International Entertainment Group managing director Yarrive Konsky speaks about Dubbo's ASX opener.
International Entertainment Group managing director Yarrive Konsky has had the huge task of reinventing Australian Supercross over the past five months, with the new-look 2012 series commencing at Dubbo’s Morris Park Speedway last weekend.
MotoOnline.com.au has kept in close contact with Konsky since IEG was named series promoter back in May, so we caught up with him to speak about the season opener.
Congratulations on what has been regarded as a highly promising start to the new-look Terex Australian Supercross Championships. Were you satisfied with the opener?
We can do a lot better. It was satisfactory, but I want to provide a crisp show full of action and entertainment that’s non-stop. It needs to also be informative, sharp and precise. I know we have all of the pieces but the reality is round one was as much a rehearsal as it was an actual event.
IEG was named the promoter of the series in May, so around five months ago, and now round one is in the books. What are some of the things you’d like to improve upon as the series progresses?
Make the show sharper. We have a lot of smart, focused and hard working people involved, but like I said, our first round was very much a rehearsal as it was an actual. We just need to work the synergy of the whole operation.
All of the elements are there and I am comfortable that we will improve at a rapid rate, as we are all very focused on ensuring supercross is a huge success.
You mentioned via Facebook recently the extensive advertising campaigns that you have set in place for supercross. Give our readers an indication of IEG’s strategy and the success in the opening round…
I wanted to reach a widespread audience. For as long as I have spoken of the sport to media, I have expressed a need to hit mainstream markets and we have an extensive campaign. Regional and city TV, and radio campaigns are complemented by a national print media campaign.
In Zoo, we have had two double page spreads, the inside front cover and outside back cover. We have placed ads in What Tradies Want and Picture Magazine. With regards to specific media we have ads in ADB and an online strategy.
We are also giving away six minibikes through print and radio and Fluid PR have worked closely with local print for promotions, advertising and editorial. They have achieved a phenomenal amount of pre- and post-press.
Also working with Chad [Reed] in ensuring that he could be a part of supercross is a primary part of building the brand and worth of supercross back up to the standard it was. Lastly our ticket prices are equally a part of our campaign. We want to bring spectators to the track. Our sport is addictive once you have watched it.
Speaking of Facebook, the Chad Reed Fan Challenge of reaching 10K Likes was met and proved a great success to elevate the series’ social networking reach. It’s fantastic to see Chad stand up and support this series in the final three rounds, isn’t it?
What’s even better is the number of people reading our page. My goal is to hit 35,000 fans. It’s important that we can talk to our fans instantaneously and that’s what Facebook offers. This will help IEG build the supercross brand back up as well as profile the Australian riders.
In my initial talks with Chad it was obvious he cared for the sport of supercross, especially the Australian Supercross Championship. He wanted to know about the tracks, the marketing and the formats. He had a genuine care for the direction we were taking.
At first he wasn’t convinced he could ride, purely because of his recovery and need to prepare a brand new motorcycle. But after his initial tests and his desire to race and support the championship he felt comfortable about coming over.
Initially he was going to ride only two rounds, but then felt it was important that he supported his fans in Newcastle, so he made himself available for the final round. We are very excited about his involvement – it was Chad who suggested he should come out. That’s what’s made this all special.
And television? We understand that will be on Speed TV Australia throughout the season?
I am proud of the TV we have for supercross. It’s very costly and I am taking a chance by positioning the sport, racers and teams infront of a TV audience. Social media is great, but you can’t beat two hours of TV [per round].
We are appropriating from what already works. The two one-hour shows they run in America is the basis of what our model is working from. We have a Pro Open show and Pro Lites show with an Under 19 highlights package. Our emphasis is on building profiles.
The Phillip Island round is next weekend, alongside the AirAsia Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Victorian fans will have to purchase a MotoGP ticket in order to watch the SX, and that’s caused some dissatisfaction. What’s your opinion on this?
It was a difficult one. I wanted to run in conjunction with MotoGP so we could reach a new audience. It’s the most expensive event for IEG, as we have no way of being renumerated as the GP Corp takes the gate takings. It’s another investment in placing the sport in a wider audience.
We will be reviewing the round for next year – I hope we can make it an annual event, however this is our only event in Victoria and I need to make it count.
Well done again, I think we speak on behalf of everybody when thanking you for ‘saving’ the sport of supercross in Australia at this point. Best of luck for the remaining rounds mate.