Just days after the news broke that that ex-rider Barry Bishop and business partner Martin Widman are determined to bring speedway back to the Isle of Wight, the duo have revealed that they have secured a big partnership deal with local businessman Dave Stevens of SBS EPOS.
SBS EPOS have previously provided sponsorship at Elite League club Poole, and this year are involved with the Somerset Rebels in the Premier League as well as providing support to local rider Kyle Newman. During the new Isle of Wight Speedway management duo’s very first meeting with Dave Stepgens, it didn’t take him long to realise that the project on the Island was something he really wanted his company to support and be actively involved with.
Much of the strategy and ideas included in Barry and Martin’s business plan are in line with Dave’s thinking and are a refreshing way to springboard the speedway back to the forethoughts of the Islanders. As well as being a premiere team partner, the Southampton based businessman will provide local expertise and knowledge to attract sponsors and supporters from the immediate area on the mainland to help achieve the aim of making speedway a big success on the Isle of Wight.
The relationship with SBS EPOS does not sit just with its CEO though, for Dave’s daughter Hayley will be contributing her own ideas on how to get the youngsters on the Island, as well as tourists, engaged in the speedway family and their joint input will be a massive boost towards making a success of this new venture.
SBS EPOS will also be the first premiere partner for the Island’s new speedway school which is also part of Barry and Martin’s strategy. Those schools form part of the new management’s clear objectives to have an actual Islander in the team as soon as possible and provide a clear mechanism for riders to progress through the tiers of speedway. Recognising this, SBS EPOS has completed the rider development cycle by offering their further support to the Midland Development League side Long Eaton Invaders, a team run by Martin Widman for nearly three years.
“It is the intention of the new Isle of Wight management team to develop prospective local future speedway stars through the speedway school at Smallbrook stadium and this additional support will allow them to take the next step into competitive racing. It will also provide promising Long Eaton riders an opportunity to ride for the Islanders when National League racing resumes, all being well, at Smallbrook in 2016.”
Commenting on his decision to add his backing Dave Stevens said:
“I believe this to be the most exciting thing to happen in British Speedway in years. Barry and Martin have a vision that will make Island Speedway the most talked about track in the UK. This is not just going to be a night at the Speedway, it is going to be the complete entertainment package aimed at attracting more families and bringing speedway to a new, younger audience.
“SBS EPOS are a very forward thinking company and a leader in our industry and are very proud to be associated with such an exciting development.”
Speaking about the relationship with SBS EPOS Barry said:
“To have had someone like Dave sit and talk though our strategy with us and see him really understand what we are saying is a massive boost for Martin and I. Dave is a lifelong speedway fan and very keen to support the Island speedway both by way or sponsorship and physical support, whatever that may be, and this is incredible.
“We all know that this is the start of something special and we hope that more Islanders and Island based businesses will come forward to be involved in the club and help us grow this project to something Islanders can be very proud of.”