Is it going to be bye bye for BSI in the Speedway Grand Prix? FIM decision due this weekend – some points to consider

THE FIM will announce the winning  bidder for the tender for exclusive rights to the Speedway Grand prix and Speedway World Cup/Speedway of Nations this Saturday evening at their annual Gala Dinner at an unassuming five-star establishment in Monte Carlo.

So will this announcement herald the start of the long sad goodbye to BSI running the SGP? Even the most gullible optimist at the FIM is going to struggle not to heavily discount the magnificence and eloquence of BSI’s future ambitions by the metric of their past performance.

Though media heavy breathers have relentlessly suggested otherwise with their unabashed reverence for the almost god-like magnificence of all things BSI, in real world we are spoilt for choice when it comes possible reasons for BSI’s possible loss of the tender. Despite paying the FIM around £2m in royalties per annum over the last decade alone, BSI still weren’t able to beat a rival who will, ultimately, continue BSI’s two decades of running badly distressed product(s) further into the ground over the lifetime of the contract (to end 2031) without significant/any real gains in popularity, recognition and interest from the general public, sponsors or media.

Points for the FIM to consider about BSI’s tender bid could include:

years of unkept promises

declining television audiences

almost total lack of national free to air programming

failure to attract global or notable sponsors (whether new or existing ones they enticed away from individual speedway clubs or riders)

almost complete lack of credible national media coverage (actively discouraged by BSI press accreditation supervision in preference for serial brown-nosers or cut and paste BSI in-house newsletter style reporting, interviews and other content)

pitiful social media messaging and total failure to use action clips from an action/extreme sport

failure to find new markets or stage meetings in promised geographies (America? Middle East? Spain? Asia & Japan, anyone?)

failure to innovate

prioritisation of staging partner income (& sub-licensing) over new venue identification or development

cost-cutting that borders on permanent asset damage to the SGP and/or good name of speedway

shockingly dull follow my leader racing on tracks chosen and/or deliberately prepared to deliver comparatively crash free television

poor staff hiring decisions – whether so-called executives (long track record here), BSI staff but especially media freelancers

failure to invest even £1 in new rider talent pipeline

approaching twenty year failure to allow donation collections at Cardiff for the SRBF

bungled roll out of brilliantly un-innovative innovations that fail to add value (latest: qualifying time)

serial drinking of own bathwater

failure to apply/implement technology solutions

histrionic trite hyperbolic English language broadcasts preferred over engaging informed sports journalism

Poor print & broadcast souvenirs – cut n paste over-priced (but glossy) programmes & laudably excitable but banal DVD commentary

disastrous forays into credit cards, loyal schemes and games/gaming (particularly abject failure)

overwhelming (but unjustified) air of superiority [partly explained by SGP business model, executive salary levels, pension contributions, bonus and/or share sales]

fail to invest – across the board but especially in marketing & new marketing development

risk-aversion coupled with cost-cutting

almost complete failure of big stadia initiatives

partner walkaways & handing back the keys – especially worrying at the event and broadcaster level

failure to protect integrity of the product

ongoing serial product dilution & decline

organisational snafus – way too numerous to attempt to list

often economical with the actualité

failure to refresh participants, formats or quality of product delivered

hollowed out British Speedway product quality and revenues

inability to settle upon an effective event structure that excites fans, broadcasters or sponsors

minimal due diligence on venues and/or of partners

abandonment of control over marketing – via cost-cutting and, worse still, sub-contracting

simultaneous rigorous policing of – to no verifiable observable external end – and poor exploitation of SGP brand

ran the product into the ground and squeezed the product (quality/pipeline/credibility/future development opportunities) so dry that impossible to any longer make out like gangbusters at previous rentier levels: revenues from 2008 to end of 2018 stand at £98,638,674 and profits – excluding inter-company payments and dividends (£3,255,882 was paid to IMG in 2016) – at £17,571,175 for an operating profit margin percentage of 17.81%.

There is an altogether less lengthy but nonetheless impressive list of reasons for the FIM to green light BSI’s tender proposal for further exclusivity from 2022 to 2031. These include:

Weapons grade levels of self-importance and self/paid third-party congratulation

Can dress mutton as lamb

Long-time professional friendship with Welsh Government officials

Market leader in broadcast audience & paid attendance declines

Proven track record of rider underpayment and lack of support

Special tin ear only hears criticisms it can manage to erroneously blame on others

Innovator – expanded series to maximise revenues but ensure minimum drama

Innovator – serial premium priced admissions user

Innovator – first to roll out air fence advertiser panels (that they subsequently pretended was a rider safety feature)

Innovator – sets world standard in colour coded access wristband, access pass and lanyard design

Innovator – ran secret Witness Protection programme that guaranteed sport and riders worldwide anonymity

Innovator – planted fake news operatives at heart of Speedway Star to run disinformation campaigns

Innovator – planted rider agent at heart of English language broadcast output to gaslight viewers and run disinformation campaigns

Innovator – disintermediated best hotel, travel and premium dining onto sub-contractor partners

Innovator – emerging ability to claim ninety years of existing practice was their market leading iconoclasm (first: times; next: tyres and/or saddles)

Innovator – implemented media obedience training scheme

Innovator – intensive existing club sponsor discovery programme

Innovator – serial appointer of uninspiring or low-knowledge candidates to executive positions







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