FISE Goes Digital - An Online BMX Contest with a $47,000 Purse

The COVID-19 pandemic rocked the BMX world in 2020 and hundreds of events that are essentially the sport's backbone were forced to cancel or postpone. FISE, who had multiple events scheduled worldwide throughout the year, definitely felt this damage more than most. 

But, rather than shutting things down and waiting this thing out, FISE made changes, adapted to the current climate, and announced a huge online contest in place of their annual flagship event in Montpellier.

This event features BMX Park, Street, and Flatland, has a prize purse of over $47,000, and is open to riders across the globe. 

We caught up with Johan Berthonneau - FISE's Sport Director - to get the details on E-FISE 2020!


Johan Berthonneau - FISE Sport Director


I know not being able to host your staple event in Montpellier this year must sting. When did the FISE crew make the formal decision to move forward with an online event?

As you probably know, at first, we rescheduled FISE Montpellier from May to August, but week after week with the changing COVID situation, we also worked on many different concepts in order to be able to maintain our goal of sharing our passions and providing fans and riders with an event.

During May, considering the virus spread, the governmental decisions about events, the safety of the riders and fans, the unfair transportation options for riders - at that time it was clear enough for us that it would make more sense to adapt our classical format if we wanted to continue achieving our goal of sharing our passions.

In the past, we had amazing experiences with the DeFISE – a video contest related to the FISE Xperience back in 2011,12, and 13 and the 21 Seconds Instagram video contest, so we saw the opportunity to optimize this concept with the current situation. 

The other clear point is that riders have no events during those months which means, for a lot of them, no revenue! That is why we felt a real need to keep the same prize money as for FISE Montpellier.


Give us a rundown of the format…

See attached!


Photo

PARK

Photo

STREET

Photo

FLATLAND


So, to be clear, the rider who wins will have submitted two videos - correct?

Yes, correct. There is firstly a qualification stage which requires one video, then the top four or eight riders are then going to battle in the final phase. In the final phase, we open the door for a new video, so it’s strongly recommended to submit a new one, but if the rider is injured or not able to film again, then they can submit the same one or re-edit. Of course, those will probably have less chances to win than the riders doing a new video.


Teresa Fernandez


BMX-wise, what disciplines and classes will be included?

There are three disciplines for BMX each discipline has four classes - Pro Men, Pro Women, Amateur Men, and Amateur Women 

BMX Park - you can ride any park you want. No street footage allowed.

BMX Street - the footage has to come from the street. No park allowed.

BMX Flatland - one video; one run only, which means you can edit your video if you want, but in the Flatland E-FISE contest, we’re looking for the two minute perfect run. If the video is edited, the rider will need to submit a proof of his single run on raw clip.


Is this affiliated with the UCI in any way?

Yes. The BMX Park and BMX Flatland contests are recognized by the UCI, which means that the judges will be the same as during the UCI World Cups. This is also a good way to keep our common involvement going and join forces in order to promote BMX as we do at our events and we plan to do for the coming years mutually with the international federation. Of course, there are no UCI ranking points available with the E-FISE event.


Is this open to everyone worldwide?

Yes. That’s exciting! This new format offers an opportunity to the riders who are not usually able to attend our FISE World events to join the party and share their skills and passion from all around the world.

 

Nick Bruce


For park, are both concrete and wood parks fair game?

Yes. riders can choose whatever kind of park they like!


What’s the word on resi clips? Not allowed or just likely to get judged lower?

No. Clips on resi, air bag, foam pit will not be allowed.


Are riders open to filming either one 60 second run and “full edits” featuring multiple individual clips compiled together?

Yes, both work, except for Flatland, which should be a full run. For Park and Street, riders are free to do lines or multiple tricks. The main contest is about the full aspect of the video and the judges will also additionally award separately the best trick and the best line. That means that every rider can find the motivation to share their riding.

 

To be clear, riders should go film new content for this, correct? No old footage?

Yes. The video submitted has to be new and never shared before. Regarding the content, it’s better to share a shorter video than a video with old footage, as they’ll be sanctioned by the judges. No old footage will be allowed in final phase video.


Rim Nakamura


Will the quality of the video (filming / editing) be considered in the judging or is this strictly about the riding?

Everything counts. The overall impression of the performance including - but not limited to - difficulty, flow, style, originality, versatility, consistency, variety of tricks, control of the tricks, bike control, landing, execution, sport progression, and the quality and originality of the video.


Is there any system in place to make sure people are voting for who they think should win and not simply their favorite rider? It seems that riders with large social followings may enter this with an unfair advantage… 

Yes. The platform will host the video and the votes, which means all the videos will be reachable equally. Of course, each rider will promote their video on their social media, but this will also give the opportunity to the fans to discover new videos, new styles, and new riders. 


Where will everyone be able to watch the videos and vote?

Each discipline has its own page, so it will be easy to watch and vote straight on the website, which is https://www.e-fise.com/en/montpellier/.


What do you guys hope to accomplish with the online contest? Is the goal different than it is at a traditional, in-person contest?

As usual, firstly sharing our passion and action sports values! We also wanted to find a way to help support riders during this COVID situation. We decided to keep the same prize money as the global amount planned for FISE Montpellier – 42,000€ ($47,130.30 USD) of prize money for BMX split between disciplines and categories.


FISE: Montpellier 2019 Park Podium


In addition to this we’ll soon introduce our FISE Athletes Fund! Where fans, family, and FISE addicts will be able to donate to a fundraising campaign created by the FISE Association.

The goal of the fund is to increase the number of riders receiving prize money. The more money donated, the more riders that will receive prize money.

Depending on the amount we manage to raise with the fundraising campaign, we have designed a system to award money to the top 12, then top 16, then top 24, until top 50 will receive prize money. If we reach the last level, all the top 50 riders will take a percentage of the growing pot!


How are we going to do an after party? In true FISE: Montpellier fashion, we’re obligated to have one…

Maaaan! We couldn’t agree more. You know us… Hahaha! Nothing is 100% confirmed at the moment, but we’re looking for a way to manage in some way a webstival with parties, music shows, and other entertainment, which makes the FISE what it is. We’ll keep you updated on it and send you the links for you to enjoy it at home from all around the world this time!


Charlotte Worthington


Do you have dates set for FISE: Montpellier 2021 yet?

Yes! You can all mark your calendars for May 12th to 16th in 2021.


How’s everything else going at Hurricane (The company that puts on FISE events)? The cancellation of events due to COVID-19 must have created immense difficulties. Is everything continuing to move forward?

Hurricane has had to deal with many crisis situations though the years and, every time, we try to adapt ourselves and redefine our strategy. This COVID-19 situation isn’t comfortable at all for any event organizer as we have no view on what the future will be. But, as I said before, the lockdown period gave us the opportunity to brainstorm a lot. Be sure we have good new concepts ready in order to adapt our events to different situations.


When do you think there will be another in-person FISE event? Is Chengdu 2020 still a possibility?

Chengdu 2020 is still a possibility, yes. We’re working weekly on it and monitoring the virus situation. Hurricane crew is working hard in order to have a great 2021 Series. There are actually some really interesting new options in the pipeline!


Thanks for the time! Anything you care to add?

We’re really thankful to all our partners that keep following us on this new concept of the FISE. We really hope it can be a game changer, providing a new way to share our passions globally and of course the fundraising.

We all miss you. Feel free to come visit us and the beautiful city of Montpellier when you get the opportunity!

From now, you can start filming, editing, and getting ready to share your edit!

 


MONTPELLIER BMX FREESTYLE PARK CONTEST

Video Entries: July 27 - August 4, 2020 - 23h59 GMT

Men's Purse:

E-Contest - 15,000

Best Trick - 500

Best Line - 500

Women's Purse:

E-Contest - 7,500€

Best Trick - 250€

Best Line - 250€


BMX FLATLAND CONTEST

Video Entries: August 17 - 25, 2020 23h59 GTM

Men's Purse:

E Contest - 9,000€

Women's Purse:

E-Contest - 3,000€


BMX STREET CONTEST

Video Entries: August 13 - 21, 2020 23h59 GMT

Men's Purse:

E-Contest - 8,000€

Best Trick - 500€

Best Line - 500€

Women's Purse - 

E-Contest - 2,000€

Best Trick - 500€

Best Line - 500€


Visit the E-FISE site for more details!


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