Hello team owners, racers, crew and marketing personnel associated with Pro Stock motorcycles in NHRA Drag Racing!
PRO2 was started in 1997 to give the Pro Stock Motorcycles a voice to NHRA as well as coming together as one group to put business direction in our class
If each motorcycle team spent $500,000, a year and you added that up to say 22 teams you would have a total gross cost of $11 million. Any business person would look at an $11 million business and dedicate time to marketing, promotion, growth and direction.
As racers we all wanted more money in our total purse and TV time to be included with the other three pro classes in coverage, along with many other issues as you can imagine. We all knew someone had to present this, do the follow-up and let everyone know the status. The group needed a responsible person for the direction. Steve Johnson was voted in. He lived in California, had a sponsor and would be at all the races, understood the sport (as well as, the class of PSM) and knew NHRA executives and staff.
Here are a few of the things PRO2 does. At any time if you want to see some of the correspondence PRO2 has with the NHRA let us know and we will send you some. To be a bit bold we are very proud of what PRO2 has done for the class. In business you get what you negotiate for, because no one is going to call you/us up and say here is what we are going to give you.
The following are just a few things PRO2 has or still negotiates for each year.
- Racers used to pay to enter each race, now they get in free by committing to 8 races a year.
- Used to park behind the alcohol cars, now behind the Pro Stock cars.
- Used to get $600 for finishing #10 in the series; PRO2 got that bumped up 400%.
- Negotiated the only professional purse increase that year taking PSM to a level new level of $10,000 for a win at Indy.
- For business reasons changed the name from Pro Stock Bike to Pro Stock Motorcycle (local and mainstream media thought these were bicycles.
Here is an example of PRO2’s depth towards safety and follow through. We hired a photographer to go to the finish line of a race track at a National event and take special high speed pictures showing the bump near the finish line and m/c riders/drivers with their butts in the air and some with only one hand on the handle bars. I won’t tell you how long it took to get the issue to be looked at but they did make a serious attempt at fixing the problem.
Our growth has attracted more and more successful businessmen with a passion for racing and turning the teams into self standing businesses. Any business needs direction and a person to push it. Our class needs business direction that we all, for the most part, support. We should be planning on enjoying the best fan support, growth of sponsors, and an increase in fan and NHRA support for the next couple of years. On one hand, there are so many positive things going for us right now.
To date, many racers believe PRO2 has had great success over the years. Negotiating NHRA purse money, tech and registration issues, reducing fines and getting free entry fees would be just a few to start with. For the record, Terry Vance, Jackie Bryce, and Pizza John all have donated valuable time and resources to the class. But in fairness to their own businesses they are just consultants to PRO2 now. Lastly, I may be missing a few, but John Hammock has been the only one that always offers to help our group effort.
Not including class parity, PRO2 is working on purse structure, hospitality space parking at every race, TV time, class promotion and how to drive traffic through our pits, class and team sponsors, safety equipment, track safety, penalties, oil downs and oil mats, Specialty race with extra purse at one national event per year, NHRA PR and Marketing departments, top end interviews, awning sizes and fire marshal/licenses, insurance specials with specific carriers, discount tickets, alignment with PRO, dedicated motorcycle tech director, contingency and sponsorship support to name a few. There are honestly dozens of issues that will affect every person in pro stock motorcycle.
In a perfect world, an outsider would represent us, but we don’t have that. It just takes a ton of time, heart and money and the purse is a major topic now. By having PRO2, all involved get a brand manager that has 20 years of living in this business and knowing the parties from ESPN, and all the track owners, to the media and to the entire executive NHRA staff, as well as NHRA’s management teams to all of the board of directors at NHRA. In short most racers focus on piston speed and trying to secure sponsorship…and have no idea who to call if they might need a discount on group tickets or a media pass, much less how to deal with safety items in our class that PRO2 is focusing on. Basically if a team needs something, they can and have called us, and within reason we will deal with each team like we do the class…in a professional way to give them a reasonable outlook on their issue or educated advice on how to achieve what they are looking for. In most cases we are very successful.
It’s about making money and having the right people in the right jobs. The Fuel classes have PRO and took in the Pro Stock cars. The sportsman classes have a group again as well. When the class moves up so do all the teams.
Together we can move promotion, marketing and safety forward for NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycles.
As you can see, time is the only limiting factor in growing our organization. There are always issues that need to be addressed. Our commitment to the organization will be to handle each issue in the way most professionally beneficial to the class. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.