Who holds most power: Media- Promoters or athletes?

Who holds most power: Media- Promoters or athletes?

Who holds most power: Media-Promoters or athletes? All 3 require each other to sustain growth, yet fine line exists on how much cross over occurs between entities to fulfill expectations to fans watching respective Motorsports.

Jamie Chadwick competing in Extreme E Series and also WSeries.

Breaking down factors requires insight on how each entity provides the other necessary ingredients to make Motorsport discipline a reality. None act in isolation, all have common denominator that to race an athlete needs an event, which needs a promoter, which needs Media coverage across plethora of platforms to gain market audience following.

How powerful each entity has become over time has pushed objectives to the fore. Growth of Motorsport disciplines require financial investment, which in turn receives Media exposure via racing. Riders, drivers and racers, remain at epi-centre of triangle providing visual focus and results at race events fueling fan anticipation on who wins.

For certain, when triangle remains balanced- promoters gain revenue to hold events, Media gains pre-during-post race coverage for fans and athletes gain access to race- smooth development of growth in respective sports is a given.

However, when uneven slant on promoting entity interests occurs, through loss of revenue to host events, or decrease of demand for Media coverage, the 3 pronged pyramid becomes unsustainable with athletes re-evaluating how to keep their respective racing careers alive.

COVID pandemic sure threw curve ball to all above. One year on, promoters have re-adjusted race schedules to accommodate COVID enforced restrictions, all the while praying that fans would be allowed to watch at Series venues. Slowly, attendance figures have gained traction, while disciplines not reliant on fans at venue for revenue streams have enabled racing to global audience via Media productions.

Sara Garcia Dakar Rally Original by Motul class 2021 Photo Credit: ASO

All good then. Not so much. Second look at how athletes have taken to rolling with the punches while performing on the track has triggered questions on who pulls in the audience. And, at whose expense? Sure, promoters have centred focus on making race calendar happen. Media outlets are just happy that they have racing on, sending all posts, results, interviews, vision to fans around the world.

Caught in cross-fire are the riders, racers and drivers. #1 should be focus on racing. Obligations to capitalize on their talents to enhance exposure of event via Media crew has pushed envelope far wide of expectation on what each athlete has to complete at race circuit. And, more specifically, how much of an athletes time, effort, energy and motivation needs to be gifted to off track attention, when their own interests lie on track racing?

Change is in the air. Recent announcement of tennis ace Naomi Osaka refusal to take part in Press Conference at French Open could well be precursor for sports athletes to analyze ‘attending press conferences gain Media exposure, but at what cost to overall objective for race weekend?’. Similarly, replays of vision, detrimental to a rider, racer or driver has potential to generate negative coverage of racing- begging question whose interests are these playing too?

Addressing who holds most power: Promoters- Media-Athletes- MXLink perspective lies fair and squarely with the world’s most talented human beings under the helmet, whose character, personality, insane sense of courage and commitment to pursue racing career remains the fuel for everyone else to build on.

Header Photo: Maria Herrera WSBK SSP 2021.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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