AMA Pro Racing Response to Honda Statement

May 22, 2006 12:34pm

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 22, 2006) -- AMA Pro Racing welcomes American Honda Motor Corporation’s continued participation in the Toyota AMA Motocross Championship and applauds Honda’s decision to abide by the AMA Supercross/Motocross rulebook and display the required title sponsor logo and sanctioning body logos on the front number plate.

In November of last year AMA Pro Racing announced that Toyota had entered into a multi-year commitment as title sponsor of the AMA Motocross Championship. Among other benefits, Toyota receives number plate entitlement. This has been the convention in AMA Championship Racing and is consistent with current and past practices. Chevy Trucks/Chevrolet was a five year sponsor of AMA Motocross between the 2000 and 2004 racing seasons and the Chevy Trucks/Chevrolet logo was displayed by all competitors. Similarly, Amp’d Mobile is the current title sponsor of AMA Supercross and all competitors are required to display that logo on their front number plate.

AMA Pro Racing was unaware of Honda’s concerns over this requirement until approximately three weeks ago. Responding to an inquiry by a Honda employee requesting clarification, AMA Pro Racing sent a letter to American Honda Motor Corporation on 5/10/06.

The AMA Supercross/Motocross rulebook requires that all competitors display the appropriate AMA Pro Racing and series sponsor logo on the top edge of the front number plate (section T, subsection b, pages 16-17). Sponsors are vital and necessary to motorsports and the opportunity to display their mark is an important part of their investment in our sport. Recognizing that company and brand conflicts can occasionally occur, AMA Pro Racing has kept the space for such representation to a minimum. In this case, the required space for both the AMA Pro Racing and sponsor logo is only 1” x 8”.

While AMA Pro Racing can empathize with the reluctance of some companies to display the logo of competitive entities, this is a traditional practice in motorsports and one that is necessary to maintain commercial viability. In this case, Toyota’s sponsorship adds tremendous value and benefits to riders, fans and promoters of AMA Motocross including contribution to a championship bonus fund paid out to top finishers.  Additionally, Toyota’s proactive sponsorship activation plans will generate broad benefits to all involved in the sport. Honda’s reference to NASCAR practices in this matter is completely irrelevant.

It is AMA Pro Racing’s intention to uphold the rulebook in this regard. All competitors will be required to continue displaying the AMA Pro Racing and series sponsor logo on their front number plate as has been the norm for several years. Compliance will be confirmed during technical inspection as a condition for competition.

AMA Pro Racing appreciates all that American Honda Motor Corporation and the Honda brand have done for AMA Championship racing and welcomes its continued involvement in our various series. We also trust that Honda, and all competitors, will recognize the value that strong series sponsorship brings to motorcycle racing overall.