I think what Bill was getting at was the fact that in the early 80’s factory teams were HUGE. Look at how many guys were on some of the teams like Redline, GT, Powerlite, Diamond Back, etc.
BMX was THE sport back then. Giving HUGE profits to these companies. They, in turn, had huge teams to further promote their products.
Nowadays, BMX is struggling to stay afloat. The companies don’t have the cash flow to support what we view as a “factory” team.
Look at Kuwahara. They came out with their new stuff, what, about a year ago? They brought in a lot of big names to promote it. And I’ll bet that as soon as what little hype they have dies down. There will be a major cut on their team. (Warwick is gone) Upshaw may be next if his behavior doesn’t improve.
They simply can’t afford the “full” factory type rides for the amount of people that they have. It would bankrupt some of these companies. So they get 1 or 2 big names to the full deal and throw a bunch of factory jerseys on some kids that they pay a portion for.
Look at Jenna Sagendorg from NY. I think she races 9 or 10 girls. She is on Factory Track Stars. They gave 2 uniforms, a helmet, either a complete bike or F/F and are paying for 10 nationals. Not travel or lodging. But since it’s her first sponsor and her sister, Desiree, brings her around it’s a great deal FOR HER.
Is it the full factory ride of BMX’s heyday? Absolutely not. But it’s better than paying for all that crap out of your own pocket and it may open other doors for her.