquee racing events including CART, F1, Classic Cars, LeMans, the American LeMans Series, World Rally and car shows from around the globe. Currently seen in more than 45 million homes, Speed Channel was acquired by Fox Cable Networks Group in July 2001.

Next year, Speed Channel will carry three hours of live coverage of the Daytona Supercross event. Beginning in 2003, Speed Channel will start its season with the AMA Supercross series, then move into high gear with AMA Superbikes, World Superbikes and World GP’s. In addition, Speed Channel will air two weekly programs, “Bike Week” and “Motorcyclist,” dedicated to motorcycle coverage.



DATE: 4 December 2001

TIME: 0900 Hours

LOCATION: MX Compound (somewhere in California)

MISSION: Dunlop unveils new tires!

My code name is ‘Incognito’. My job today was to learn about the super secret unveiling of Dunlop’s new tires for moto – the D 773

First, I talked to Master Seargent in charge of rations, munitions, special events and frivolity:

State your name and purpose here today!

Sir, my name is Robin, and I’m in charge of rations, munitions, special events and frivolity SIR! I’m here for the Dunlop D 773 intro SIR!

I can’t hear you!!!

SIR! I’m here for the Dunlop D 773 intro SIR!

And what were your orders Master Seargent?

Sir, I had almost two weeks to put this together, including Thanksgiving. I made lots and lots of phone calls. Lots of phone calls SIR! Chief Commander ‘Gunny’ B. Glover gave me orders thirteen days ago SIR! I helped with the shirts, hats, food, dog tags, and M16’s SIR!

What are the rations today Master Seargent?

Sir, we are having BBQ chicken, ribs, and Tri-Tip SIR! Plus corn on the cob, beans, cole slaw, and brownies SIR!

Stand Down Master Seargent Robin.

Thank you SIR!!!

I was happy to see all branches of the military present and accounted for.

Respresenting the Navy:

Frank Hoppen

Davey Coombs

Ernesto Fonseca

Joe Columbero

Representing the Army:

Rodrig Thain

David Pingree

Scot Harden

Brock Sellards

Representing the Air Force:

Kit Palmer

Ken Vreeke

Mike Kiedrowski

The crew from Dunlop (Brian, Brent, Scott, ‘Knobby’)

Representing the Marines:

Nathan Ramsey & Devil Pup ‘Tank’ (Nate Dog’s dog)

Billy L.

Tom Webb

The Lechien’s

Donn Maeda

Representing the Coast Guard:

Dan Walsh

Scott Cox

Doug Dubach

Ivan Tedesco

Ken Faught

And tons of other people … media types, editors, industry insiders …. sorry if don’t know you or your name.

At 1350 we broke for rations. I corned the man responsible for today’s exercise. Chief Commander Broc ‘Gunny’ Glover.

Chief Commander Glover, what is going on here today?

Dunlop is introducing their new soft terrain tire, the D 773. It is designed primarily for sand, and soft terrain. It is a brand new tire for 2002. It is replacing the 752 and the 755 combo that we had in the past. It’s a great new addition.

The tire is very much improved. It gets a better grip in straight line traction, and it also has much improved cornering capabilities. It’s both front and rear, and we are very excited about it. If you ride in sandy conditions, this is the tire for you. We tested it at Southwick, Millville, Mt. Morris, and other tracks during the Nationals.

Chief Commander Glover, explain your position in today’s exercises.

I am currently the Senior Manager for Dunlop’s off-road division. Anything with knobbies on it is my responsiblity, not the sales side, but the technical, media relations, and race support sides.

Chief Commander Glover, are you responsible for the ‘theme’ of today?

Yes. We wanted a ‘theme’ so that people would remember it more than a regular tire launch. Super Scott #1 helped out tremendously. Remember – This is OPERATION ENDURING TRACTION!

Chief Commander Glover, well done!!!

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The Men of Clear Channel

The Men of Clear Channel

Clear Channel is a big company. I’ve worked with a few individuals there, but never with the company as a whole.

I feel it is important to hear what they have to say, and give you a glimpse of four people behind the scenes: Charlie Mancuso, Roy Janson, Ken Hudgens, and Todd Jendro.

