By Ryan Cooley. Photos courtesy of www.lamontracing.com
Have you ever had a passion for something, or a desire to be involved in something so badly, but didn’t have the means to make it happen? Lamont Racing’s Jamey Grosser has that passion and that desire for the sport of Supercross. You may not see Grosser on the podium every week, and you may never see him win a national championship, but Jamey’s quickly becoming a fan favorite. It’s not uncommon to see hundreds of people gathered around the Lamont Racing transporter, chanting “Grosser,” as Jamey slings t-shirts in to the crowd. Jamey loves to race, but to this point in his career has lacked the results needed to earn his way onto an established team. With so many privateer riders struggling to support their racing habits, Grosser knew there had to be another way. When the going gets tough, many of us rely on what we know best to get us through, and Grosser did exactly that. He threw a party! And it’s a good thing, as the current word in the pits is that, “There’s no party like a Jamey Grosser party!”
In the late 90’s, Minnesota’s Jamey Grosser was a struggling privateer in 125cc Supercross. Like many who try to follow the circuit, Jamey didn’t have the funding to support his racing. “I was a privateer living out of a truck, and needed money. Two hundred dollars for making the night show in the 125 class wasn’t getting me to the next race, wasn’t getting me a hotel room, and wasn’t putting food on the table.” He needed a method of raising money to keep his racing dream and his desire to be involved in the sport alive. Armed with an uncanny ability to capture people’s attention, persistence, determination, and a passion for the sport of Supercross, Jamey set out to seek a means to no end.
Grosser’s journey began in the most unlikely of places… a strip club. That’s right, a strip club! Most strip clubs, like nightclubs, have a promotional budget to work with. Grosser knew that if he could promote and draw a crowd to a local club after a Supercross event, he could potentially profit from it. Like the rest of us, Grosser loves to go out and have a great time, and whether you’re a rider, a mechanic, a team manager, or another behind the scenes member of a race team, Supercross is a seven-day a week job. The Saturday night concluding a SX event is like the end of the workweek to those involved in the sport, and for many, the only break they’re going to get all week. To the fan, Grosser saw a perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with many of the sport’s heroes. The stage was set! Jamey began to lay down the groundwork with a club in Minneapolis, rounded up his buddies, and made a party of it. Soon Grosser’s Supercross After Parties began to grow. Riders and Mechanics started attending first, and slowly but surely, the fans started catching on as well.
Grosser’s after parties have since evolved and now take place in nightclubs. Attendance numbers are climbing and Jamey’s able to continue living his dream. So how does Grosser parlay a party into supporting his passion for racing Supercross? The recipe’s quite simple actually. The club pays a fee to host a promotion or party with the hope that the promoter, Grosser in this case, can fill the joint and increase their revenue for the evening. The money that Grosser profits from the party then gets filtered directly back into his racing efforts, and that’s how he makes a living at it. “I’ve never been the most talented rider,” says Grosser, “but I love doing it and it’s not something I want to give up. I’ve figured out how to make a living at it and it’s slowly started to grow.”
As the SX After Parties began to gain popularity, Grosser recognized the need and the fit for outside, corporate sponsorship. After all, NASC has it, so why not Supercross? In his quest to find a NASCAR agent to lend some guidance, Jamey stumbled across Don Nelson, the only guy in Minneapolis involved in the sport. Don Nelson is the owner of Lamont Marketing, a turnkey marketing company, and now the parent company to Lamont Racing. Not only does Don have an extensive marketing background, but he is also part-owner in a Busch car team. After a few months of constant contact and pressure, Nelson finally agreed to sit down with Grosser. Nelson was amazed that with the demographics and growing popularity of Supercross, nobody “corporate” was involved in the sport. The two continued to work together and Lamont Racing was born.
Racing is certainly Grosser’s first passion, but he’s learned that the hard work and dedication put into the business side of his venture brings plenty of satisfaction and fulfillment, and is certainly setting the table for his main stay in the sport. Grosser will be the first to tell you, however, that the key to his early success may simply be persistence. For any of you racers that have ever tried to land a sponsor, you know how difficult that can be. Through constant contact and persistence, Grosser’s now attracted the attention of some very large corporate sponsors. For the 2003 SX series, Lamont Racing’s brought the hard liquor company Bacardi on board as a co-sponsor for the SX after parties. According to Grosser, Landing Bacardi as a sponsor was no easy task. After leaving approximately five messages a day with “the man” at Bacardi, Grosser got lucky and finally caught him in his office. “Listen!” Grosser was told, “I don’t know who you are or what the hell you’re doing, but whatever you’re doing, I’m going to sponsor it just because I’m sick of listening to your messages!”
In fact, Grosser’s persistence and wit were the two key elements to catch the attention of the TransWorld Motocross staff. Grosser’s motto and now famous, amongst our staff, quote… “If you don’t blow your own horn, somebody else will use it as a funnel!” Words to live by!
In addition to Bacardi, Lamont racing also recruited US Smokeless Tobacco, and Shift to sponsor the 2003 Official SX After Parties. Together with the help of these sponsors, the Lamont Racing after parties rocked all 16 cities of the 2003 THQ World Supercross GP/AMA Supercross Series in the US and attracted near capacity crowds in each venue. The parties have benefited the clubs by increasing their evening’s sales by 35-50%, while Bacardi sales increased anywhere from 100-500% on the night of a promotion. The money that the parties bring in is filtered directly back into the running of Lamont Racing. This, in addition to the support received by Lamont’s title sponsors Ti-Lube and WSA Snocross, is helping to lay the foundation for Lamont Racing’s presence in Supercross for years to come. The 2003 Lamont Racing Team consists of Doug DeHaan of Ontario, Canada; Marco Dube of Quebec, Canada; Jeremias Isreal of Chile; and our friend Jamey Grosser of New Hope, Minnesota.
Over the past few years we’ve seen a number of new teams with hefty financial backing emerge onto the scene. Unfortunately many of these teams have a difficult time planting permanent roots into the sport and quickly fade away. Whether it is due to poor business decisions, injury to marquee riders, or simply just too much too soon, building a race team and earning a living from it is no easy task. Not only is Jamey Grosser earning a living at it, but he’s living his dream as a racer as well. Determined to make smart, steady decisions to continue the growth of his racing team, Grosser is quickly securing his place in Supercross for the long hall. In a sport that’s primarily dominated by young talent with short shelf lives, Jamey Grosser’s taking the necessary steps to ensure that his dream and passion for Supercross, both as a rider and entrepreneur, never have to end. While Jamey Grosser may never personally win a national championship, he’s quickly earning his self-proclaimed identity as, “The people’s champion!”
n for Supercross, both as a rider and entrepreneur, never have to end. While Jamey Grosser may never personally win a national championship, he’s quickly earning his self-proclaimed identity as, “The people’s champion!”