Vice President, BSI Speedway – job vacancy news

BSI Speedway have just commenced their search for a Vice President to lead and strategically mastermind their current (and possibly future) exclusive rights to “the Championship” aka the FIM Speedway Grand Prix, FIM Speedway World Cup and/or the FIM Speedway of Nations. What a fabulous and excessively well-paid job for any appropriately qualified speedway fans to shape and influence the sport we all know and love. For all interested fans and would be candidates the job specification and requirements are pasted below in full – as it appeared on LinkedIn this week and elsewhere earlier in the month on the day on the Torun SGP (October 5). It does seem a tad unprofessional of BSI not to manage to list their advert in full but then such is their historic legendary lackadaisical approach to specific detail. It is peculiar that would be candidates have until February 2020 to apply when by then, if the FIM contract bid fails to go their way, the prestige and relevance of this job will effectively expire in a puff of methanol perfumed exhaust with the last wave of the chequered flag of the final meeting of the 2021 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series. But then, such is the appeal of IMG’s unique “Events Leadership Academy” that those who get to partake of its wonder are instantly spellbound.

Interestingly given that BSI Speedway are currently embroiled in a two way tender contest-cum-auction with Eurosport Events/Discovery Channel conducted by the FIM for the exclusive rights to 2022-2031 “championship”, posting this advertisement at the start of October while the auction remains underway seems strange timing and to knowingly breach BSI Speedway’s own best interests when it comes to preserving the “commercial confidentiality” of dull, publicly available or easily guessable facts, business strategies and operational procedures. This self-inflicted release of a sub-set of the BSI Speedway’s crown jewels via a cut and paste of large sections of their proposal to the FIM seems particularly odd given BSI’s notorious but often mis-placed vigilance and relentless hyper-sensitivity about getting others to protect any alleged “commercial confidentiality” that pertains to their tender bid (though, of course, this has already submitted in full to the FIM by 30 August 2019).

Understandably, if there were a mind-blowing set of innovations for the future of the SGP, new market expansion joys, pending big name/big brand sponsorships or national broadcaster free to air television partners to breathlessly announce or, even, some other wonderfully wildly impressive bid winning big reveal masterminded by BSI Speedway MD Steve Gould – leveraging his Olympics and Caravan Demolition Derby (or whatever it is) expertise – in the winning BSI Speedway tender document, sensibly you would want to closely guard that information. Sadly of course, we know none of the above is going to happen and, if judged by this Vice Presidential job description, when the FIM open BSI’s SGP Pandora Box to stare upon the majesty of its innovations and strategic contents, they – like speedway fans worldwide – will be sorely disappointed. Though second guessing the top notch plans, ideas and ruminations of BSI’s executives is often a fool’s errand, historic past performance along with this VP job description suggests their tender for 2022-2031 will hold modest ambitions if – and I quote exactly – the sad reality of their mission is encapsulated by the boldness of a vision that only aims to: “Innovate and develop the Series including transponders, on-board cameras, voices, games etc.”. It is as if the FIM requested a memorable Valentines and marriage proposal that BSI chose to answer, cater and decorate with a ring, culinary delights and floral tributes bought last minute on the way there from a nearby budget petrol company service station. That said, once we get to read about the stupendous joys of the fine detail of this (hopefully triumphant) BSI tender in the pages of the Speedway Star, hear about it on BT Sports or savour this news via heroic social media messages from the SGP Twitter and Instagram accounts who wouldn’t fail to just be entranced by such a truly compelling and innovative approach to romance and lifelong happiness that FIM’s and BSI’s relationship together has already delivered in full?

Briefly returning to the present moment, it only seems a few minutes ago that BSI Speedway appointed their new Managing Director Steve Gould and paraded him to an expectant speedway world at the FIM Wroclaw SGP with his flies open. This was unfortunate but much less embarrassing than the ‘interview’ conducted by his stenographically minded staff member Paul Burbidge for the pages of his other employer the Speedway Star. Predictably in trademark Burbo style, this no-depth paddle in the shallows style interview saw difficult questions remain unasked and stones serially unturned but, rather marvellously, saw easy to anticipate questions either badly bungled by Gould or apparently answered using pre-prepared comments auto-generated by a Twitter bot apparently only able to access the text of previous BSI press statements and sentences randomly lifted from Gould’s own Managing Director job description. Buzz words galore untethered from any recognisable SGP event reality along with airy talk of “innovation”, “the spectator experience” and “wonderful narratives” couldn’t disguise that shale novice Gould may require close supervision and additional armbands to go with his stabilisers if going out in public or attempting to talk knowledgeably about speedway for some time yet.

