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MIC Acquires Marketplace Events’ Motorcycle Group and AIMExpo

The Motorcycle Industry Council board of directors has announced that the MIC has acquired Marketplace Events’ Motorcycle Group and AIMExpo. AIMExpo’s show personnel, sales staff and management, including Show Director Cinnamon Kernes and AIMExpo show creators Mike Webster and Larry Little, will form a new department within MIC titled “MIC Events.”

Front row: Tom Baugh, CEO Marketplace Events, Tim Buche, President and CEO, MIC, Mark White, CFO Marketplace Events Back Row, Larry Little, VP and GM MIC Events, Erik Pritchard, General Counsel, MIC, Jen Dreis, MIC, Mike Webster, SVP, MIC Events
Front row: Tom Baugh, CEO Marketplace Events; Tim Buche, President and CEO, MIC; Mark White, CFO Marketplace Events
Back Row: Larry Little, VP and GM MIC Events; Erik Pritchard, General Counsel, MIC; Jen Dreis, MIC; Mike Webster, SVP, MIC Events

The Motorcycle Industry Council board of directors has announced that the MIC has acquired Marketplace Events’ Motorcycle Group and AIMExpo. AIMExpo’s show personnel, sales staff and management, including Show Director Cinnamon Kernes and AIMExpo show creators Mike Webster and Larry Little, will form a new department within MIC titled “MIC Events.”

Although this acquisition is effective immediately, there will be no impact and no changes to the upcoming 2015 show. If you are participating in this year’s AIMExpo in any capacity, nothing changes for you. Next year’s show – AIMExpo 2016 – is still scheduled for October and will remain in Orlando.

The AIMExpo staff will be physically relocating to the MIC Irvine headquarters shortly after this year’s show. Other than the physical move, there are no staffing changes planned for the AIMExpo team or MIC.

“AIMExpo’s early success has been the ability to prove an innovative concept that has delivered for exhibitors and attendees beyond what was envisioned when we conceived the concept just three years ago,” said AIMExpo co-creators Webster and Little. “We recognized the opportunity to take it to another level of industry value and excellence with the blue-ribbon reputation and capabilities of the MIC, and the power of its membership, management, and services to get us there. We presented our recommendation to Marketplace Events LLC management and they agreed.”

“In 2012, Marketplace Events made the commitment – under the leadership of Mike Webster – to launch AIMExpo with the explicit goal of changing and re-energizing the powersports business, and our AIMExpo team has been intensely focused and true to that promise,” said Marketplace Events CEO, Tom Baugh. “In less than three years, the AIMExpo platform has become the most important annual gathering for the industry. We’re very proud MPE successfully incubated AIMExpo, but we recognize the event will reach its full potential and greatest benefit to the industry under MIC ownership.”

Dennis McNeal, MIC chair, and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.’s vice president – Motorcycle Operations, said, “MIC’s primary goal is to ensure the show’s ongoing growth and success, and that requires not only a depth of trade-show experience, but broad experience in our industry. Mike Webster, Larry Little, Cinnamon Kernes and the entire AIMExpo team have that kind of experience, and the MIC board of directors, by unanimous vote, is excited to have them join the staff of the MIC.”

For some time, the MIC board of directors has discussed owning powersports events, but did not proactively pursue the idea. However, when Marketplace Events approached MIC about selling its Motorcycle Group, the board took action. After extensive discussion and due diligence, the board was unanimous in its decision to move forward with the purchase. Larry Little, one of the founders of AIMExpo, while a director on the MIC board recused himself from all acquisition discussions and activities. As an MIC employee, Larry is ineligible to serve on the board and has resigned his board position. The open board position will be filled in the upcoming annual board election.

“This strategic configuration makes it much easier to build on existing industry synergies, align the industry’s key stakeholders, and connect manufacturers and distributors of products and services in a valued face-to-face environment with retailers and consumers who have the greatest interest in their offerings,” said Little.

“Overall plans for the 2015 show absolutely remain business as usual,” said AIMExpo Show Director Cinnamon Kernes. “For exhibitors, dealers, media, and consumers it’s absolutely business as usual and no additional actions on their part are required. Our focus is sharper than ever, and the team is committed to producing the industry’s best show experience once again this year. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Orlando in October!”

AIMExpo entered the motorcycle event scene in 2013 and made an immediate impact. Its early success and high level of industry adoption has been unparalleled. The MIC is proud to be associated with AIMExpo, and the industry association stands better equipped than ever to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling.

For more information, please visit mic.org/AIMExpo.aspx.

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