The Men of Clear Channel - Photo 1 of 4
Charlie Mancuso

RJ: Charlie, what is your background that brought you to this point of being President of the Motorsports division?

Charlie: Rick, from 1977 to 1984 I managed an arena in St. Louis called the St. Louis Checker Dome. It was owned by Ralston-Purina. From 1984 thru 1988 I had my own promoting and production company. We promoted and co-promoted shows like the Harlem-Globetrotters, Sesame Street Live, Horse shows, NCAA basketball games, and a variety of different motorsports events.

Thru those motorsports events I developed a relationship with Pace, and SRO/Pace which was a joint venture. That relationship grew over the next four years, and in 1988, SRO/Pace, which was lead by Alan Becker, offered me a job as General Manager/President of the joint venture. So I’ve been with this company that is now Clear Channel Entertainment Motorsports since 1988.

RJ: Roy, please give us a little background on who you are and what you do.

Roy: I’m Vice President of Operations for Clear Channel’s Motorsports division, so I oversee both our motorcycle and truck properties. I also oversee our race track in Donington, England, and our race shop in North Carolina.

The Men of Clear Channel - Photo 2 of 4
Roy Janson

I started by sweeping the floor of a Triumph shop in Rochester, New York in 1964. I was a dirt track rider back in the 60’s before motocross became popular. I had my Novice license, and almost had enough points to get my Junior license.

Then motocross came to the US. I became a pro motocross racer, raced in the Winter-AMA Series in Florida, and continued racing thru college and graduate school while I was working on my Masters degree. I was always involved in motorcycling, and I managed Yamaha and Kawasaki dealerships while I was in Rochester.

In 1980, I had an opportunity to work for the AMA in their Government Relations department. I dealt primarily with land use issues. My Masters degree is in Geology, so I had a background in land, besides motorcycles. I did that for six years, and at the same time starting in 1983 I helped launch an ATV program, including Pro ATV’s. In 1987 Ned Redway left as the Motocross Manager, and the AMA was without one. I took over that job as Motocross Manager, and it was a wonderful chance to get into and learn the racing side of the AMA. From ’87 – ’94 I was Motocross Manager and then Pro-Racing Manager.

I left the AMA in August of 1994. My new job allowed me to work with all the supercross promoters. That included Super Sports and Bill West, SRO, Pace, and Mickey Thompson. At that time I was the coordinator of all the supercross events for those companies.

As there was a consolidation in the sport of supercross, I became a Pace employee. From Pace it became SFX. And now it’s Clear Channel.

My original job at Pace was Supercross Manager, and now I’ve grown into Vice President of Operations for the company.

That’s 37 years in the motorcycle business. The only time I was not in it was when I was serving in the US Marine Corp. during 68 – 70.

RJ: Semper Fi!

Roy: Yep. I’ve been fortunate to see this from both sides, from sanctioning to promoters. While I was at the AMA I never fully understood the role of promoters. Now that I work with the promoters, I have a much better understanding of this side of the business. It’s been an education to see it from both sides, and I’m very fortunate to be able to experience a lot of people’s dreams. Two times I was manager of the Motocross des Nations team. Motorcycling has been very good to me.

RJ: I’ve heard a lot of different perspectives on the privateer issues. Tell us what the Clear Channel program is for that.

Roy: Our privateer program has been established for several years. It’s important to differentiate between reality and comments that were made previously by Jam Sports. Specifically, there are two quotes to be addressed. In paraphrasing, one says that the privateers have been abused for too long. And another says that they are working on a privateer fund and have been doing so long before Clear Channel rushed out their’s.

These comments are made by people that are unaware that Clear Channel, and it’s predecessors SFX and Pace, have had a dedicated privateer point fund over $100,000 per year. That $100,000 point fund is paid exclusively to privateers. That $100,000, plus the winner’s bonus for top privateer, exceeds annually any amount of exclusive privateer money paid out in all the AMA events combined.

It is important to identify that no one from Clear Channel rushed out to invent a privateer program. What we did for this year is take the program from $110,000 to $160,000, and add another $75,000 to the Last Chance Qualifier purses for the entire year. That’s in excess of $200,000 above the established point funds, purses, and other bonus programs that have been initiated by Clear Channel over the past few years.

