By Jacob Benson and Brock Birkholtz
The roar of revving engines, dusty dirt hills and the sound of bike tires hitting dirt at a supersonic level. The sport that comes to mind is Monster Energy Supercross, something Midwesterners, especially Nebraskans, don’t often know about
An ongoing advertising campaign to raise awareness of the dynamic sport is taking place at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We interviewed students and experts on the matter of helping raise awareness for Supercross in Nebraska. We discussed what Supercross is and why it should be popular, raising awareness of the women competing in Supercross and what’s going on with the growing interest in the sport.
Before Tyler Vail started working on the campaign, he wasn’t sure how much he knew about Supercross, but he learned how fast and dangerous the sport really could be after doing research. Per the whole campaign’s purpose, Supercross participants are hungry for more viewers, Vail says.
“I didn’t know that much about the sport; I knew about dirt bike racing, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge,” said Vail.
There is a particular “should” aspect of why Supercross should be more popular, with heavy adrenaline and the constant risk of injury; there is no reason this should not be one of the most-watched sports in the U.S.
“The “should” part is the entertainment. People get injured, it’s fast-paced, there’s a lot on the line,” Vail describes.
And while Supercross is a sport for men and women alike, another senior at UNL. Carlie Reineke is looking forward to adding more of her female friends to the Supercross fandom and getting more women involved.
“I want to focus on getting more women to watch the sport. There are women in the sport right now, but there isn’t enough coverage. No one is talking about it,” says Reineke. “There are a lot of firsts for women in this sport, and no one is talking about it.”
While similar sports such as NASCAR have an incredibly high social media presence, Supercross has one of America’s biggest audiences as one of the most prominent motorsports with over 3 million likes on Facebook and 1.6 million followers on Instagram. Sean Brennen, the ad campaign manager for Supercross through the UNL Capstone course, has more on the discussion:
“There hasn’t been anybody that I have exposed to this sport that after attending a race hasn’t become a fan,” says Brennen.
As the ad campaign manager, Brennen has brought up many new ways to make Supercross events more exciting and engaging.
“These athletes, in the intense racing, we have a lot of different angles, we have spider-cams, and all kinds of equipment other sports are using, but nothing compares to seeing these guys live and in person,” Brennen said. “Anytime we can beat [NASCAR] in a category, like social media, it is huge.”
Soon more Nebraskans should be aware of the unknown beauty of Supercross through the campaign’s capstone course.
“Supercross is the original action sport,” Brennen said. “We used to have a tagline: Supercross, the king of action sports.”