The landmark inaugural season of the 31-event SuperMotocross World Championship Series (SMX) recently concluded with the culmination of the historic postseason (Playoffs and Final) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where two of the sport’s youngest and brightest stars cemented their place in the history books.
On the heels of an impressive Rookie of the Year campaign, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan, 17, captured the 250cc World Championship while Australian, Team Honda HRC athlete Jett Lawrence, 20, became the first-ever 450cc World Champion, which capped off his historic rookie season in the premier division.
As champions, Deegan and Lawrence were the two biggest financial benefactors of the SMX World Championship, which awarded the sport’s largest prize payout of $10 million - $5.5 million of which was available for the final three postseason races. Deegan collected $575,000 in postseason earnings while Lawrence received $1.2 million, both of which included individual race purses and championship point funds.
Collectively, more than 110,000 fans made their way through the postseason turnstiles in Concord, North Carolina, for SMX Playoff 1, Joliet, Illinois, for SMX Playoff 2, and in Los Angeles for the SMX World Championship Final, adding to the 192,000 that attended the 11 rounds of the Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing this summer.
As a result of the creation of the SMX World Championship and the enhanced broadcast and streaming coverage, the outdoor season welcomed record attendance at several schedule staples - the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, Colorado, the High Point National in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, the RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan, the Southwick National in Southwick, Massachusetts, and the Washougal National in Washougal, Washington. Legacy races at the Spring Creek National in Millville, Minnesota and the Unadilla National in New Berlin, New York saw capacity crowds of more than 20,000 apiece, the strongest attendance on the schedule.
As announced earlier in the year, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship hosted 850,000 fans across its 17-round season this past winter and spring, bringing total combined attendance for the inaugural SMX World Championship to 1.152 million across all 31 races.
Official Monster Energy Supercross, Pro Motocross and SuperMotocross World Championship social handles have already generated more than 750 million impressions during 2023 and impassioned fans have engaged with the sport’s racers over 50 million times.
Domestically, NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2023 SMX World Championship season surpassed 23 million hours of viewership consumption across NBC, USA Network, and Peacock, up 111% versus the comparable programming in 2022. Powered by Peacock, over 17 million digital hours of viewership were consumed – up 307% compared to last year.
Internationally, the SuperMotocross Video Pass, powered by the best-in-class service of Endeavor Streaming, brought the SMX World Championship into more homes around the globe than ever before as the platform hosted subscribers from more than 135 different countries. The top 10 countries for international streaming included Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The subscription base is also reflective of the international intrigue of the athletes competing in the SMX World Championship. A record number of 83 international competitors from 25 different countries registered to compete in either Supercross or Pro Motocross to try and earn a spot in the SuperMotocross World Championship Finals, fueled by Monster Energy. The top-20 in combined points were automatically seeded into the postseason races, while the final gate positions were determined through a Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) race. The largest number of entrants came from Australia, Canada, England, and France, which is symbolic of the international streaming audience.
A younger demographic eager to consume social media content and shoulder type programming drove the creation of new media platforms to keep fans informed and engaged throughout the nine-month season. NBC Sports play by play commentator Jason Weigandt and reporter Jason Thomas anchor the weekly SMX Insiders show, while broadcast analyst Ricky Carmichael and multi-time AMA Champion Ryan Villopoto host the weekly Title 24 podcast. Fan engagement for the new episodic programs have surpassed 1.2 million and 883,000 views respectively and will continue to be a cornerstone of future programming.
From a pop culture standpoint, the sport hosted some of the biggest names in music, film, television, and entertainment as its lifestyle relevance continues to rise. Hip Hop icon and grammy award winning Wiz Khalifa joined reality TV star Christina Hall, IndyCar drivers Marcus Ericsson and Pato O’Ward, Green Day’s Tré Cool, pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston and Columbian musician Feid in Anaheim back in January for Round 4 at Angel Stadium (Supercross’ Anaheim 2).
As the SMX World Championship Final came to an iconic close at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in September, Hollywood showed up in force to witness the crowning of the sports ultimate two-wheel champion. Film star and podcast personality Dax Shepard, Stephanie Beatriz of Brooklyn Nine Nine and Twisted Metal, Amanda Schull of Suits, Tiffani Thiessen of Saved by the Bell, and Justin Baldoni of Jane the Virgin were all in attendance. Other notable entertainers included Nathan Kress of iCarly, Kel Mitchell of Keenan and Kel, Beverley Mitchell of 7th Heaven, Gilby Clarke of Guns N’ Roses, and icons of their respective sports – skateboarder Steve Caballero and former freestyle motocross star Carey Hart.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The 2024 SMX World Championship Playoffs and Final locations and venues will be announced at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on January 5.
For more information about the 2024 SMX World Championship series, please visit SuperMotocross, SupercrossLIVE, or Pro Motocross Championship. For domestic and streaming options, visit Peacock and SuperMotocross.