BITD: Partnership With Martelli Brothers Ends; North America’s Largest Off-Road Series Looks Confidently Ahead

cynicwanderer

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Just got this in my mailbox...


BEST IN THE DESERT MOVES FORWARD IN 2020
Partnership With Martelli Brothers Ends; North America’s
Largest Off-Road Series Looks Confidently Ahead
LAS VEGAS, NV (April 29th, 2019)–Best In The Desert, the largest off-road race series in North America, announced the agreement with the Martelli Brothers, the Mint 400 and UTV World Championships has ended, for 2020 and beyond.This decision was reached amicably between both parties after careful consideration and discussion about the future of both organizations and what would be in the long-term best interest for each. Since being approached by the Martelli Brothers in 2012 Best In The Desert has been instrumental in returning the Mint 400 to the position it once held as one of several top off-road events on the calendar. At the same time, we have grown the sport of off-road racing overall becoming the largest promoter of off-road races in North America through our own marquee events such as the Parker 250, Parker 425, Silver State 300, Vegas to Reno and Laughlin Desert Classic.

“We wish the Martelli Brothers all the best as they move on independently with their events. We are proud of the contribution we have made helping them resurrect the Mint 400 and very proud of our team that did all the hard work behind the scenes to make it happen”, said Best In The Desert CEO Daryl Folks. "We have been working on contingency plans for some time regarding our 2020 Event Schedule and will be making announcements regarding our plans shortly. Our racers can expect to see some exciting new events on our 2020 calendar that capture the thrill, excitement, and sense of adventure Best In The Desert is known for”.

“I echo my brothers’ sentiments and I’m excited about the opportunities change brings for us. I’m also extremely proud of all the hard work and dedication from the Best In The Desert team to grow the sport overall as we have,” commented Best In The Desert CMO, Bryan Folks. “I would like to particularly thank our sponsors who have stood behind us over the years. This move gives us the freedom to focus 100% of our efforts on our events and our sponsors and eliminates any conflicts that we have experienced trying to manage race operations for the Martelli Brothers. With all new digital communications platforms in development and a renewed focus on marketing and promoting our racers and sponsors we look forward to growing the sport of off-road racing.”

From its inception Best In The Desert has been about setting new horizons and will continue to follow the vision established by its Founder, Casey Folks.

We are dedicated to following the vision Casey established," says Operations Manager, Donald Jackson. “We have always been about promoting safe, fun and affordable events. With this separation, we have control of every aspect of our events so we can continue to provide the racers the safest, most exciting events in off-road racing. With the 2020 season quickly approaching, I am excited for new adventures and challenges that will create memories that last a lifetime for our participants. Thank you to all our participants and most importantly, the volunteers who have been there from sunup to sundown (and beyond) to keep these events safe; we could not hold these events without you.”

The next round in the Best In The Desert Series is the VT Construction Silver State 300 Presented By Polaris. It takes place May 2nd -5th, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. With double series points up for grabs and over 200 vehicles already pre-entered its sure to be a great race for all who enter.

FOR SERIES INFORMATION: Contact Liz Marshall at Best in the Desert
at bitd@bitd.com or by calling 702-457-5775.

FOR MARKETING/SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Contact Scot Harden at
scot.harden@harden-offroad.com or by calling 951-491-1819.
 

Kilian

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Here is our released, put out jointly:

The Mint 400 and UTV World Championship to Operate Independently in 2020 and Beyond
Martelli Brothers chart a new path for the future of the two largest desert races in the sport

Click here for an FAQ on the announcement at the bottom of the link.

April 29, 2019 - San Diego, Calif. — The Martelli Brothers announced today The Mint 400 and the UTV World Championship races will be sanctioned and operated independently in 2020 and beyond. The decision comes after nearly a decade of work in the sport as race promoters. Moving forward, their in-house team of off-road industry veterans will manage all aspects of their events including marketing, film and TV content production and race operations.

While The Mint 400 and UTV World Championship will no longer be exclusively part of the Best in the Desert points series, the races will continue to operate on similar dates as previous years, and under similar rules and specs for the race vehicle classes. The Mint 400 will move to Friday and Saturday racing in 2020. Entry fees will remain unchanged for 2020 and an early registration period will begin this summer at a discounted rate. The complete entry fee and payout schedule for both races will be released this summer.

“We’ve had a fantastic relationship with Best in the Desert and we’re grateful for all their hard work. We learned a lot from Casey and we miss him dearly,” said Matt Martelli, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner of The Mint 400 and UTV World Championship properties. “Moving forward, we want to implement our ideas and make off-road racing more visible to the world. This sport is dollar-for-dollar the greatest thrill ride on the planet. We have proven our capabilities on the marketing, media, and event management side, now it's time for us to take control of our future.”

Matt and Josh, who founded the motorsports production group Mad Media in 1995 purchased The Mint 400 in 2011 after producing groundbreaking television coverage of the storied race for several years. They brought the Mint to Casey Folks and his Best in the Desert series shortly after acquiring it, where the event ran for eight years. In that time, the Martelli/BITD team grew the event from a one day race with 200 entries into a four-day off-road festival with 550 entries and two days of racing - making it the largest desert race in North America. The UTV World Championship was developed in house as well in 2014, and has become the Super Bowl of UTV racing for the past five years, boasting over 400 entries in 2019.

