In the wake of revelations Supercars owners RACE rejected an offer from FanTech, a European-based sports media and entertainment organisation, Garry Rogers has written to all team owners.
Other RACE stakeholders include Barclay Nettlefold, who has a 10 percent interest, with the remaining 60 percent belonging to a number of smaller of investors represented by the Henslow Group.
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As news of the rejected purchase emerged, Rogers spoke of the fragmentation of the Australian motorsport landscape, noting the divide that remains between Supercars and ARG despite the common ownership.
He also voiced concern at the need for RACE to go back into the market to raise further capital, potentially at the dilution of the current shareholders.
The former Supercars team owner has now built on those sentiments in a letter, obtained by Speedcafe.com, to all current team owners.
“To end any speculation, rumours, and everything else that has accompanied our industry for years, I want to make it very clear that it was never ARG's intention to take over control of the Supercars,” said Rogers' letter, in part.
“The amount of warmongering spread by people who have their own vested interest in this has always being false.
“A lot of this has being founded on personality likes and dislikes, sad but true.
“All ARG wanted to do from the outset was to work with the Supercar board of the time through Sean Seamer to get the ARG categories onto the Supercar events, where Supercars did not have sufficient support categories.
“After having several meetings with Seamer, it became obvious to me that our direction to him never got any further and he was only offering lip service.
“The Barclay consortium approached us via Tim Miles as they needed further funding to secure the purchase of Supercar from Archer,” he continued.
“The deal appeared to me to have some merit. It opened up the opportunity to discuss the whole of motorsport being brought together and that was what we had being canvasing all the while.”
However, according to Rogers, once the deal between ARG and RACE was signed, the Matt Braid-led operation was “deliberately excluded” from meetings discussing the growth of the business.
He went on to outline his reasons for remaining committed to the sport, which begin with Supercars remaining the premium product (full list below).
“My whole intention is achieving what I set out to do, is to bring the whole motorsport industry together which will grow media/fan interest, which in turn will offer greater sponsorship opportunities,” Rogers concluded.
The letter ends with an assurance that, should the RACE and ARG relationship operate to its original intent, the sport and business will work.
Garry Rogers' commitment to consolidating motorsport;
- Supercars always remains the premium product.
- With availability of team personnel and TRC there is a cap of 12 events. Supercars will not be able to service all the opportunities that currently attract government support or are important regionally for the sport. Integration ensures the business and the teams can then keep this funding from events that they can't deliver events at.
- ALL revenue from additional income will assist in maintaining and improving team income and making the businesses more sustainable as the TRC provides for TSNER revenue growth to flow through to teams. It is in your interest to grow the revenue generated by the business and this integration will clearly grow the revenue. With the cost of street circuits and government sanction fees they are expecting more product over more days. This involves going back to 3- and 4-day events and it's better to run quality support categories to boost ticket and sales and retain the income in the business.
- Other revenue growth options are limited with cost of each event above 12 events.
- Motorsport does not secure enough media profile or engagement with only 12 events per annum.
- Any potential expansion overseas is not likely to be in prime viewing time zone for Aus and will use up any extra events so there will be no more capacity for more than 12 at most in ANZ. Having a wider offer and more events without the costs has the benefit of increasing broadcast value due to more content without the same cost base of additional SC events and the benefits remain in the business and flow through to the teams.
- A number of these categories are important to Supercars events already – Super 3, GT, TCM etc.
- Supercars drivers do not have the profile of the past and doing more, more often will build their profiles which is critical in attracting sponsors. The drivers used to race at up to 18 events per annum – they now race at 11 in Australia. To achieve ‘household name' status they need to be racing in more product more often.
- Consolidation will allow for the ability to secure ‘all of sport' air and accommodation deals as the volume will include hundreds more competitors.
- Commercial opportunities for expanded tyre and fuel deals with a bigger offer.