Hidden Trails Motorsports becomes title sponsor of Pro Watercross
For Trey Frame, president of Hidden Trails Motorsports, the opportunity to sponsor the Pro Watercross Championship was a dream come true. “As a kid, I followed the Budweiser National Tour, and I guess you could say that’s how my addiction to PWC closed-course racing began,” he said. “Growing up, I just wanted to be a part of that lifestyle.”
When Frame was young, the Budweiser National Tour went through Huntington, W.Va., and Frame’s family made the trip to see the race every year. “I remember going through the pits, getting stickers from all the Pro racers and hanging and talking with these guys. It had quite the positive impression on me as a young man,” he said.
From that time on, Frame says he knew he wanted to be involved in the racing and powersports industry. In 2013, Frame bought a dealership outside of Charleston and now carries Yamaha, Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Spyder, Suzuki and Christini. “We were very excited about having the opportunity to get involved in the powersports industry,” said Frame. “It means a lot to me to be able to assist in the continued growth of our sport and the growth of our company.”
Frame says he was first approached by Pro Watercross promoter AJ Handler with the opportunity to sponsor the tour and he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. “At the time I was already working on getting my new Yamaha Watercraft dealer agreement, and I approached my contacts with Yamaha about working together to be the title sponsor of the tour,” Frame recalled. “They thought it was a great opportunity and could see the benefit.”
The Pro Watercross Tour is not Hidden Trail Motorsports’ first run exhibiting at tour stops. Frame says HTM has been a sponsor of the Charleston tour stop since its inception. “About six years ago, before we owned HTM, we worked closely with the Pro Watercross Tour and the Charleston Conventions and Visitors Bureau to get the National Championship race in our hometown,” said Frame. Unfortunately, the inaugural event was cut short from terrible weather and river flooding. But despite the weather, the city did not cancel future events.
“The city could see the value and the economic impact of the event,” he added. The event grew into what is now SportsFEST weekend, which is hosted every August and includes the Pro Watercross National Championship among other sporting events.
For HTM, the decision to sponsor the Tour was easy. “What’s great about the Pro Watercross Tour is that it’s on a national level. This allows us to reach a much greater audience and build our brand recognition. We couldn’t do this with a simple local radio or billboard advertising,” said Frame. HTM now offers Sea-Doo and Yamaha watercraft and felt that sponsoring a premier closed-course racing series in the U.S. would help build up that division.
Among developments with the sponsorship, HTM is also excited to open a second dealership in Charleston in addition to its Belle, W.Va., location. The new dealership will add Suzuki street and off-road to its lineup and “a crafted business plan
Recently Handler announced that the World Championship will be featured in a one-hour show on CBS Sports. “This will be absolutely huge for HTM and the sport of PWC racing in general,” said Frame. “No other series or promoter has tried to revitalize and grow the sport of PWC racing like AJ has, and we are proud to be a part of this national tour.”
As a title sponsor, HTM will offer all Pro Watercross members benefits on purchases in 2015. Throughout the race season, HTM is offering all racers the option to purchase units at its invoice cost. This deal does not only include PWC, but any model or any brand of ATVs, side-by-sides and motorcycles in stock.
“We really wanted to do something different than any sponsor had ever done before and, as a racer, I understand the importance of support. We decided offering unique deals on units would be the best way to give back. We didn’t limit deals to just PWCs; it is for anything the racers needed,” explained Frame. “Racers use bikes for pit vehicles and ATVs/UTVs to get their units back and forth from the water, so we didn’t want to limit our offer to PWCs.”
Overall, HTM is excited about its partnership with Yamaha and the Pro Watercross Championship. Frame remains thankful to an OEM that gave support when needed and to a community that recognized a sport worth promoting. “Yamaha has done a great job in the last several years with supporting the PWC industry and it was a perfect fit to get involved with HTM on the Pro Watercross Tour.
“I knew this would be a great opportunity to develop some business recognition for the Hidden Trails Motorsports brand, and I can’t thank Yamaha enough for believing in us and helping us support this sport. Yamaha knows the importance of racing performance and how that correlates to sales, so it’s exciting to see an OEM step up like they have,” he said.