New MotoGP chief in talks for major expansion in USA

Dan Rossomondo, MotoGP’s new chief commercial officer who joined from the NBA, is already trying to significantly grow the championship in the USA.
Alex Rins, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 16 April
Alex Rins, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 16 April

More US races, serious new sponsors and replicating F1’s growth have all been on his agenda, just two months into the job.

Rossomondo was stateside last month for meetings with NBC Sports, the US broadcaster for MotoGP, and with potential new sponsors.

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He told Sports Business Journal about adding to MotoGP’s sole US-based race, which is at the Circuit of the Americas: “We’re very happy in Austin. 

“I went there for my first race this year and can’t wait til next year. 

“But what we can’t do is forget about [the U.S. market] until next year, so we’re already starting to figure out our plans for the US and our next race there. 

“We’re working on that in a variety of ways, dovetailing digital media and our event-based operations. 

“But unlike our compatriots at F1, we can’t race everywhere; we have to race on tracks that are built for the safety of our riders. 

“So we need people to build our circuits specifically for MotoGP. We’re in conversations with some people about that. 

“It’s not something we can solve overnight, but there’s a couple different interested parties — some further along than others — and we’re going to pursue that aggressively because the best way to market the sport is exposing it to more people.”

Rossomondo said about his vision to grow MotoGP: “I give my team a lot of comfort when I say this: A lot of the issues we face are the same challenges other sports face. 

Luca Marini, MotoGP sprint race, French MotoGP, 13 May
Luca Marini, MotoGP sprint race, French MotoGP, 13 May

“What’s the digital transformation happening in the media landscape, staying on top of that, how are we balancing that need to market and promote our sport and generate revenue to support our entire enterprise, how do we make ourselves attractive to corporate partners because bringing in world-class brands will foster better marketing on our behalf?

“How do we listen better in the marketplace and communicate with our fans? 

“We have a very good product, very loyal, young dynamic fan base, and we are a premium sport yet an accessible product. 

“The key thing is our race on Sundays is 45 minutes long, or sprint is 24 minutes. 

“We have this perfect package for the next generation of sports fans, and we just need to continue to tell that story and be aggressive in how we market it.”

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