FIM And Discovery Sports Events Announce Ten-Year Speedway Vision From 2022
October 1, 2021
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and Discovery Sports Events have today revealed their vision for the future of Speedway over the next decade. Marking the start of Discovery Sports Events’ new role as global promoter for the sport, the organisations have unveiled a new SGP brand identity to run through the Speedway pyramid and details of new event formats to begin in 2022.
Long-term Vision for Speedway and New SGP Brand Identity
By bringing international Speedway together under one global promoter for the first time, the new vision will build a stronger and more connected international pyramid for the sport – from the grassroots all the way to the pinnacle of Speedway. From 2022, all categories will be unified under the new SGP brand unveiled today including the SGP (FIM Speedway Grand Prix), SGP2 (FIM Speedway U21 World Championship), SGP3 (FIM Speedway U16 World Championship) and a new international entry-level SGP4. The sport’s marquee annual events will complement the series and continue as the reformatted SON (FIM Speedway of Nations) and SWC (FIM Speedway World Cup), returning to the calendar for the first time since 2017.
The move is part of five key priorities under the new vision for Speedway including improving the year-round narrative of the sport with the riders at the heart, raising their profiles internationally; extend the distribution of the sport on both TV and digital platforms; enhance both the at-event and on-screen experience to deepen engagement with fans; widen the global Speedway footprint through new venues, more events and an extended season; and support juniors by connecting the next generation of champions to the sport.
New SGP Event Format and 2022 Calendar Reveal
From 2022, the extended SGP season will include 12 rounds over 2 continents, and will feature 15 permanent riders and 1 local ‘wildcard’ entry per venue. In a significant change to enhance the sport’s narrative and boost the fan experience, the action will be contained in one action-packed day. A format of 20 heats, 2 semi-finals and 1 final will take place during Saturday evening, with practice and qualifying moving from Friday to Saturday afternoon.
The new integrated Speedway calendar from 2022 will see the sport develop a sustained and consistent narrative through the season, as well as each category being able to gain maximise awareness. With the season running from April to November bringing even more thrilling action to fans every year, three SGP2 events will be held (May, July and October), one SGP3 event (August) and a week’s bonanza (July) as fans can enjoy the SON and SWC on a rotation basis, as the summer gets in full flow.
Following a joint presentation ahead of the 2021 Ewinner Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland, the FIM President Jorge Viegas said: “After 20 years with BSI, I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their professionalism, cooperation and friendship.
“Looking forward, I would like to welcome the new FIM Speedway Grand Prix promoter Discovery Sports Events. This is a long-term believe in a new promoter that presented us a long-term vision to develop this spectacular discipline over the next decade. Speedway has a huge potential to grow not only in terms of attracting a new generation of riders, but particularly in terms of reaching new territories outside of Europe.
“I wish all the best to all the stakeholders who will be part of this new journey and can confirm that the FIM will continue to work hand in hand with the new promoter.”
Head of Discovery Sports Events, François Ribeiro said: “After 20 months of preparations, we are excited to start our promoter journey as part of Discovery Sports Events’ new long-term partnership with FIM. Speedway has great foundations, a super fan base and we see significant growth potential. We won’t change anything to the nature of the sport. Speedway will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2023, but it is incredibly modern in its format: compact, spectacular, 100% in-stadium, Saturday evening primetime, something quite unique in motorsport to engage with fans.
“For the first time in its history, Speedway at all levels will have a single international promoter, from grassroots-level up to pro-level. As Dorna and FIM have done remarkably well to build Moto 2 and Moto 3 as the MotoGP feeder, we will bring SGP2 and SGP3 junior championships to the SGP platform to train the best young riders and build a ladder for them up to professional level.
“Discovery Sports Events will benefit from the truly global scale of Discovery Sports to grow Speedway’s global audience across discovery+ which will be become our premium Home of Speedway destination for fans, but also for Eurosport and domestic free-to-air channels owned by Discovery in key Speedway markets such as UK, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Germany. It is our ambition to grow the sport further and multiply the current SGP global viewership by 5 times within the next 3 years.”
New Ambassador for Junior Speedway
During today’s official unveil, FIM and Discovery Sports Events also announced that Speedway legend Tony Rickardsson will become the first SGP Global Ambassador. The 6-time FIM SGP World Champion and most successful Speedway rider in history will add his unrivalled experience and support the develop of the sport. Starting immediately, Rickardsson will advise Discovery Sports Events and support all facets of the sport from SGP to the junior categories of the sport and its young riders.
SGP Ambassador Tony Rickardsson said:
“I’m glad to give back something to the sport I love, and support Discovery Sports Events in its new promoter role. My aim is to ease the access of Speedway to young riders and make SGP even more remarkable competition. I will put my experience, my energy and enthusiasm in the new role and look forward to bring Speedway into a new golden era.”
Driving Innovation in Speedway.
Ahead of the 2022 season, a wide range of innovations will be unveiled to heighten the experience of fans – both at the venues and watching on-screen – and bring them even closer to the action. Advanced event and television production will see a new setup at races, including:
- New pit boxes
- New central stage in the heart of the action
- TV studios
- New SGP Fan Zones
- Advanced SGP App to follow Speedway wherever you are
A New Long-term Partnership
In October 2020, FIM agreed a long-term partnership which will see Discovery Sports Events promote FIM Speedway events globally for the next 10 years. The new agreement begins in 2022 and builds on the existing partnership between the organisations for the promotion of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) since 2015.
In an expanded role following a competitive tender to select a new global promoter, Discovery Sports Events will leverage its long-standing motorsport promotion expertise and the global scale of Discovery to develop the sport and grow Speedway around the world.
It will oversee the full operational and commercial aspects of the sport including multi-platform rights management and distribution, broadcast production, sponsorship rights strategy and the full suite of marketing, brand and promotional activity. It will also work with local organisers on promotion and maximising ticketing, hospitality and fan engagement.
Discovery Sports Events was revealed in September 2021 as the new corporate brand to represent Discovery’s global promotion and events management arm, previously known as the industry renowned Eurosport Events. It has a 15-year heritage of growing some of the most popular motorsports series in the world – including the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup and PURE ETCR, the world’s first all-electric touring car championship that will upgrade to the FIA eTouring World Cup from 2022. Launching in 2023, it will also promote the ground-breaking FIA Electric GT Championship, a new long-term platform for manufacturers to showcase their flagship GT cars and innovative technologies. As part of Discovery, the promoter will also have the ability to tap into the scale and depth of the group’s worldwide lifestyle platforms, channels and brands to raise the visibility and awareness of the sport to new audiences globally.