Following the season finale in Las Vegas, the Monster Energy Supercross team put out a press release the wrapped up the series, congratulated the winners and set the stage for what was coming in 2019. The complete press release is below but I thought I would give you the highlights and what it means to the sport moving forward.
#1 – All 3 championships went down to the finale before being wrapped up. Although not as exciting as 2017, there was a noticeable buzz in Las Vegas. Would Anderson, Osborne, and Plessinger avoid catastrophe and earn the #1 plate? In the end, all 3 rode conservatively to take their championships. For Anderson and Husqvarna it was their first premier class supercross championship.
#2 – Attendance and viewership are at an all-time high. Nearly 1 million fans attended the Monster Energy Supercross Series events in 2018. Both rounds at Anaheim were sold out and 60,000 fans attended the Atlanta round in the New Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Feld Entertainment crew tested on track seating at 4 rounds in 2018 and based on that success, it will expand to 17 rounds in 2019. Feld also offered VIP experiences like track walk and opening ceremonies to fans looking for something extra. TV viewership was also up, five percent year-over-year, including a 27 percent rise among the coveted male 18-34 demographic, its best performance since FS1 launched. The Salt Lake City race on Saturday, April 28 counted 836,000 viewers, the most in Supercross history on FOX. Streaming on the FOX Sports GO app increased 68 percent year-over-year, while Race Day LIVE viewership grew by 700,000 viewers. In a powersports industry that is struggling to attract new riders, this 18-34 demographic increase is a sign we are moving in the right direction.
#3 – More Amateur Supercross Events in 2019. I have to admit, this one is both good and bad. In 2018, the series tested the return of Amateur Supercross. That number will double in 2019 but at the expense of the Amsoil Arenacross Series. The new Supercross Futures, an AMA Amateur National Championship, replaced the long-running arenacross series. While I believe this will allow for more riders to experience supercross, I worry that smaller markets that were typically served by the Arenacross series will now miss out on professional racing. I checked out one of the 2018 amateur supercross rounds and had a great time, the track was mellowed out a bit from Saturday night but the look and feel were the same as supercross.
#4 More Visibility. Working with the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Supercross community started the “This Shirt Saves Lives” movement that has raised to date, a record $100,000. And finally who can forget the Gronk press conference? With this event, Monster Energy Supercross garnered more mainstream press this season than any other in the sport’s history, with coverage from national outlets like ESPN, Forbes, and E! News gaining more than 1 billion media impressions across every major sport and news outlet, further expanding the Monster Energy Supercross brand.
So there you have it, my take on the 2018 Supercross series. Let me know what you think.
Complete Feld Entertainment press release below.
New Era of Monster Energy Supercross Racing Ushers in First-Time Champions, Record-Setting Growth, and Introduction of Supercross Futures
ELLENTON, Fla. (May 9, 2018) – Upon crowning three new champions at an electrifying 2018 season finale in Las Vegas on May 5, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, experienced a record-setting season of spectacular, edge-of-your-seat racing that resulted in impressive growth across live attendance, television viewership, digital engagement and international fandom for the most competitive and highest-profile off-road motorcycle racing championship in the world.
Following the retirement of four-time 450SX Class champion, Ryan Dungey, in 2017, the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross season opened the door for a potential first-time premier-class champion to emerge. At the first round in Anaheim, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin, fresh off winning $1 million at the Monster Energy Cup in October 2017, landed his first win of the season and was off to an early point lead until an injury forced him to sit out at Round 2, where the chances for a championship from Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson took off. Anderson captured his first of four wins at Round 2 and was the one to watch as he only finished outside of the top five twice in 17 races.
Meanwhile, one of the sport’s most buzzed-about athletes, Ken Roczen, became who fans envisioned to end up a first-time champion after making the greatest comeback in Supercross history, until his season-ending mix-up at Round 6. One of the league’s other biggest stars, Eli Tomac, racked up nearly twice as many wins, compared to any other athlete, through 17 races and also became the first-ever Monster Energy Supercross Triple Crown Champion. However, he was equally lauded by misfortune and tension on the track that took its eventual toll on his championship run.
The 2018 season would come down to the finale in Las Vegas for the 450SX Class and both regions of the 250SX Class and resulted in the most action-packed, must-watch moments in the sport’s recent history, and it didn’t take long for fans to catch on. This year achieved increases in live attendance, entertaining nearly 1 million fans with sellouts recorded at Anaheim 1 and 2 and a record-setting 60,000 fans at Atlanta’s brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Premium on-track seating aimed at attracting celebrities and fans craving unique experiences will continue to be expanded from four races to all 17 races and the Monster Energy Cup for the 2019 season.
Television viewership also increased five percent year-over-year, including a 27 percent rise among the coveted male 18-34 demographic and its best performance since FS1 launched. The Salt Lake City race on Saturday, April 28 counted 836,000 viewers, the most in Supercross history on FOX. Streaming on the FOX Sports GO app increased 68 percent year-over-year, while Race Day LIVE viewership grew by 700,000 viewers.
As Monster Energy Supercross continues to celebrate major milestones, the unveiling of Supercross Futures, an AMA Amateur National Championship, will transition AMSOIL Arenacross into the new Supercross Futures amateur events as we continue to improve the overall quality of Supercross. Building upon the success of 2018’s four Supercross Amateur Racing events, which averaged over 700 entries, the ground-breaking Supercross Futures concept will introduce eight amateur racing events in 2019 and provide greater access to the sport’s largest stage to further hone their skills on full-size Supercross tracks, while also allowing top amateur athletes to earn Road to Supercross points toward their professional AMA Supercross license.
“This season’s legendary battles on the track led to record growth across the board for Monster Energy Supercross,” noted Nicole Feld, Executive Vice President, Feld Entertainment, Inc. “From live attendance growth to our largest television audience in 2018, we look forward to driving even greater momentum in 2019 with our partners and athletes by producing an even better, even more, competitive stadium racing landscape.”
The first edition of Monster Energy Supercross, the official video game achieved rapid growth with 2.5 million interactions per week since its February 2018 launch. Digitally, the @SupercrossLIVE Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat social platforms added over 1 million new followers since January 2017. In its second year, the Supercross Video Pass aired in 134 countries around the globe, further expanding Supercross’ international audience, which encompasses more than half of the sports’ fanbase.
In terms of industry firsts for the brand, Monster Energy Supercross brought the Supercross community together with the “This Shirt Saves Lives” movement that raised a record $100,000 to date benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Additionally, Monster Energy Supercross garnered more mainstream press this season than any other in the sport’s history, with coverage from national outlets like ESPN, Forbes, and E! News. The Rob Gronkowski press conference in Foxborough was the largest activation in Supercross history and earned over 1 billion media impressions spanning every major sports and news outlet.
Tickets are currently on sale for the 2018 Monster Energy Cup. The full 2019 Monster Energy Supercross and Supercross Futures schedule will be announced on Tuesday, June 12, and 2019 tickets will be on-sale on Tuesday, October 16 with a pre-sale date of Monday, October 8. For more information on Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, log on to SupercrossLIVE.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross, or follow via social channels:
About Feld Entertainment
Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that uplift the human spirit and bring people together. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Sesame Street Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information.
About the American Motorcyclist Association:
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit americanmotorcyclist.com.