It’s no secret to people who follow Supercars and especially those who read the news and gossip on dedicated motorsport websites that Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton is both opiniated and controversial – this week when I sat down with him he threw out something I’d never heard him say before and with the right management and plan, it could be a game-changer for Australian Motorsport.
Given Adderton is deep back into the new business growth phase with his new Mobile X venture in America and looking to expand that globally – he might also have some deep pockets to follow through with this idea.
Adderton has an axe to grind with Supercars, Supercars Media and the Media who report on Supercars – so I’m not sure how popular he is up on the Gold Coast this weekend walking the pit-lane at the event his Australian business Boost Mobile are the title sponsor of.
There’s a lot of background here, Adderton has sponsored teams, drivers, events and TV coverage of Supercars for a very long time, and he has a great knowledge of the sport and has seen it evolve.
When the Supercars Business was sold recently, Adderton was one of the bidders wanting to literally own the sport, now – under new ownership, his frustrations seem to be growing. He wants to create a Boost Mobile race-team, not a sponsorship deal, just a whole new team. But the Owners and current Race Teams won’t allow it.
Then there’s the media and how they report on the sport, he’s pretty filthy that online media aren’t calling this weekend’s Event the “Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500”, despite him being a great source of content for them.
The sport relies on sponsors, and that money makes the whole thing go round – literally.
According to Adderton “their biggest problem is that the ratings are down significantly”
When discussing the Gold Coast race, I said to Adderton they should “Bring back the IndyCars” – to which he quickly and without pause responded “Or, I fund with Paul Morris that we’re talking about and bring NASCAR Australia, Licence NASCAR in Australia”
Not joking, he continued “buy 30 NASCARS, half Ford, half Camaros, and bring those in, just set up a separate series but call it NASCAR Australia”
“So you have the NASCAR Brand“
He’s thought it through – saying “Bring some American’s over, I reckon that’s far better”.
And it’s not just about making NASCAR Australia successful, Adderton thinks a successful opposition to Supercars could crush the Supercars business.
His idea would be to get the cars, poach a few big name Supercar Drivers, along with some good American names and you’ve got a series.
Peter Adderton is a lot of talk, but he’s also a lot of walking the walk too – so while some of what he says feels like bluster and opinion to get attention to his Boost Mobile brand, there’s always a deep sincerity to what he’s saying – so never rule out his ideas.
We’ve had the Super Touring and Group A wars back in the early 90’s, that saw the 2.0 litre Super Tourers and Group A V8 Fords and Holdens appearing as separate series’. Group A became V8 Supercars and what we know as Supercars, but the premier category hasn’t had any rival since then.
NASCAR hasn’t been to Australia, but we did have our little Aussie AUSCAR series from Bob Jane out at his Calder Park and other similar venues, but for NASCAR Australia to succeed it would need to be road racing style like Supercars, with perhaps a return to a refurbished Calder Park for an epic oval race?
Feels like just an idea from Adderton, but if Supercars doesn’t start taking him seriously, his money will be hard to replace, and you’ve always got to wonder what he’ll do with it instead.