VIENNA, Va. (Jan. 6, 2013) — Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. has secured sponsorship rights for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship, a 17-event series that features motocross competition on purpose-built tracks at major baseball or football stadia, in a bid to strengthen its motorcycle tire brand awareness in North America.
Pirelli's three-year agreement with Field Motor Sports — promoter of the championship — makes the tire maker an official sponsor. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Pirelli also disclosed it is sponsoring two teams and four riders—Josh Grant and Justin Brayton with Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX and Andrew Short and Matt Goerke with BTO KTM-Sport—in this year's championship, which started Jan. 4 and runs through May 3.
Each rider will have on-going support from Pirelli technicians throughout the season, the tire maker said.
Uberto Thun-Hohenstein, senior vice-president of Pirelli Moto and head of the Business Unit Moto, called the American market a "very important region in which we want and must grow, because we are strongly aware of the excellent quality of our products and we want to prove it."
Mr. Thun-Hohenstein noted that Pirelli-shod riders have claimed 60 Motocross World Championship titles in the past.
"This agreement...will allow us to strengthen our brand awareness in the U.S. by making Pirelli known and appreciated by the American public in what, for them, is the most popular motorcycle sport."
Pirelli derived 7.4 percent of its annual sales worldwide in 2012 from motorcycle tires. It does not break down this number by region.
Pirelli describes supercross as the "most important motorcycle championship in the world in terms of TV and onsite audience."
In 2008, the Supercross World Championship sponsored by the Federation International de Motorcyclisme merged with the AMA Supercross, creating a united single World Supercross Championship, named Monster Energy AMA Supercross.
The series runs Supercross classes, for either two-stroke 150-250cc or four-stroke 249-450cc displacement engines, along with a 250SX class for two-stroke engines up to 125cc or four-stroke engines up to 250cc.
The series qualifies as an FIM World Championship.