We’ll be invoicing Bridgepoint for the consultancy fee….
Even our title suggested the outcome. Plus, we contacted Bridgepoint for their take on the idea of closer unification between Dorna (GP) and Infront (WSBK) – the idea being that by pooling resources (including meets) separate series identity could be promoted. At a time when most media ‘experts’ were predicting a homogeneous combination of the two platforms, we went the other way, insisting that each was capable of maintaining its audience, requiring only rationalisation to move closer to the holy grail: distinct identities and a combined card, featuring the two best classes of bike racing on the planet. All this, incidentally, was in December last year and articulated further in the ‘ One Vision ‘ piece in April 2012.
And now the required re-structuring has come to pass. The slightly worrying aspect is that nominally Dorna now hold the keys to both series, since everything falls under the umbrella of the Dorna Sports Group, but Bridgepoint insist that both series will continue to be managed separately, and that Infront will ‘ act as marketing partner and global advisor ‘ to all parties. What this re-organisation does is provide a platform for GP & WSBK to function autonomously, but be planned together. Result. In theory, at least. There are plenty of vested interests still at work, but finally the nettle has been grasped by Bridgepoint. No one else was going to do it.
And they had to act – towards the end of last year Dorna seemed to be writing the GP script on the hoof, while Infront were struggling to ensure (among other things) that a credible live audience supported TV coverage. Both parties were suffering from acute identity crises, manifested by CRT in GPs, and uncertainty about authenticity in WSBK. The latter series depends on being seen as production racing, but while BSB grabbed the technology bull by the horns, WSBK prevaricated. The new set up will go a long way towards resolving the identity problem, allowing both sides to figure out together exactly what they represent. The key to all this is defining the degree of separation, and at last that could happen.
Identity crisis? What identity crisis? When WSBK ruled the world….
‘ The objective is to allow both series to develop and enhance their championship personalities ‘ burbles the press release. In other words, series autonomy is the priority. Which is exactly what we’ve been banging on about. We’ll be monitoring this brave new world, and you’ll hear about the consequences here first. The form is in the book.