UPDATE: The Funk Brothers SMX: Open Letter To The Community

Posted by James Lewis on 04 March, 2016

After we released the Tyler Bonner interview, I have been getting text messages and phone calls from the Funk family. The family personally felt attacked and degraded after reading it. They wanted the entire interview taken down because of some of his comments towards the term "SMX". As a company decision, ADVCT ended up taking down the SMX portion of the interview because the main reason behind the blog is to support scootering and scooter riders regardless of view points, riding style, etc. 

The Funk's recently had a BBQ at their house to clear the air about the whole SMX term and their direction for it's use to grow the sport of scootering. The sent us an open letter to release here for everyone to read... Enjoy.

Firstly, we would like to thank the editor of this blog for taking down the interview about SMX that was misleading and malicious. Both the writer and the person interviewed gave information that was false, speculative. Making both quotes and conversations taken out of context. This is not the first time my family has had to deal with this type of harassment and it won’t be tolerated. I would urge the interested readers to ask themselves this, if your family (or Scooter community) or mother/father was attacked in the way ours was, would you put up with it? I hope your answer is no.

The Funk Brothers were taking direction from our marketing agent in asking them to post videos and ask riders to post SMX on their bio’s. Never were they trying to force the name on the sport, it was always a request. Never did they ever claim to be “changing the name” of the sport. That was an assumption and accusations made by some others in the sport. The Funk Brothers have taken a lot of grief and negativity for just doing what they were asked to do to add a name to the sport for the good of the sport. Read on so you can understand the big picture. We will try to set the record straight, once and for all about the intentions behind our use of the phrase SMX. If you disagree, that’s your right, but you have no right to slander our family or to make personal attacks just because you disagree with us. SMX is a business decision that we are confident will be beneficial to the sport of scootering and all riders. It is intended to help raise sponsorship money to stage more events and offer bigger prize money. We do hope that you want to support the sport.

The Funk's have been involved in the sport for approximately 13 years. During which time the sons have excelled in the sport they love, while the parents supported them in every way possible. Kimberly Funk was affectionately dubbed “Scooter mom” by many in the community. She has been involved from the start in progressing the sport of scootering by putting on events, creating T-shirts, running the first Woodward camps, holding classes for younger riders, just to name a few things. She has put a lot of time, effort, and money not to mention trips to hospitals and helping riders fly to events they never would have attended if she wasn’t involved. Never was this done for anything other than the love of the sport and the kids (back then that’s what most all of you were, children). The Funk family has tried to do the right thing for the sport from the start, and they are not stopping now.

The Funks had a small meeting at their home in February 2016. Many people were invited. Some showed up consisting of riders, shop owners, photographers, announcers and judges. Even some parents. All of what will be said here was discussed. There were many tense conversations, questions asked, challenges made. After all was said and done, we believed that everyone, yes everyone, saw that the Funks were working towards growing the sport and trying to help it progress. That SMX was just another term for scootering. An addition to the name, NOT a change. Who wants to rename a successful sport? That wouldn’t be very smart. Why do we need an additional name? That’s what follows;

During the past 6 months the Funk Team has been offered an opportunity to grow the sport they love, scootering. They were approached by a man who is a professional marketer very well connected who wanted to help grow the sport. Our goal is to make it so that the people who want to, can make a living doing what they love. This seemed unreal, and after much fact checking on all sides, they settled in to see what they could do together. It was soon decided to take this sport to a level which the general public would be able to watch and enjoy what we were doing, like so many other extreme sports. Simply put for this publication, after much talk it was decided that the “general public” needed to be educated. They didn’t know what scooter riders really did. How extreme and unbelievable it was. It didn’t matter if the riders were in a skate park or on street. We are sure everybody has had to explain what exactly you were doing if you couldn’t show them your riding. In order for the general public to understand what we were talking about when we talked about our sport, many names were considered. It took a few months and after going through many names, synonyms, acronyms and ideas, we were down to the last one that made sense. SMX. Originally it was made up and entered onto the Urban Dictionary back in 2012 by some kid. The people who knew more about growing a sporting business liked it and we ran with it. Basically they liked it because it was easily recognizable and simple to explain. It does not mean Scooter motor cross. Nobody has ever said that who knew what they were talking about. Simply SMX=SCOOTERING. Scootering will never be anything other than that. Nobody in the community has to call it anything they don’t want to. The term would be used to gain exposure. Exposure equals more riders, more rider’s equals growth.

Any chance to advance the sport, get more people involved is going to be good. The more riders that get into the sport the more exposure for everyone. We are not reinventing the wheel. This has been successful in so many sports. If this sport is going to fail, it’s going to fail from within. The internal fighting will take all the fun out of it and the new riders will find something else to do with their time and money. Just look what happened to in line skating. Also, did anybody stop to think that we are taking potential riders from other industries, such as Skateboarding? The kids like scootering, its simpler and to us it’s just as extreme than other sports.

The sport needs to come together in so many ways. Here is a starting point for some of them if we want to be taken seriously:
1. There needs to be some type of rankings. State, Country & World (this is getting big everywhere)
2. In order for rankings there needs to be consistent judging and competitions.
3. To get consistent judging we need to have rules, points or some consistent way to set a bar of perfection for judging.
4. Competitions need consistency. (Every competition has different judging, minutes per runs, number of runs, different amount of riders through to the finals, etc... whatever it ends up being needs to stay the same. How many times have you been in a competition and things changed because they ran out of time or changed their minds last minute? What about the beginners (that is our future) they get rushed off because there are too many competitors and parents who buy everything get upset?) This is not to take away from any past events, or their coordinators, but if we had a formula it would make things legitimate and the events would be based on the same criteria. It’s tough running events, our family has done many types and with different venues.
5. There needs to be a committee who makes decisions. Should consist of past riders, sponsors, shops, businesses and finally judges.
6. Once all this is done (not just the above, but in many areas), we are a professional organization and the chance for recognition becomes greater. Larger businesses will take notice. Potential TV deals, larger purses, better sponsorship deals, advancement in technologies for parts. Not to mention more money for the people who run shops, take photos & videos, apparel deals, etc.

This is just the first few steps in what could be the beginning of the sport of Scootering. We all have a chance to be the community of people they look back on and are credited with starting it all. The entire community has this chance, not just one or two people. EVERYBODY. We are planning to meet again in a few weeks to discuss what’s next. Contact us or we will send out invitations. If you’re interested in building the sport, ask what you can do. If you just want to ride, that’s what you do. If you want to bring down the sport and spread the hate like some have, do that somewhere else please. If you are looking for something wrong with all of this, you will find it. However, if you are looking for something right you will find it also. SMX isn’t a solution that will propel scootering past the NFL in viewership, but thanks to BMX, it is familiar to the general public so they can understand a little easier. That there are amazing athletes riding scooters at an extreme level, and their sport is just as cool as skateboarding or riding BMX. When more people know what you guys can do, they will watch you and their viewing is what makes a sport popular. That popularity is what you can monetize so that you can make a good living scootering. That is our goal, our only goal and it should be yours too. However, if you’re happy making a fraction of what you should be, that’s ok, but please don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

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