Motorcycle Industry & Sponsorship Liaison Report – Winter 2017

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AS we enter this new Ulysses Club “national” year, I have pleasure in reporting on the various roles and responsibilities of Motorcycle Manufacturer Liaison, Test Rides – Reports Sponsorship, and MAOTY.

At the recent AGM Event in Port Macquarie-Wauchope, I introduced Sidney Rowlands from Canberra Motorcycle Centre as the National Winner of our prestigious Ulysses Club – Motorcycle Apprentice of the Year Award. The onerous task of determining the winner falls to our dedicated National Adjudicator – Graham Moore #62762, who painstakingly assesses all applicants over a wide range of criteria to arrive at the eventual outcome.  He has already commenced work on this year’s MAOTY nominations. A big thank you to Graham seems a bit inadequate given the enormity of his task.  But thanks Graham….   Your work is very much appreciated. Elsewhere in this edition of Riding On, you will find a story and pics featuring Sidney Rowlands as our 2016 MAOTY winner.

At our AGM Event we were again handsomely rewarded by our very supportive Motorcycle Manufacturers who have provided us with exhibits and test rides of almost 90 of the latest models from their various marques.  The support of Motorcycle Manufacturers at our AGM Event and Moto EXPO is a mammoth and expensive commitment which in turn is deserving of our custom whenever and wherever possible.

 

Neville Gray #3394, has kept us all thoroughly entertained with his numerous articles on older and rarer bikes from his immaculate personal collection.  My thanks to Neville for his support with these articles and pics.

We are blessed with a healthy range of Sponsors, some of them new to us, who have committed to support our great Club in a variety of ways with the provision of goods, services and funding over varying terms.  On behalf of all of us, I thank all of our sponsors, old and new, but particularly QBE as our major and long term supporter, whose sponsorship and active involvement in our AGM Events is certainly appreciated by all. In addition to our regulars of QBE Ins, World on Wheels Tours, Shannons, Supercheap Auto, Stay Upright, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, we can now add Polaris, DriveAway Holidays, Autosol, and Suzuki.  I’m sure we all understand and appreciate the need for us to support our sponsors as they support us.

Every edition of Riding On features Test Ride Reports from our small but enthusiastic band of “Test Riders & Reporters”. Our Editor advises that these Test Ride Reports are very popular segment within our quarterly publication, so a big thank you to all who have devoted / volunteered their time to do test rides for to read about in Riding On. This edition features the very popular Indian Scout – the very same bike provided by Polaris as the winner’s prize in our biennial UCARF Raffle. My sincere thanks also to our R O Editor – Gary Warner #65262, for his ever-helpful advice.

Neville Gray #3394, has kept us all thoroughly entertained with his numerous articles on older and rarer bikes from his immaculate personal collection.  My thanks to Neville for his support with these articles and pics.

Although UCARF is not directly a portfolio responsibility for me, as Sponsorship Coordinator it seemed reasonable that we could improve the UCARF raffle net result if we did not have to “purchase” the Prize. Accordingly, I can now announce that for our next UCARF raffle, the first prize will be a bike fully sponsored and supplied by Suzuki Australia.

I have been privileged to be invited to or involved in numerous branches and functions, including Branch Presidents & Secretaries meetings.  From my observations, I never ceased to be amazed at the almost endless enthusiasm of our members to share ideas and activities that serve to improve the way we enjoy doing things in our Club.  My appreciation to all involved in ensuring the good communications and success of these meetings and events.

 

ll the New Zealand members were very friendly and there was a lot of sharing of ideas and ride and social experiences. Their AGM evening dinners based on a theme of “Gnomes”, were fun-filled events with light-hearted frivolity that ensured everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Last month I, along with four other Aussie Ulyssians – Allan Pratt #9186, Savaugn Pratt #20508, Des Fergusson #48614 and Robyn Fergusson #57207 – visited New Zealand which included taking in the Ulysses NZ AGM Event-Rally held in Masterton.  Ulysses NZ is clearly experiencing some of the same challenges we now face, with declining revenues, reduced memberships and difficult commercial arrangements. However, their National Committee members, strongly supported by the general membership, were prepared to bite the bullet and take the necessary steps to avert further declines in membership and finances.  All the New Zealand members were very friendly and there was a lot of sharing of ideas and ride and social experiences. Their AGM evening dinners based on a theme of “Gnomes”, were fun-filled events with light-hearted frivolity that ensured everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Throughout my visit, I had the pleasure of riding with a fantastic group from the Otago Branch in Dunedin (South Island) to the AGM in the North Island.  I was hosted in the best possible manner and after covering 1880 klms over 2 weeks, I can certainly recommend motorcycle touring and Kiwi Ulysses hospitality in NZ. I have been invited to return for their AGM in March 2018. Elsewhere in this edition of Riding On you will find a more detailed article on the adventures in NZ.

Much of these NatCom tasks involve working closely with various members to achieve the required outcomes.  I have enjoyed the untiring support of our NAGMEC’s – Rob White #22674 and Blue Knowles #33140, along with Event Director Robert Johns #12115, Secretary Margot Russell #39294, Sponsorship Chris Jackson #25526, Traders Coordinator Heather Knowles #38058 and the entire AGM committee, not to mention our NAO staff. Simply saying “thank you” seems so inadequate, but I’m sure all of us in our own ways, will show our true thanks.

And of course, the much appreciated and essential support and cooperation of fellow NatCom members is what makes it all possible.

A cautionary note: Despite total contracted sponsor partnerships Agreements with a monetary value of approximately $145,000-00, we cannot afford the luxury of continued excessive, unnecessary and unbudgeted expenditure in other areas without a commensurate return on that investment. With our declining membership, revenues and cash reserves, we need to be cognisant of the fact that the renewability of much of our sponsorships will be contingent upon our “substantiated agreed contract performance”. We simply cannot afford to expect sponsor benevolence if we do not demonstrably support our sponsors, and continue to live beyond our means.

Peter Baulch  #27672    National Committee.

V-Sport

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