“One of the greatest things about off-roading is that it takes you down uncharted roads into new and exciting territory,” said Josh Martelli, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Owner of The Mint 400 and UTV World Championship properties. “That’s exactly what happened with us. When we were asked to cover the Mint in 2010 and again in 2011 we were pumped - and put everything we knew at the time into those TV shows. Eight years later with the help and support of this incredible industry, we’ve grown two events into world class races with the highest level of competition coming from all over the world. But we didn’t do that alone. We are extremely grateful for the support we’ve had along the way and humbled by the feedback from our racers, partners and race fans.”

Bringing race operations in house will allow the Martellis to continue to develop their own race formats, rule book, class specs, timing and scoring system, race courses, and to renew their commitment to driver safety through their own emergency operations program. More details about the move will be published to The Mint 400 and UTVWC websites in the coming months. The Martelli Brothers welcome racers, volunteers, and media to share their ideas and feedback with them by emailing ideas@themint400.com.
 
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The original MINT 400 was a stand-alone event, produced by Walt Lott, but never part of the HDRA series.
 

jon coleman

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now, to top off this great up swing in motorsport, bring back the dunaway dash.On new years eve!
 

TROPHYSEDAN

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now, to top off this great up swing in motorsport, bring back the dunaway dash.On new years eve!
Yes. I vote for that. Long live FUD.
 

J Prich

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I wondered why I've only been getting 42 emails from Mad Media a day.
Funny that you say that because today I personally got zero emails from Mad Media. I got four copies of the same email from BITD though...
 

Crusty Shellback

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Interesting to see Scot Harden is working for BITD.
I've riden bikes with him as a Los Ancianos down in Baja when he was at KTM North America.
 

MTPyle

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Its crazy how all racing seems to be diluted or splintered in some way. For the big races in the states we now have BITD, Mad Media, and KOH. Plus SCORE, SNORE, MORE, SADR, etc..

We are absolutely loving racing with BITD and will continue to do so. The future will be very interesting, Competition is a great thing. Each ordination has its strengths and weakness's

Cant wait to see what the 2020 schedules look like.

Mike
 

MTPyle

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It would be nice to know the inside reasons. I am sure it’s complex but I would love to be a fly on the wall. I canT imagine that the tracking was that big a part but it had to be part of it. I didn’t go to the UTV championship so I have no idea what drama came
out of that event.

Any partnership is hard. Good partnerships are when both sides bring a different set of skills. The problem is that means many times those different skills are at odds with each other.

BITD knows how to run a fun safe race. Mad media knows how to create an event. BITD has refined their skills over the years. I never felt like a guinea pig at a BITD event.

Mike
 

BITD_1021

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BITD I'm sure looked at the event early on as a Big Name event to add to their schedule like V2R. They sacrificed complete control for the name. A good move on their part. Recent years they've realized having total control is much more important than the name. There's been negative media reports and forum claims from spectators and racers. BITD has made a PR decision to seperate their relationship.
Over time the truth will come out. Safety over $s.
 

J Prich

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The amount of speculation peddled as fact around here is pretty crazy. Forums are great for discussion, etc but the number of times people post stuff as fact and give the appearance of knowing something that they don't honestly know is wild. If you step back and really look at the speculation that happens in these kinds of situations, it's really more about perception and who you like and don't like than it is about what the actual truth is. People take small shreds of information and leap to giant conclusions based on their perceptions. Perceptions aren't the same as truths.
 

jon coleman

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yup, like kids sitting in treetops shouting out rude names, looks like everybody wants some of the offroad racing uptick, every booming economy brings Bigger entry's, which in turn brings more of Everything....good, bad, ect
 

Klaus

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The amount of speculation peddled as fact around here is pretty crazy. Forums are great for discussion, etc but the number of times people post stuff as fact and give the appearance of knowing something that they don't honestly know is wild. If you step back and really look at the speculation that happens in these kinds of situations, it's really more about perception and who you like and don't like than it is about what the actual truth is. People take small shreds of information and leap to giant conclusions based on their perceptions. Perceptions aren't the same as truths.
Communication between humans is beautiful and always welcome. Especially if you observe and not absorb.
 

cynicwanderer

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everyone has their own preferences... for me, I don't care whether it's called the Mint400 or Henderson200, what I care about is whether a race runs my class, and whether it's long and economical for me to participate. I don't have much disposable income or time, so I run motorcycles. I would love to do Baja, but can't afford the entry fees or time to pre-run at this point. I would also like to run four wheel classes, but same issue. I like BITD because they still put on long distance off-road races for motos/quads and they try to make them as safe as feasible. big kudos for being able to convince them to add moto/quads to M400 this year. I suspect if they would continue to do M400 or the UTVWC, the entry fee would have crept up over time. I wonder if one of the issues that led to the breakup is BITD's desire (commitment?) to keep motorcycles and quads, which causes challenges with logistics and safety.
 
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