RJ: How about 2003? Anything different for that?

Roy: Yes. We have announced an additional $75,000 that will go into the privateer funds for 2003. That takes that funding for privateers, which is independent of the other programs, over a quarter million dollars for the year.

There is no comparable program available in motocross, or road racing, that is sanctioned by the AMA and dominated by factory teams.

RJ: Some people view Clear Channel as a nameless & faceless corporate giant. What can you do about that?

Roy: I can see where part of that is true. I’ve read reports about Clear Channel being a faceless entity. That couldn’t be further from reality. The fact is people that are involved in our motorcycle programs have a passion for motorcycling.

I’ve worked my entire life in the motorcycle business. The head of our Arenacross and Motorcycle properties is a person named Mike Kidd. Mike is a former Grand National Champion, and his history is well recorded. Our Director of Supercross Todd Jendro is a former professionally licensed motocross rider. Our Assistant Director of Supercross Joel Grover is a long time motorcyclist and former pro ATV racer. Mike Hathaway, Rich Winkler … the list goes on and on. The people involved in running our programs have extensive background and a passion for the sport of motorcycling.

And the question comes up ‘Who is the caretaker of the sport?’. Sometimes we are labeled as the people with the Monster Trucks. Yes, we own 20 Monster Trucks, and we produce over 150 of those events per year.

We also produce 17 national Arenacross events, and 30-plus regional events – all of these exclusively feature motorcycle activities. In addition to that, we produce and sanction thru our Formula USA affiliate the Championship Cup Series sportsman road race program. That has over 60 sportsman events, along with the 10 National Road Race series events, and 15 National Dirt Track events.

When you look at the shear number of motorcycling events produced by Clear Channel with CCS, National Road Race series, National Dirt Track series, regional and National Arenacross, and Supercross, it’s an extensive number. This brings into motorcycling many thousands of riders in both road and off-road.

RJ: What do you want the typical fan to know?

Roy: I think they know what our positions are. We do our business in public. And our business is there to be critiqued every Saturday night.

They witness the events, and we pride ourselves on producing entertaining, exciting sporting contests. We don’t regulate the competition side of the activity. We contract with the AMA to deliver the competition program. That’s what they get paid a sanction fee for. They enter the riders, they keep the entry fees, and they deliver that program.

In other types of motorcycling we deliver that program ourselves.

I would ask the fans to judge us on our 27 year history of producing supercross events. Our history in motorcycling even extends beyond that, to February 1967 when we produced the first AMA short track and TT events at the Houston Astrodome. The first events produced by Pace as a company were motorcycle events. Look at our investment in the sport over this period, our commitment to constantly producing higher quality shows, and the results that we’ve produced in the areas of live audience, television, Pay-Per-View, the Internet, and the level of sponsorship that we’ve been able to bring into the program. Also look at the returns we’ve been able to put back to the riders and sponsors who participate in those programs. Judge us on our track record – we’ve been successful in what we’ve set out to do. Our commitment has been unwavering for more than 30 years.

RJ: Ken, you are Vice President of Marketing. What can you tell me about Clear Channel Motorsports and the people that run it?

Ken: Obviously you know Charlie and Roy. I’m responsible for all the marketing aspects including the selling of tickets, the creative, and radio/television advertising. For the past 10 years I’ve been responsible for sales, the Internet, merchandise, and others. I’m like’ a ‘jack of all trades’.

The Men of Clear Channel - Photo 3 of 4
Ken Hudgens

We have our different roles, and we work well together. The team that runs the motorsports division here at Clear Channel has been together quite a while. And of course we’ve gotten quite a bit larger as to the number of events we’ve done over the years. Roy and Todd are responsible for all the operations for supercross, and that means putting on the event, interacting with the competitors, the officials, getting the dirt transported in and out of the stadiums, coordinating the facilities, and hiring the correct people to help. I focus on selling tickets & sponsorships. Mike Weber is our Vice President for television, and he’s responsible for the supercross events you see on ESPN, ABC, and Pay-Per-View.

RJ: A lot of companies have produced supercross events. Some have succeeded, some have not. Plus we have new promoters on the horizon. How can Clear Channel do a better job at putting on supercross events than other companies?

