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While preparations for the 24th edition of the worldwide unique motorcycle offroad racing event are running on full speed, race promotor Karl Katoch and his crew are already preparing the road for the Erzbergrodeo 2019. Looking back on the past 23 years of Erzbergrodeo, it appears that the original course which was set by the inventors in 1995 is still working more than two decades later. "Our primary goal then and now is to offer an unforgettable and spectacular experience to all competitors and spectators, both in terms of creating a challenging sports events as well as making it highly entertaining. Over the years, we've had more than 30.000 offroad athletes and more than 800.000 spectators from all over the world as our guests and the interest for the Erzbergrodeo is still unbroken. We are working consistently to improve every ascpect of the event and take it to the next level. This continuity is well valued by our longtime partners who are successfully accompanying us on our way.", Karl Katoch states.
In 2017, 1640 dirtbike athletes from 41 nations and all continents competed in the Erzbergrodeo XX3. The riders were accompanied by an entourage of 4200 and were cheered on by more than 40.000 spectators and 1000 VIP guests. 270 international journalists and media representants were on site to cover the races, while 800 crew members worked behind the curtains of the event.
It all began at the "Iron Mountain"...
Each year, the Erzbergrodeo's starting grid looks like the who-is-who of international offroad motorcycle racing. There is barely one dirtbike superstar who has not seen the starting flag at the "Iron Giant" at least once in his career. The starting list reflects a wild mix of top riders from all disciplines, be it Enduro, Motocross, Supercross, Trials or Rally Raid. Even the world's top FMX athletes as well as Superbike riders and MotoGP factory stars are regularily attracted by the "Myth of Erzbergrodeo". Now add some of the top contenders in the Alpine Skiing World Championships, the MTB Downhill Pro-Tour, the Snowboarding World Pro-Tour and even Snowmobile Racing and you'll get the most colourful and spectacular starting grid in international motorsports.
Still there's one point that all of the more than 1500 participants agree on each year: the events massive fascination is mostly based on its extremely tough sporting challenge. Since more than two decades the Erzbergrodeo's true highlight, the Red Bull Hare Scramble, is regarded as the toughest single day dirtbike race of the world. Thousands of top athletes have failed to finish this race and even qualifying for one of the 500 starting spots separates the men from the boys each year. Those who defeated the "iron mountain" and the insanely difficult racetrack could successfully elevate their sporting careers and some of them were even rewarded with a Factory Team contract.
But Erzbergrodeo not only emerged as a career booster for many offroad racing superstars, it also sustainably affected important developments in motorcycle offroad sports. As a case in point, the term "Xtreme Enduro" was first installed at Erzbergrodeo, and the event also holds responsible fo the rejuvenation of Enduro sports. "20 years ago, Enduro sports was widely regarded as the haven for those riders, who have become too old respectively too slow for Motocross. Today we look at a completely different picture: up to 50% of the Erzbergrodeo competitors are younger than 29 years. Due to it's highly individual and spectacular characteristics, Xtreme Enduro has outpaced classic Enduro racing in terms of popularity and publicity impact. If you ask who's currently leading the Enduro World Championships, answers will be quite modest. Whereas Graham Jarvis and Jonny Walker have become household names amongst the worldwide motorsports community.", Erzbergrodeo mastermind Karl Katoch describes the Staus Quo.
Consistency and living up to his handshake: the Erzbergrodeo's recipe for success
If looking at the Erzbergrodeos impressive economic figures it might sound surprising that there is no major corporation or large group of companies pulling the strings behind the curtains. In charge of the complete organisation is a relatively small and compact company, lead by the people who are in fact responsible for the unique characteristics and successful development of the event. Karl Katoch, co-founder and race promotor, describes his personal view on the Erzbergrodeo's recipe for success: "Consistency, reliability and living up to his own handshake are crucial attributes if you want to get an event of this size up and running. We are successfully working with partners like KTM, Red Bull, VA Erzberg and the Austrian Television Network ORF since 23 years now, which wouldn't be possible without a high level of confidence and reliability. Thus we have build up a very strong basis which enables us to develop the future of Erzbergrodeo in cooperation with our partners."
