A few months ago we featured Broc Schmelyun in a monthly "Dream Chasers" stories about his role as team manager of a professional Supercross and Motocross race team. Broc gave some incredible insight into the world of racing and shared some of his many experiences in the hopes of inspiring others to get involved in the sport or make some valuable head way into an industry of their dreams. Broc shares in our sentiment of truly attacking each opportunity that comes your way as a means to get closer to your dream-whatever that may be. This is evident in each decision and tactical move that Broc and his team makes. Since our last talk with Broc he has had some big changes to his racing program and has simultaneously embarked on a totally new venture. We wanted to get the inside scoop from Broc himself and learn about what he has been up to over the past few months...
Since the last time we checked in with you there have been some serious changes with the team and riders. What happened and what caused the change?
I would rather not comment on my previous employer, but things have been great since the change. The pay is slightly less, but the quality of life is better in my opinion. We had such a great group of guys heading into the season. It was a real bummer to see it kinda fall apart, but we are in a great spot right now. As for Jerry Robin it just wasn't clicking on either side. I believe we both wanted a change. I'm really happy with our decision to pick up Jon-Jon Ames. He really exemplifies what you want in a rider. Jon-Jon is still really young too and I believe you will see a lot of him in the near future.
How has the team taken the change?
The team morale is up drastically. You might think that losing the big rig and everything for the rest of the year was a huge blow to the program, but we were running on an extremely bare minimum budget anyways. Our bike budget actually increased after the split so we were able to provide closer to what we were capable of. Everyone top to bottom just seems to be happier which is really cool because that is an aura I really try to capture. People ride better when they are happy.
What have you guys been working on?
We recently started an engine building company called Savij. We have been doing some privateer motors and also some amateurs in this area. (based right below Pittsburgh, PA) I have been hitting some local races and plan to go almost every weekend. I want to make sure the people we help are supported at the track as well. I believe its really important to have trackside support and not many engine builders in this area offer that. Also with my racing background I can help people on the bike and with training tips as well. Overall we want to be a fuller experience for people that need work done to their dirt bikes.
How did the idea for Savij come about?
Chad Sanner and I both have one goal in common. We really enjoy helping people. We helped a few privateers in motocross and supercross and I had a great feeling from it. We talked about starting an engine building company together and basing it off of helping others to reach heights they may not have been able to without our help. That is where the company idea started. As for the name, I wanted to break the norm of engine building companies. Instead of an industry sounding name or few letters put together I wanted to have something different. I wanted to be able to brand the name itself and above all - I wanted to have something I could picture someone saying they ride for with pride instead of just another company name. We aim to be game changers in many different ways with this opportunity.
Chad Sanner has a lengthy career in the sport and has a lot of experience. What sets Chad apart from other tuners?
Other builders try to keep up with what Pro Circuit, Geico, or Star are doing. Chad looks to other entities like F1 and finds ways to implement that technology into dirt bike racing. I really believe that he is two steps ahead of a lot of the competition. We had a very low budget this year for the bike. If we race in 2018, we will be much more prepared with something we are more proud of. For 2017 our bike was good, but it wasn't at the level that we were capable of. If we do start from practically scratch this year I am not worried. Chad won "Lites start up team of the year" in 2010 and 2011, I know we will be in good hands between the two of us.
How does the Savij team differ from the Blue Buffalo Slater skins team?
There really weren't a lot of changes. The budget was practically identical just from myself and Sanner paying out of pocket. We had some amazing sponsors step up and help us out tremendously to really make it all worthwhile. Waynesburg Yamaha gave us two bikes to help out which was HUGE for us. The freedom of not having everything micro managed was really nice, but the rig made life easier as well. I believe it was a pretty even switch all things considered due to the stress of having to throw everything together in two weeks as opposed to an entire off season. It was such an extremely small period of time.
How did the riders react to the change?
Jerry was with us when the switch happened. He had the option of going with us or staying with the old team. He chose to move on with us. We rushed for Millville and had a catastrophic day. I rushed everything getting ready and put together and it caught up with us all weekend. I have learned from it and it will not happen again. We mutually decided to split ways after that race. It was just time for a change from both sides.
We noticed that Jon Ames was a new addition for Unadilla. How has he adapted to the new bike and team?
Jon Jon has adapted incredibly well. He is a super respectful guy with a great family that all want to see him succeed and are very supportive. Jon Jon rode really well the last couple of rounds. His results didn't always show on paper, but he had an awesome performance at Budds creek running top 10 for half of the Moto. He had a lot of mistakes, but that is just part of being a rookie. Jon will be one to look out for in the future if he keeps with his work ethic and grind.
What are the goals for the team?
Right now our goal is to find some financial contributors for 2018. It would make it a lot easier to have some outside help to shoulder the load while we represent them to the fullest. It could be personal bias, but I don't know of another team who pumped their title sponsor and got more involved than we did this year. We really put Blue Buffalo first and always focused on how to grow their footprint in the sport. Hopefully we have the opportunity to do that for a company next season.
What are the plans moving forward into the off-season and into 2018?
Right now we are going to focus on Savij and growing that as much as possible. It would be nice to grow that enough to make it a co-title sponsor for 2018. Our brand is built off of high quality products and great customer service; two things I imagine any company would want to be aligned with.
What does the team need to be successful and gain momentum?
Right now we are in the same position as the riders. We know what we need to do, we know the blueprint, now it's up to us to work for it! It is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of grinding, but I know we are prepared for the challenge. Hard work and sweat are needed most right now.
Who has been some of your biggest supporters during the change?
There are so many to name. On top of all of our sponsors Waynesburg Yamaha, Enzo, FMF, Defiance, Rekluse, Renn Fuel, Ride Engineering, Dunlop, Evans Coolant, Mika Metals, Guts Racing, Vortex, MotoTape, Lightspeed Carbon, Moto Hose, SuperTech, Twin Air, Matrix Concepts, 180 Decals, Tamer, ICW, Acerbis, and Bristol Core I had a lot of help from Chad Sanner, Justin Kahabka, Jay Cavanaugh, Billy Chamberlain, Bill Dill, Dave Drakes, Casey Scheman, my mom, dad and girlfriend. So many people had to work together to make it all work and I am very thankful.
Your group is always seen with a smile and it has a very "family-like" feel. What makes the difference for you guys?
I have to credit that to everyone else. I try to have fun in every aspect of life and luckily the guys are cool enough to go along with it. We always have some bet rolling or some type of challenge to keep it fun and exciting. We never have a dull moment. Plus, I think it is hard to not smile while you are helping others. As long as that is our goal we should always be smiling from ear to ear!
Be sure to keep up with Broc and the Savij team in the coming months to see how the team is coming along. As always check out the TCE Instagram page for more thrilling photos and a look inside the life of privateer riders and teams.