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Motor Sports Association launches major promotion for UK motor sport

An extensive consumer PR, advertising and promotional campaign will engage the public, with a consistent call to action driving people to a central website. The website will be designed to capture people`s interest, explain the many varied disciplines of the sport and provide clear instructions about how to get involved. A searchable database will allow visitors to discover which events and clubs are located near to their postcode.

Backed by initial funding of £250,000 from the Motor Sports Association, Go Motorsport is the first campaign of its type ever initiated by the governing body and it is anticipated that the entire UK motor sport community will support the campaign, either with benefit in kind or with tangible offers to ensure that the message reaches as many people as possible.

Go Motorsport is the latest initiative in the MSA`s commitment to the promotion and development of UK motor sport, following the recent announcements of Let`s Go Karting (a nationwide programme to give youngsters a taste of karting for just £5), free first-time competition licences for the under-16s, continued investment in the successful Volunteers in Motorsport programme and the on-going commitment to the development of the UK`s Elite talent through the MSA British Race and Rally Elite schemes. In total, over £600,000 will be invested in these schemes alone in 2008, in addition to the donations made by the Club, Rescue and Safety development funds.

"This pro-active initiative by the MSA is one of which I am very proud," says Alan Gow, MSA Chairman. "The message of the overall campaign is a simple one: `motor sport is fun and exciting; get out there and have a look because there`s something for everyone.`

"We know that motor sport has a number of barriers to entry; some real, some perceived. This campaign is going to break down some of these barriers and show people that it can be very simple to get involved and needn`t necessarily cost a fortune. We will provide all the information to point them in the right direction and ensure that their interest is followed up.

"The impact of this campaign should be felt throughout the sport. By increasing the base of the pyramid, in terms of the number of people involved in grass roots motorsport, so our representation at Elite level and on the world stage will inevitably become stronger. And, as we have seen with Lewis Hamilton in the past year, international success delivers media coverage which gets more people interested, and so the virtuous circle continues."

The MSA has appointed specialist motor sport marketing agency Fingal to run the campaign. After an exhaustive eight-way pitch process, Fingal`s contacts and knowledge of the sport gave it the advantage, particularly as one of the key elements of the project will be to co-ordinate and unite the vast and disparate motor sport community behind the campaign.

Deborah Tee - Director, Fingal:
"The phrase `for the good of the sport` is often heard, but this is the one occasion on which it is correctly used. The size of the task before us is huge, but this is a vital activity and one in which we believe very strongly.

"In the coming months before the launch, all efforts will be focused on ensuring that venues, teams, sponsors, championships, clubs, commercial operators and anyone else involved in the sport are engaged with Go Motorsport to help us deliver an effective campaign and real benefit. We want to take the message to as wide an audience as possible and we are counting on the support of the whole sport and the industry to help us achieve this."

Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive:
"Motor sport is generally in good health; interest in the sport has never been higher and licence figures have remained fairly consistent for the past decade. But in the face of competition from other leisure activities, we have to do everything we can to ensure that the sport continues to grow and expand.

"The Motor Sports Association is investing more money in the sport than at any time in our history and last year we were able to put in excess of £1 million back into motor sport. We have achieved this through sound financial management and by making the MSA a much leaner, more efficient and effective organisation.

"From this solid platform, we are now able to expand the MSA`s remit from the regulation and the administration of the sport, to the promotion and development of motor sport in the UK. Go Motorsport completes an exciting portfolio of co-ordinated initiatives for the MSA that will deliver a `whole sport` strategy for the long-term strength and prosperity of the sport."

Editors` note:
An intensive programme of communications will be undertaken in the coming weeks to explain the campaign and achieve support within the motor sport community. Go Motorsport will be officially launched with a high-profile media event later this year.

Release MSA08-010: 26 March 2008

No regulatory value: for information purposes only