The AMA’s President and CEO Rob Dingman sent out a very desperate-sounding email this week, asking long term members to re-new their membership as an answer to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and economic disaster.
The AMA’s email, in my opinion, should win an award for the most blatantly disingenuous message yet conveyed in this troubling period of fear and unknown.
Tellingly the AMA’s email message (“show the world we’re not going anywhere”) was not one whereby they illustrate how they are using AMA assets to, gee, I don’t know, help get motorcycles to first responders or communicate to consumers that in many areas motorcycle dealers and shops remain open, or that Dingman and his executives are forgoing salaries until the ship is righted. No.
Does Dingman sound fearful in his email? He does. And I think I know why–because that glorious faucet of money the AMA has had wide open for years might be closing. If a real economic doomsday plays out at AMA headquarters it’ll be hard for Dingman’s board of rubber stampers to keep writing him checks if the association falls into major insolvency. Worst case scenario is the AMA could lose millions of dollars in revenue in 2020-2021. Gonna be hard to pay those six-figure salaries in that environment.
Among the jaw-dropping statements in Dingman’s plea is this: “The AMA is committed to you …” . If one applies the “follow the money” instruction from All the Presidents Men one can certainly come to the conclusion that the AMA is very committed … to propping up their own bloated executive paychecks and little else.
Perhaps members should consider these facts before anyone considers giving the AMA one dollar in advance?
Fact 1: The AMA sent out an email this week asking members to renew their membership for the next three years, in advance, at a special price. (Email above). This is called “pulling forward revenue” and generally does not bode well for a business. But, let’s face it, the AMA in the Dingman era has been about short term thinking, not long term leadership.
Fact 2: As per the AMA’s own tax returns, the association has lost around $500,000 per year for the years that records are available. (2016, 2017 and 2018 are publicly available on the Guidestar site).
Fact 3: Even though the AMA has been upside down financially for years, AMA CEO Rob Dingman’s salary has actually risen nicely over the same time. Example: in 2018 Dingman was paid over $280,000 while his junior executives all earned over $150,000 per year. The AMA being a money-losing operation clearly isn’t a concern for AMA’s Dingman, his junior executives or the AMA’s board of directors. A ten or fifteen percent pay cut across the board would have made the AMA solvent.
Fact 4: With the United States economy in peril, and that there is a very real chance there will be no professional motorcycle racing in the USA in 2020, the AMA is staring the potential of a multi-million dollar loss in the face. (This could force the AMA to sell their real estate assets, etc.)
Fact 5: The AMA has never fully divulged the details of the sale of AMA Pro Racing to Daytona Motorsport Group (Jim France). The AMA has never adequately addressed in-depth and independent questions that members asked about details regarding the transaction and sale of assets, reputed to be in excess of five million dollars.