Today, at the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross season opener in Anaheim, Yamaha made a surprise announcement—Ryan Villopoto will be joining the company as brand ambassador. [Update: Yamaha says it will be a "unique marketing partnership" not brand ambassador.]
Villopoto, who retired in 2015, spent his entire pro career with Kawasaki. After his retirement, Villopoto was named brand ambassador at Kawasaki, a role he held until today's announcement.
Villopoto made his debut at the 2005 Broome-Tioga National and won ten titles, including four straight in Monster Energy Supercross, while with Kawasaki.
“All good things must come to an end... Proud of all the great things I have done and achieved throughout my racing career both amateur and professional at Kawasaki. They will forever be a part of my legacy... excited for my next chapter and partnership,” he wrote on Instagram.
We’ll have more on the announcement later.
In Yamaha's official announcement, the company said their relationship with Villopoto will be a "unique marketing partnership." You can read the full announcement below.
Cypress, CA – Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS), has announced that it has entered into a unique marketing partnership with four-time AMA Supercross Champion and three-time AMA Motocross Champion Ryan Villopoto. The announcement was made by Mike Doughty, General Manager of Motorcycle Operations for Yamaha’s Motorsports Group.
According to Doughty, “Yamaha is an iconic brand in the motorsports industry, and Ryan Villopoto is a supercross and motocross racing legend. Beginning today and continuing throughout 2018, YMUS and Ryan will collaborate on numerous motorsports activities, with the purpose of promoting all aspects of motorcycling and motorsports throughout the U.S.”
Ryan commented, “With my transition to life after racing, I’m still passionate about motorsports. Whether I’m racing, riding recreationally or teaching my kids to ride, I still have a lot I want to give back to the motorsports industry from many aspects. My family and I enjoy all sorts of motorsports activities, and Yamaha has the broadest and most diverse lineup around. Whether it’s off-road, on-road, two wheels or four, they have it covered. That’s why I’m so excited to enter into this collaboration with Yamaha.”
Stay tuned for more details to come about this unique, new marketing partnership.