BSB without title sponsor?

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The absence of Bennetts branding on the official British Superbike website has led to speculation that negotiations between the insurance company and BSB series promoters MSVR have broken down.

BSB Series Director Stuart Higgs insists that is not the case but told MCN: “Bennetts are out of contract so we are not obliged to carry their branding on our website. We are expecting a decision from Bennetts by the end of this month.”

Bennetts have been the BSB title sponsor since 2005 and by the fifth year of any sponsorship deal the impetus is not as strong as it might have been during the initial season.

But Higgs insisted: “We are still in negotiation with Bennetts but we do have several other options out there to consider.”

Those options include: 1) another year with Bennetts, 2) a new title sponsor, or 3) to follow the MotoGP model.

Title sponsorship means exclusivity and such exclusivity demands a high price. But the exclusivity also brings its own problems for a race series organiser who has to try and balance the exposure of other partners (sponsors) against the demands of the title sponsor.

MotoGP has no title sponsor but a series of sponsors who have naming rights to selected events. That type of deal might also suit BSB in the long term since companies could then target specific races to suit their own business demographics.
BSB certainly has no shortage of partners.

A cursory glance at their website reveals: Think, Pirelli, Relentless, Stihl, Swan, Agip, Silkolene, Airwaves, Harley-Davidson, KTM, Audi, LDV Maxus, Yamaha, BKS, The Drink Shop, Xograph, the Daily Star, British Eurosport, Channel 4 and, of course, MCN.

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin