Following the split with IDRA, RotorSports has rebranded and relaunched this week as the Drone Sports Association (DSA)
The DSA has maintained its partnerships and the deal with ESPN will remain in place, while the original RotorSports team has added a few members, including Sahand Barati formerly of IDRA. This is a change of name and a bid to refresh and refocus itself ahead of what looks set to be a very busy summer.
Scot Refsland, cofounder and DSA chairman, said on the matter, “We’ve been doing a lot of long term strategy and planning about our brand because ‘rotor’ doesn’t reflect all the emerging forms of ‘drone’ racing, and ‘racing’ didn’t reflect all the various emerging forms either. For example freestyle isn’t racing, and so we’ve been working on ‘Drone’ and ‘Sports’ as our focus. We just accelerated the rebrand in advance of the ESPN spotlight.”
The National Drone Racing Championships will take place as planned between August 5th and 7th in New York city, as will the 2016 World Drone Racing Championships in Hawaii between October 17th to 22nd.
All pilots who previously qualified for the Drone Nationals, or Drone Worlds, through an IDRA sanctioned event are still qualified.
Refsland continued: “DSA (formerly RotorSports) owns and operates the Drone Nationals, Drone Worlds and the ESPN agreements, so nothing has changed for us. We are moving forward with everything as planned.”
Refsland has noted that a close eye should be kept on the DSA as they’ll be announcing some major non-endemic sponsors later this week. He went on to say, “We’re the first event in drone racing history to get sponsorship from ‘non endemic’ sponsors.”
“The fastest sport to do that was esports, but it took them about seven years to get their first non-endemic sponsor. We did it in less than a year, so that’s a good indication of how popular drone racing is becoming!”
DSA also operates a ranking system in which Brian ‘BrainDrain’ Morris is the current top ranking pilot in the US, and the UK’s Luke ‘Banni’ Bannister the number one worldwide following his recent impressive victories including winning the DR1 Invitational.