SNOWMOBILE – World Snowmobile Association to Run Under New Ownership

The World Snowmobile Association (WSA) is expected to be acquired within 30 to 60 days by a new company called World PowerSports, Inc.(WPS).
An incoming executive who asked to remain anonymous told Powersports Business three companies will fall under the umbrella of WPS: the PowerSports Winter Tour, the PowerSports Summer Tour and Worldwide Power Productions.
The PowerSports Winter Tour will reportedly host snocross and cross-country snowmobile races in North America. WSA will be a wholly owned subsidiary of WPS and will serve as the sanctioning body for the snowmobile races, the executive said .
The PowerSports Summer Tour will host 18 to 20 ATV races during summer 2006. “We’re early in the development of [the series], but we hope to make it a national series,” the executive said. Disciplines are likely to include motocross and cross-country.
The sanctioning body for the ATV series has not been determined.“Options need to be explored to find a way to run the new series,” the executive said. A new body may be formed or part of the WSA might sanction the ATV races.
Worldwide Power Productions will reportedly produce television programming. WPS is negotiating with a number of national cable networks to secure prime-time or weekend programming. The PowerSports Winter and Summer Tours will provide content for the shows.
Programming will include racing and a reality program with behind-the-scenes character development of the racers and teams, the executive said.
Snowmobile programs will air in late January 2006 and run for 12 weeks; ATV shows will start July 2006, the executive said.
Snowmobile races sanctioned by the WSA will likely offer more to fans than they might expect from a traditional snocross series. “We’re trying to elevate [snocross racing] for fans,” the executive said. “Events are going to be more like festivals.” WPS plans to include live music and fan immersion centers, among other elements.
The executive described future WSA cross-country snowmobile races as exhibitions to learn how to grow the sport as a discipline. “We’ll experiment with where and how we’re going to have cross-country races,” the executive said. “We need to invent how it’s done.”
WPS is looking at venues like parks and urban areas as event sites to attract a broader fan base. The WSA held races at several National Football League stadiums during the past two seasons. WPS expects to hold more events at those stadiums, such as Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc.
The WSA was founded in 1998 by CEO Scott O’Malley and president Joe Duncan. O’Malley is expected to handle sales and marketing of WPS, the executive said. Duncan will likely be responsible for race operations, including racetrack design and rules enforcement.

– Andy Swanson

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