WIN SUNDAY – BUY MONDAY?
FIM SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Remember ‘win Sunday, sell Monday’? Way back in the motorcycling mists of time this was an actual thing, especially when it came to Grand Prix racing. For the best part of two decades however, bar one exception, this hasn’t been the case. In fact, it’s been production racing that’s driven sales in this sense for some time. Or, at least, that’s what you, our dear readers, have told us over the years. Bar however, as we earlier mentioned, the exception, which is Mr Valentino Rossi.
He remains the last GP racer who ‘sells’ bikes for a manufacturer in significant numbers; even the mighty Marquez can’t really sell zillions of Fireblades for Honda off the back of his rampant success. It’s because the racing landscape has changed so much, especially so with MotoGP given that it is now essentially a ‘spec’ championship.
Manufacturers can’t even develop electronics in GP any more, which is why so many have thrown their hat back in the WSB ring. In matter of fact, speak to many of them and they’ll tell you that most road bike development has come direct from WSB over the past decade. This is partly why many are so against the introduction of a spec ECU in that series, but we digress off topic slightly.
While top spec ludicrously priced sportsbikes seem to sell out in about five minutes, and even the £20k machines such as the R1M et al also sell out every year, it’s the lower order versions they really need to sell more of. Sportsbike sales have improved from a horrible slump, but are nowhere near the figures dealers used to enjoy. But, given that WSB, BSB and any other production series uses souped up versions of the machines we still buy (or would like to), and therefore still has some semblance of relevance towards us and fans as consumers, perhaps there’s a way to revive that old adage again. Or at the very least, to try and give sales a wee boost via racing.
While I was away with a manufacturer recently, I put this to one of their senior representatives. Why not, for example, when their bike wins aWSB race, for the week afterwards the relevant sportsbike gets 10% off at all dealers? Or if they get on the podium, it’s a discount on accessories for a week? They sat there, thought about it for a second, then said ‘that’s a great idea’! Surprised, I launched into how all WSB manufacturers could come together and agree on an initiative like this, the reply to which was, and I’m paraphrasing slightly here – ‘ Sod that, yeah it could work on a global scale given time, but it’s a great idea we could start using in the UK with BSB, so I’m going to look into it’. Fair enough!
But think about it for a second, it may just work, at least partially. It could be a way of getting people more invested in WSB (or whatever series), a small discount could mean that should the racer/team/ manufacturer win a race a potential buyer would be more likely to stump up the cash. It’s all roughly thought out of course, and there’s probably a related but far more effective way of approaching it.
But I honestly think linking the two more thoroughly again could be good for the goose and the gander. Both WSB and sportsbikes sales need a boost after all, don’t they?
MotoGP is our showpiece series – WSB should be the sales force!