This cooperation even extends the borders of Erzbergrodeo. Karl Katoch is continousely establishing successful Erzbergodeo event concepts such as the eBike Endurocross at other (inter)national top events like the Beach Volleyball World Championships, Austrias largest tourism fair "Ferien Messe Wien", the Formula-1 Showrun in Vienna or the "Safebike", Austrias biggest initiative for two-wheel safety. Always included are Erzbergrodeos longtime partners such as KTM and Red Bull. "We are well connected with other event promotors and continue our cooperations at the Erzbergrodeo guest appearances at top events. Not only does this strengthen our longtime partnerships, it also builds up confidence and reliability.", sates Mark Schilling, the Erzbergrodeos head of organisation.
Top level publicity and media impact
The Erzbergrodeo's worldwide media impact is highly successful as well. The international coverage in print media, TV and social media reaches near-record proportions year after year as special interest print magazines, lifestyle media, renowned daily newspapers, radio stations and popular online magazines publish their Erzbergrodeo stories on all continents. Alone the national print coverage of the Erzbergrodeo XX3 exceeded a print run of 3,2 million copies.
The inception of live broadcasting the Red Bull Hare Scramble on ServusTV and Red Bull TV in 2012 marked another medial milestone for the event. The current live broadcast of the Red Bull Hare Scramble 2017 on ServusTV climbed a market share of 9,1% with a total reach of 227.600 viewers within the most relevant target group, which is comparable with the broadcast of the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg. The coverage on Austrias state television network ORF was successful as well, achieving a wide reach and a record market share of over 2%. US TV-network NBC is broadcasting the Red Bull Hare Scramble since 2012 to over 110 million households and was joined in 2017 by Canadian Discovery Channel, Blokesworld TV from Australia and even Chinese TV-format 527motor.
On Red Bull TV more than 470.000 international fans followed the spectacular fight man vs. iron mountain, with 18.000 viewers in front of their screens alone in Austria. National online media partner motorradreporter.com delivers a wide reach during the whole year, while Erzbergrodeo is followed by close to 200.000 fans on the event's official facebook site. During the week of the actual event, Erzbergrodeo achieves a reach of more than 3 millions users as well as Top-50 placements amongst the national facebook ranking.
"With Red Bull Media House, ORF, Epamedia and motorradreporter.com we can rely on very powerful media partners throughout the year. Our very own press/media service is in contact with the most influential national and international editorial offices to communicate any news about the Erzbergrodeo.", Karl Katoch describes the very active media work of Erzbergrodeo.
Erzbergrodeo 2018: here come the "fat ladies"!
It was way back in 2005 when race promotor Karl Katoch first summoned the big bore offroad motorcycles at the "Iron Giant". The iconic Twin-cylinder King's Class not only presented the spectacular battle of the Factory Teams of BMW and KTM on their powerful machines to an excited crowd, the high-speed race attracted a completely new segment of offroad motorcyclists to visit Erzbergrodeo and compete in a top level dirtbike race. In 2018, the Erzbergrodeo XX4 will again place the emphasis on the growing target group of Big Bore Enduro owners. "Erzbergrodeo has become a very popular destination for a day trip for many Adventure Enduro riders from all over Europe, so we will optimize our infrastructure for this type of motorcycle enthusiasts. We are planning to offer guided tours at and around Erzberg, add special spectator points and even offer the possibility to test the newest Adventure Enduro models directly at the compound. And of course we will welcome every ambitious big bore offroad rider to compete in the Iron Road Prologue's Twin Cylinder Class!", Katoch offers a first outlook at the 24th edition of the World Xtreme Enduro Supreme.
The Erzbergrodeo XX4 will hit the mighty stage of the infamous Erzberg from May 31st to June 3rd, 2018.
The online rider registration kicks off on
November 1st 2017, 9:00 a.m. CET at www.erzbergrodeo.at