Ken: In regards to future promoting, I really think the question should be reversed: How can anyone do a better job than we do? I am not saying that we are perfect. But we do put our money where our mouth is. Our results speak for themselves over many, many years. To have newcomers that have no experience in motorcycling, and expect them to provide the same level of commitment to the sport doesn’t seem to be right to me.

To answer your question specifically on how we would do a better job, it’s our monetary commitment and experienced people we have in place.

RJ: How about television – what’s planned for 2002 and beyond?

Ken: In 2001 we had supercross on ABC three times. All of them were in April. We looked back at that, and wanted to increase our commitment by adding another race, and spreading that coverage out to almost one per month. We’ll be on ABC four times this year. Those Saturday night events air the next day, Sunday afternoon. So we have one per month January, February, March, and April. Then we have the Pay-Per-View from Las Vegas for the finale.

We don’t do Pay-Per-View to make big profits as some think. Right now it’s a break-even arrangement. But it is the best way right now to get supercross live. It’s not a financial windfall, but we are trying to take the right steps for the sport. And that includes what we do with ESPN and ABC as well. We want to increase the number of people the sport is exposed to.

RJ: What else can you do to help our sport?

Ken: There are many things we are doing. Obviously network television is where you are going to reach the casual fans. We don’t just want to reach the die-hard fan, but all fans. We want to expose the sport to as many people as possible.

Another aspect is the Internet. And you are in that business – you know what an expensive endeavor that is. We are and will be making those investments because it’s good for the sport, it’s good for business, and it’s good for fans.

RJ: All the rumors I hear say that Clear Channel is so big it can control venues and facilities. Can you comment about that?

Ken: Facilities are always free to do what they want to. The facility business & booking of events is something we are intimately involved in. We don’t do just 15 supercrosses. We do 15 supercrosses, 45 arenacrosses, 150 Monster Truck shows, 12 professional bull riding events, and others. We are involved in booking facilities every day. Does it help when you have multiple events to bring to places like the Pontiac Silverdome where we do three or four events per year there? Absolutely. In some cases we do have protection periods which protect not only our business but the facility as well. It’s not good business sense to bring in a Monster Truck show one weekend, and they bring in someone else’s Monster Truck show the next weekend. Those events would just hurt each other, not only for the promoters, but also for the facility.

Facilities are widely varied in how they are managed. Some are state owned, some are city owned, and some are privately owned. In the case of supercross, let’s take Edison International Field in Anaheim – that’s owned by Disney, which is a publicly held company. And then you have places like Phoenix which is run by Maricopa County Stadium District. You have the Silverdome which is managed by the city of Pontiac. You have Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego which is city owned. All have different criteria by which they operate.

I know there has been some words about Clear Channel doing things a particular way, but we are conducting business as we always have.

RJ: With the AMA announcing their relationship with Jam Sports, it seems like there has been a flurry of press releases from Clear Channel. Is that true?

Ken: We’ve had press releases for a couple of reasons. We are moving forward. Remember, we are not the ones that came out with a press release on November 5th that we are going to do anything different. We are simply responding. We want people to know we are stable, and it’s business as usual. The AMA press release made it sound as if the AMA had picked another promotional partner, and we are not a promotional partner. We take 100% of the risk of putting on events. We’ve done that for 27 years. We write all the checks. There is no promotional partner with us.

Our press releases have been designed to demonstrate to the industry that we are stable, and telling the industry what they need to know for 2003. And that includes our specific schedule, what we are doing on television, who specifically is going to design and build our tracks, what venues we will be at, this is what the points fund is going to be, that ClearChannel.com is adding $75,000 to the privateer fund on top of the UST’s $50,000 and the $100,000 we already pay out to make it $225,000 for privateers for 2002.

What we are trying to tell the motorcycle industry and motorcycle community of which we are part of is that we are not doing anything different at our events, and here is specifically what we are doing. And we are not just supercross. 45 arenacrosses with over 20,000 amateur entries. The releases are a reaction to the AMA’s decision. We are going about business as usual, we are not doing anything differently, and the community needs to know we are stable.

RJ: If there are two series starting in 2003, will it hurt the sport?

