For the past five years, the world of MotoGP has been obsessed with cost-cutting, introducing a range of measures aimed at reducing the expense involved in racing. Unfortunately - and unsurprisingly - many of the actions meant to cut costs have done nothing of the sort, saving money in one area only to increase spending in others.
The real solution to MotoGP's malaise is of course a monetary one. If money is in short supply in the series, then what is needed are efforts to raise yet more money. Only be increasing sponsorship will the sport start to grow again.
Yesterday, the Gresini team issued a press release showing they are taking initiative in this area. The Gresini Racing team organized a special two-day sponsorship event, to which they invited all of their official sponsors, to give them an opportunity to network. Afterwards, the Gresini team pronounced the event a success, further helping to cement partnerships with their sponsors.
The art of sponsorship lies in offering value to the people who are backing you financially. The most obvious and visible part of sponsorship is the media exposure it generates, but frankly, such media exposure is relatively limited, unless you happen to be a title sponsor. Outside of the media exposure, a major, yet unseen benefit of sponsorship is the opportunities it offers for networking. Senior business figures are given an opportunity to meet and discuss potential forms of collaboration with other, like-minded people in an informal atmosphere, free of pressure. It is one of the reasons why Phillip Morris puts money into Ducati, as the Marlboro hospitality unit greets many high-profile guests every weekend, from a range of industries. Gresini has understood the opportunities offered by the networking model, and hopefully, this event will be an example other teams can follow.
Now, Dorna should follow suit. Providing a platform for the teams with which to develop their own relationships with sponsors, and even between sponsors from different teams, will benefit the sport as a whole. Unfortunately, Dorna's focus is too much on generating income for Dorna, rather than for MotoGP. Hopefully, this too will change.
Below is the press release from Gresini:
A MEETING BETWEEN THE GRESINI RACING'S OFFICIAL SPONSORS TO DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS
A meeting of Gresini Racing's Official Sponsors took place on Thursday and Friday at Montegrimano Terme, with Gresini Racing's team members and partners spending two days together. It was the perfect opportunity t o discuss professional matters but also to spend time together developing relationships between the main companies backing Gresini Racing's endeavours in the MotoGP World Championship this year. The location was the charming facilities of the Resort Spa Villa di Carlo e delle Terme di Montegrimano, owned by the Gruppo Erba Vita, main sponsor to Team Gresini in MotoGP and Moto3 this year.
As well as meetings and the interchanging of professional ideas there was also time for recreation, such as a 40-minute team endurance go-kart race at the Misano karting track.
The theme of the event was 'make a team' and it certainly worked, adding further value to the service offered by Gresini Racing to its partners.
Fausto Gresini “I am proud and satisfied with this Sponsor Meeting. We have had two very interesting days here that has given us the opportunity to get to know each other better and explore the possibilities of future collaborations. We have seen a real spirit of teamwork but also of competitiveness in the go-kart race, which was a lot of fun! The event has really forged a strong bond between the sponsors, the team and all the partners who are backing our project."