Responding to questions about his team’s plans for the 2016 season, Ellstrom Racing owner Erick Ellstrom has offered an explanation of the ongoing pre-season activity which will determine the extent of his team’s participation in 2016, and in doing so has shared information which could have a far reaching effect on the future of Unlimited Hydroplane Racing across the country.
At a meeting held earlier this year, a group of concerned H1 team owners assigned Ellstrom the tasks of coming up with a business plan that would allow the sport to grow and move forward and presenting the plan to race sites.
Ellstrom says, “We have come up with a plan for the business and marketing of the sport which will increase revenue for race teams making it financially feasible for the owners to continue their participation. At the same time, the plan does not increase costs to race sites. It creates a partnership between the sport and the race sites which has the potential to increase attendance and revenue for the race sites by working together in critical areas like sponsorship, marketing and advertising-all of the areas where growth is needed to increase attendance and revenue for all parties involved and insure the future of the sport.
Ellstrom continued, “Through the efforts of H1 Chairman Steve David, integrity has returned to our sport. Now it’s up to the team owners and race sites to take the steps necessary to insure the future of the sport by expanding the marketing of the sport and the fan’s experience. The owners have spent millions of dollars to build the biggest, most competitive fleet the sport has ever seen. Now we need to make it economically feasible for all of them to travel the whole circuit and put on the biggest show our incredible sport can produce.
In conjunction with H1, we have a assembled a team of owners, promoters, business leaders and marketing professionals who will play key roles in the marketing and growth of the sport as we move forward. Once the business plan is fully implemented, fans will see increased advertising and exposure of the sport and greater boat count at all events across the country.”
Ellstrom added, “In our conversations with the race sites, we let them know that Ellstrom Racing and other teams would support the events that were willing to work with the owners on implementation of the new business plan over the near or longer term. While the owners voted unanimously to support this business plan, we understand that some have commitments involving sponsorship, etc. that do not allow them to take the stand we are taking at Ellstrom Racing, which is to wait until we have completed discussions with each race site before announcing our plans for the 2016 H1 Unlimited Racing Season."