By Larry Lawrence
Are you an AMA member?
If so you may want to read this.
Guess what the latest use of your 50 buck membership is going to.
Try a frivolous lawsuit.
The AMA is apparently suing Racer Productions over the use of the phrase “Grand National” as in the Grand National Cross Country Series (more popularly known as the GNCC Series). This lawsuit is so ridiculous on so many levels I can hardly start to describe them – but I’ll try.
First of all, and correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the AMA sell the AMA Grand National Championship to the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG) four years ago? So the Grand Nationals now reside under the DMG umbrella – the same umbrella incidentally under which Racer Productions runs the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series. So if anything Racer Productions is now more closely associated with the “Grand National” brand than the AMA.
You sold it AMA! Get it?
Yet the AMA still claims ownership of the term “Grand National”. Oh really?
I seem to recall NASCAR using the term “Grand National” and I don’t think the AMA sued them.
The organizers of the original Grand National, a famous steeplechase horse race in England founded in the 1830s, would be interested to know that the AMA claims the phrase is theirs.
In fact the phrase has become almost ubiquitous. Grand National has been and is used in a wide variety of activities as diverse as archery, crocheting, rodeo, conventions, bridge, livestock shows and many more. Even a Buick automobile was named the Regal Grand National.
But the AMA is the sole user of the term “Grand National” in motorcycle racing right?
Ever heard of a little race meet called the WERA Grand National Final? I talked to WERA and they said the AMA never had a problem with them using that name for its big season-ending race. Also the mini-bike promoter National Motosport Association (NMA) calls it championship “The Grand National Championship of Motocross”.
So you can see any claim that the AMA has an exclusive right to use the term “Grand National” is highly dubious to say the least.
Yet they go forward with this lawsuit against Racer Productions.
I might add here that Racer Productions has probably signed up more AMA members than any other single entity in the last 30 years or so. So yes, you’ve got it right; the AMA is suing a company that has brought them thousands of members. Brilliant!
My sources tell me the AMA claims it wants to have exclusive rights to the term “Grand National” because it’s going to start tagging its Hare Scrambles Series with the Grand National designation. Guess who invented the Hare Scrambles Series? That would be the late Dave Coombs Sr., yes Dave Coombs, Sr., who founded Racer Productions. (Read the bottom of the second column in this article).
I believe the real reason that the AMA is suing Racer Productions is because the two entities couldn’t come to terms on AMA sanction for the GNCC Series, so that series is no longer AMA sanctioned. The AMA never sued WERA, NMA or NASCAR over the use of the phrase “Grand National”, but suddenly it decides to sue Racer Productions?
I think we can all figure it out.
And so what happens if by some miracle the AMA should prevail in this suit? Big friggin’ deal! The GNCCs will still be the GNCCs. They can’t prevent them from using those letters. So under the best possible circumstance the AMA gains nothing, but possibly a little “In your face” satisfaction. And that’s if they win this lawsuit, which they won’t.
So there you have it. I just thought you’d like to know where your hard-earned dollars are going if you’re an AMA member.