Or else, heaven forefend, the sudden appearance of this advert could well indicate that Gould has already resigned, been canned or – judged by his SGP programme columns – found the position significantly beyond his capabilities without additional hand-holding guidance and direction. The perception that Gould lacked sufficient ept was double underlined at the last Grand Prix meeting of the 2019 series in Poland (Torun) when the ghost of Christmas past Paul Bellamy was resurrected in public for a keynote presentation/interview in the course of which he was rather randomly given a lifetime achievement award from the FIM. Possibly for his role in helping BSI to sabotage speedway in Britain or, more likely, for services to the FIM completely unconnected to size or cumulative total of monies contractually paid by BSI Speedway as rights royalty payments. Whatever the reason for the award, not only was the trophy less ugly than that given to 2019 speedway World Champion but news of this accolade almost brought the many speedway hatted Nigel Pearson perilously close to ecstasy in the SGP World Feed comms booth. For a long time seen as the poor man’s John Postlethwaite, the arrival of both Torben Olsen and now Steve Gould on the BSI Speedway/IMG scene has somehow retrospectively gifted Paul Bellamy a degree of gravitas, intellect and statesmanlike heft akin to that enjoyed elsewhere by high calibre politicians such as Lembit Opik or Mark Francois.

Though employment advisors the world over advise not exaggerating, obviously shading the truth or, worse still, lying in your job interviews, this advice doesn’t usually have to be given to advertisers. Unfortunately, if judged by the job spec requirements of this VP position, both the content, rigour and quality of BSI Speedway’s current FIM bid tender document as well as the organisational relationship between their fitted as standard hyperbole and verifiable reality has – once again – been untethered as well as thrown open to question by their claim that there are “currently 12” (twelve) Speedway Grands Prix events in the current BSI series! Though this job description claim is only twenty per cent (20%) inaccurate – if only there were a book to consult about the current number of events in the SGP series –  so counts in their speedway universe as comparatively spot on, being this far unglued in a job description for your most senior staff member appointment either reveals a worrying internal lack of knowledge about their own corporate history and series parameters or else suggests a routinely casual approach to factual accuracy.

Continuing to pointlessly gild this turgid lily, the job description suggestion that “occasional travel/weekend work may be required” flies in the face of the awkward fact that practically all BSI Speedway events are – currently – held away from their head office in Chiswick. If we assume the newly minted VP (open flies optional) travels to all events via commercial airline the day before the meeting and returns the day after, then it appears that there are likely to be a minimum of twelve weekends away outside the country (England).

Something the job advertisement is coy about is the likely pay, benefits, pension, ancillary benefits, SGP branded athleisurewear and incentive bonus scheme that also comes with this august position. Of course, we can try to guess using publicly available information found at Companies House. Even though occupying a much less prestigious executive position, the highest paid director at BSI Speedway (most would guess this to be John Postlethwaite though this is not confirmed by the accounts) two decades ago in 2000 – when the series was half its current size and without the global reputation for excellent and thrills that delights so many SGP media heavy breathers – enjoyed “directors emoluments” of £375,061 to go along with a much-needed pension contribution of £31,628. Though, I haven’t formally checked, I expect all the SGP riders that season (and subsequently) who put their lives and future livelihoods on the line for BSI and to entertain fans worldwide doubtless earnt roughly similar sums for competing in the speedway world championships. Of course, in the two decades since then, doubtless senior executive remunerations have seen re-assessment and upwards revision, despite various pass-the-parcel style ownership changes allied to numerous years of ongoing cost-cutting brought on by expansion failures, operational bungling, difficult trading conditions and the collapse of – for example – the UK television audience or, indeed, the paying fans component of Cardiff attendances. Whatever the sums involved in their remuneration package, whomever gets appointed to this VP position will to continue to enjoy speedway fan goodwill they take for granted as well as the best speedway reporting VIP access, freelance contracts and regular space adverts merit.