Ken: Yes, no question about it. Any one that thinks it will do anything but hurt the sport, …. then I’m not sure what they are thinking about. It will hurt the riders, the fans, television viewers, contingency, and sponsors. And it will hurt Clear Channel and the AMA. It will hurt the motorcycle industry in general. I can’t think of any group of people that have a vested interest in motorcycle racing, or selling motorcycles, or after market products that it will benefit.

RJ: I’m a privateer. I’m trying to break into the sport. I’m struggling to get from race to race. I’m sleeping in the back of my van. I’m barely making a living. What do you say to me that will make me want to run your events over any others?

Ken: That was partially answered before. I think there are two ways to answer that. Number one is we are stepping up our commitment. In 2001 we paid $100,000 to privateers above and beyond our normal points payout. Now, on top of that amount, UST has stepped up with another $50,000. $25,000 of that goes to the top privateer at the end of the series. And as we announced, ClearChannel.com has added another $75,000. A large part of that money is going to people in the Last Chance Qualifier. That is a huge financial commitment.

Number two is to look at the past results. Look at the facilities, look at how the races are run, the routing for the riders, mechanics, and teams. Look at how it was back when you were racing – it wasn’t uncommon to send everyone from one end of the country to the other without thinking about everything involved in that.

RJ: I know. That was a long time ago. We didn’t even have fossil fuels back then! (Both laugh)

Ken: We’ve made a concerted effort, especially since 1996 to improve the routing. We don’t start in Orlando, go to Anaheim, and then jump to Indianapolis. We did that because everyone in the sport asked for better and more sensible routing. Now it’s less burden on not only the privateers, but race teams as well.

In terms of focus, finances, and history, we are putting together a great program. And it can only get better.

RJ: To your knowledge, has anyone from Clear Channel been in contact with anyone from Jam Sports since the announcement by the AMA?

Ken: No. Nor have they been in contact with us. Not sure what there would be to talk about.

RJ: It appears as though Clear Channel and the AMA have not had a ‘good’ relationship over the past few years. What has sparked the poor relationship?

Ken: I can speculate on what it is, but I really don’t know. What I do know is that we offered to substantially increase the sanction fee that we pay them on a per event basis. As I’ve said previously, the AMA is walking away from a guaranteed seven million dollars over seven years.

In addition to that sanction fee, they retain the license fees, the mechanics fees, entry fees, and our fee for their officials and rider medical services they provide. We also offered to have all of our dirt track, road racing, and arenacross to be AMA sanctioned.

We’re offering to pay them a bunch more money for nothing different in return. And we offered to sanction all of our other events by them, which seem to be such an issue, and we still don’t have a deal. I don’t have the foggiest idea what their intent is.

RJ: Is there still a possibility of Clear Channel and the AMA working this thing out?

Ken: From the beginning, we’ve made it clear that it is in everyone’s best interest to have things go on as they were. Everything that we have done up to this point has been done with the idea of keeping the door open enough to make a deal if the AMA wants to, and is not in some way committed to Jam Sports. I don’t know what the relationship is between the AMA and Jam Sports is. The announcement the AMA put out makes it seem like a ‘Letter of Intent’. It is in everyone’s best interest to work it out. But the door is opening and closing quickly – everyone needs to get on with their business.

RJ: I’m going to fire off a couple of quick questions. Who is in charge of the purse monies?

Ken: Clear Channel pays the purse monies.

RJ: Who is in charge of safety and insurances?

Ken: We pay the AMA a fee, and they provide the rider medical insurance. All the other insurances that go into putting on a live event, such as protecting the spectators, and insurance to protect against damage to the facility, we pay for that.

There are quite a few issues regarding safety. Safety and security for the fans, we pay for that. That includes security guards, ushers, and more.

RJ: Who collects entry fees?

Ken: The AMA.

RJ: How about mechanics passes?

Ken: The AMA.

RJ: How about gate receipts from ticket sales?

Ken: Clear Channel. And that’s because we take 100% of the risk. If no one shows up, we still pay for the facility, advertising, the dirt, and everything else. We pay for everything.

RJ: Who gets the parking monies?

Ken: It’s different at each facility. Generally, they pay their employees, and we don’t participate in those revenues. Same for food and beverage concessions.

