News 11 May 2020

WEM confirms MX Nationals exit following 2020 season

This year will be the final one for Williams Event Management as promoter.

Image: Foremost Media.

Longstanding Australian Motocross Championship promoter Williams Event Management (WEM) will step down at the conclusion of the 2020 MXstore MX Nationals season.

Following a 23-year reign at the helm of motocross domestically, WEM will return the series commercial rights back to Motorcycling Australia (MA) for next year.

WEM has been managing the championship since 1997 and has steered the MX Nationals for over two decades with an instrumental effect on the sport at a national level. It is understood that MA will take the series in-house from 2021.

“First and foremost I would like to take this opportunity to thank Motorcycling Australia and all of the MX Nationals series sponsors, teams, riders and stakeholders that have supported our time promoting the MX Nationals over the past 23 years,” Williams stated.

“WEM has and always will be a family business that provided us with an incredible lifestyle, memories and camaraderie whilst travelling the country with my wife Christine, our children and our small staff running MX Nationals events. Our time promoting MX Nationals is something I will always cherish.

“I’m sure many people are asking why it is now time to step away from promoting the series at the end of 2020. The honest answer is, it is a reflection of the times, where the industry currently sits and the fact that the landscape of sporting events and digital entertainment is changing.

“Through our various initiatives over the years we have kept audiences entertained both trackside, along with TV coverage and more recently MX Live on the NRGTV livestream, but the expense both to WEM and the industry has to be realistic. In this current environment, that is something that as a private promoter I feel we can no longer achieve if we were to proceed into 2021.

“WEM has always prided itself as a company that has been able to pay our bills and remain solvent, whilst many promoters over the years have come and gone, some with great detriment to the industry, our business model has always remained solid.

“This is not a knee jerk reaction, although unfortunately the Coronavirus outbreak has further changed the business landscape of the industry for the foreseeable future. I was honest and vocal about my concerns regarding the 2020 season at the end of 2019.

“As everyone is aware, Motorcycling Australia has stepped in to ensure the viability of the series for this year, but a new model needs to be established for racing at a national level in Australian motocross to remain sustainable.

“It is my opinion that a more grassroots model for the Australian Motocross Championship is needed to ensure the longterm sustainability of the series and WEM will continue to work with MA to help establish what that model looks like for 2021 and beyond.”

MA CEO Peter Doyle commented: “This announcement marks the end of an era. On behalf of the Motorcycling Australia federation, I would like to thank Kevin, Christine and the entire WEM team for their contribution, dedication and passion over the last 20-plus years.

“The last decade has brought a significant amount of change to racing and WEM have always been at the forefront of supporting and creating pathways for Australian motocross competitors.

“Motorcycling Australia are currently in the process of developing a plan for the future of motocross and the 2021 national motocross season in consultation with championship stakeholders.

“As outlined at the beginning of 2020, the objective of Motorcycling Australia was to support the WEM team throughout their final season. We still hope to do this in the second half of the year, when we are able to go racing once more.”

Following a lengthy delay due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 MXstore MX Nationals is scheduled to commence at Conondale, Queensland, on 9 August.