Job vacancy:

Vice President, BSI Speedway

Summary

IMG Events are searching for an enthusiastic, hardworking, individual to join the Motorsports team to run the BSI Speedway series Reporting into the Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Motorsports, the successful candidate will be responsible for all the Critical Planning, Sponsorship and Operation of the FIM Speedway series. Application deadline is Sunday 24th February 2019 at 11:59pm.

Key Accountabilities

  Ensuring existing promoter agreements are delivered and events run smoothly

  Responsible for managing all club, venue & city relations

  Identify new promoters/venues and negotiate new & existing contracts

  Establish the calendar for all Speedway race series to meet FIM deadlines

  Monitor ticket & hospitality sales, sponsorship revenue and other critical revenue streams

  Oversee the Marketing strategy for each event

  Identify new events, both fully owned or as Joint Ventures

  Focus and build on the customer journey

  Manage the overall relationships with the governing body and local federations

  Represent IMG during the SGP/SWC/SON FIM Commission meetings

  Ensure contractual agreements with FIM and local federations are delivered

  Manage the relationships between IMG and FIM officials, riders and teams

  Manage the renewal process of IMG rights agreements beyond 2021

  Oversee the operational delivery of all events including logistics, security, guidelines, suppliers etc

  Ensure that temporary tracks are delivered

  Ensure that specific and critical logistic projects (events that are outside Europe) are delivered

  Ensure that all events, both promoted and fully owned are run safely and in a proper manner

  Responsible for approving BSI Speedway Health & Safety policy

  Ensure risk assessments and method assessments are in place for all activities

  Ensure event responsibility check lists are agreed and signed by all parties

  Ensure CDM plans are in place for any temporary construction

  Consistently review and update our critical plans

  Ensure we have all the necessary procedures in place for any critical incidents (including event postponements and cancellations) and that all team members, both internal and external are trained to handle these.

  Manage any insurance related issues and ensure we have sufficient cover and contractual protection in place

  Oversee the sponsorship targets, ensuring targets are met

  Work with the designated sales team to ensure sufficient new business targets are approached and that existing partnerships are renewed

  Manage critical accounts directly including series partners, city and government support

  Oversee the activation team and ensure that all contractual obligations are delivered

  Ensure that existing broadcaster and media agreements are delivered

  Renew broadcaster agreements in key markets

  Work with IMG Media identify new territories/partners

  Ensure IMG are not in breach of any existing broadcaster rights

  Oversee the newly developed OTT platform

  Ensure growth from our digital media strategy

  Contract and oversee host broadcaster and key TV suppliers relationships

  Ensure that all communication is approved and in accordance with strategy guidelines

  Grow the Series through main media in all territories

  Continue to find new growth opportunities across all parts of the business

  Manage and grow the SGP Academy further

  Expand the calendar into new markets where possible

  Innovate and develop the Series including transponders, on-board cameras, voices, games etc.

  Responsible for the Speedway P&L

  Agree projections and ensure these are met

  Set sponsorship targets and marketing budgets

  Identify any risks and report these as soon as possible

  Ensure our financial exposure is minimized and outstanding amounts are collected

Required Knowledge & Experience

  Demonstrable experience in running a Series or similar operation

  Established knowledge in budget management

  Experience in managing and motivating a team Working Conditions

  This is a permanent position based in Chiswick, London

  Working hours are 9:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday

  Occasional travel/weekend work may be required

Why IMG

We want you to have a career you’re genuinely excited about – as well as opportunities to learn and challenge yourself or mentor others. As a senior member of the Events Division, you will have access to development tools including the Events Leadership Academy and the Events Mentoring scheme to support your career and personal development with IMG.

Business Overview

IMG Events

IMG own, operate or commercially represent more than 800 events around the world, including culinary and music festivals, mass participation events, international fashion weeks and leading tournaments and championships in more than a dozen sports.

BSI Speedway

The FIM Speedway World Championships form part of the motorsports department of IMG Events. The championships are a worldwide motorbike racing series, with currently 12 Grand Prix and 4 W [sadly this advert ends just as it gets really exciting…]

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