Liverpool Football Club Chief Executive Ian Ayre has joined the RC Express Racing team in a non-executive role as Sporting Chairman.
In a massive coup for the Bristol-based road racing team, bike fan Ayre – a guest at this year's MCE Ulster Grand Prix – will use his extensive commercial experience working across major sporting global brands to boost the team's profile and offer invaluable guidance.
The Liverpudlian was recently honoured by his peers, taking the accolade of 'Chief Executive of the Year' in recognition for his achievements within football and most notably with the Anfield-based club.
In his time at Liverpool FC, Ayre has been instrumental in raising the global profile of the club, particularly within the emerging powerhouse economies of Asia, as well as attracting investment and securing one of the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deals in football with Standard Chartered Bank.
A passionate and lifelong supporter of Liverpool FC, Ayre is equally comfortable on the grass banks and hedgerows of events such as the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.
“I have always shared my love for football with that of two wheels,” he said. “Road racing is an extremely special and unique sport. It is something that I have followed for many years, regularly heading to the Isle of Man TT with friends on our bikes.
“I've been involved in road racing as a fan for many years so when Ben and Roy [Constable] explained their vision and after seeing their operation up close I offered to help in a non-executive role,” he added.
“The team have experienced immense success in a short period of time and I feel that they could go on to become the leading team in the road racing paddock.
“Working with them in a non executive capacity will enable me to help and advise them where appropriate. It is certainly exciting for me personally and something that I am extremely passionate about. There is a tremendous future ahead for RC Express Racing and I'm thrilled to be part of the project, working with Ben, Roy and the rest of the team.”
Joint owner Ben Constable says he is excited by Ayre's role in the Bristol-based team, which signals a new chapter in the history of RC Express Racing.
“This is certainly a very exciting time for everyone involved in the team. Attracting someone with Ian's experience in sport to our racing team is something we could never have envisaged.
“Dad and I knew that Ian was an avid road racing fan, keen biker and highly successful businessman. Our aim was to simply engage in some dialogue, enable Ian to join the team at a race and perhaps seek some advice on how we build and progress for the future,” he added.
“We are excited that Ian is joining us in a non executive role and will be a huge boost for the team. His success speaks for itself and Ian has developed Liverpool Football Club into a global commercial entity that rivals teams such as Manchester United and Barcelona.
“This experience, coupled with his significant knowledge of working with leading international brands can only assist RC Express Racing in our future goals and ambitions,” he said.
“Football and motorcycle racing are two very different sports. From our discussions with Ian, it was very clear that the financial scales between each discipline are significant, but fundamentally the principals remain the same.
“With increased global awareness for events such as the TT, rider profiles now gaining wider public awareness outside the sport and the appeal for brand association from leading businesses, there has never been a greater time to experience growth,” added Constable.
“Ian has experience in this area and if he can bring even a small element of his knowledge to the sport of motorcycle racing, it can only be of benefit to everyone involved. The entire team is really looking forward to working with Ian and we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his interest in our race team.”
RC Express Racing will make a further announcement on its 2017 rider line-up soon.
TT Lightweight race winner Ivan Lintin and Irishman Alan Bonner rode for the team in 2016.