RJ: How about merchandise such as shirts, hats, etc.?

Ken: There are three answers to that. Us, the facility, and royalties that are paid to riders and others.

RJ: OK, we know a bit about the motorsports division. Tell me a little bit about Clear Channel as a whole. What other things is Clear Channel involved in?

Ken: Clear Channel Worldwide has several different divisions. Clear Channel Worldwide includes Entertainment, which we are a part of, Radio, Outdoor, and some other smaller ones. There is the radio division – over 1200 radio stations across the country. There is the billboard division – which is outdoor advertising. That’s over 770,000 billboard faces all over the world. There is Clear Channel Entertainment – theatrical, music, motorsports, and family. That includes the theatrical division that produces Broadway shows. The music division not only promotes events, but also owns and operates amphitheaters across the country. There is the family division that promotes and produces shows such as Scooby Doo live. It’s a very diversified company.

RJ: With Clear Channel being a publicly traded company, and how the stock market is currently, do you have added pressure to perform and make profits?

Ken: I think we are all under pressure, not only because Clear Channel is a publicly held and traded company, but because there is always pressure to produce. Since September 11, Clear Channel Entertainment and Clear Channel Worldwide, and many other businesses all over the country have struggled a bit.

Everything we know right now, based on the events of things that have happened since September 11th, such as pre-sale items for the first supercross events are very strong. We aren’t under any more, or less pressure.

RJ: Should anyone even care who puts on a race?

Ken: That is an interesting question. Should the fans care? Yes, we believe that they should.

Much like Intel computing chips are branded with computers …. they are not the main part, but with their name you know it’s a quality product. We’ve always taken the position that we should be viewed like that. The stars of supercross are Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Ezra Lusk, Mike LaRocco, Travis Pastrana, Kevin Windham, and others. That’s what the fans care about. They care about what happens on the track.

They also care about where the events are … how it’s presented on television …. and what sponsors are trying to make it better. Fans don’t consciously think about who is doing that. Those are things that we’ve done, and are proud of. And we plan on continuing to do that.

RJ: In closing, is there anything you’d like to say to our audience?

Ken: Yes, a couple of things. Please keep in mind we are not doing anything different. On November 5th, the AMA Pro-Racing Board announced that they are doing something different. We are doing what we have always done.

It’s a shame, because what should be one of the most exciting seasons in supercross history, and has a lot of great stories, is getting overshadowed right now by conflict.

We are focused on producing the 2002 events as the best in history. I think that’s what the fans want to be focused on now as well.

The Men of Clear Channel - Photo 4 of 4
Todd Jendro – Director of Supercross CCEM

RJ: Todd, how about your background? How did you get to be Director of Supercross for Clear Channel Entertainment’s Motorsports division?

Todd Jendro: I started racing motocross in 1978. I acquired my Pro-Am license in 1988. I rode the Pontiac Silverdome event twice, but I didn’t qualify for the mains. I quit professional racing in 1991.

RJ: That’s a good year to quit racing! (Both laugh – Rick quit that year too)

Todd: I shattered my wrist while warming up for the Red Bud National MX. I had surgery to put pins in the wrist, and decided my professional mx career surely wasn’t meant to be.

RJ: OK, that’s something else we have in common – shattered wrists! (Both laugh)

Todd: Yeah, naviculars and meta-carpuls!

In 1994 I decided to work for DGY Racing in Downers Grove, Illinois. I worked with them on local and amateur events. Jimmy at DGY knew promoters, at that time it was SRO Motorsports out of Chicago. They produced six of the supercross events, and eventually they hooked me up with Roy (Janson). That’s how I got started there.

RJ: What do you do as Director of Supercross?

Todd: I oversee every aspect, and every moving element of supercross. From the first drop of dirt that comes in to rider relations to sponsorship implementation. I run a crew of 80 people on site, and they all help out for the presentation you see at a supercross.

RJ: How aggravating are past supercross champions when they are bugging you for tickets?

Todd: Actually Ricky, you are pretty good. I’ve had some other guys (they’ll remain nameless here) who have asked for 125 tickets.

RJ: Well, can we renegotiate on my tickets then? (Both laugh)

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