about NEXT LEVEL
Next Level Sports Management is a Public Relations, sports marketing and athlete management firm specializing in the action sports and motorsports industries. Under the direction of founder Tony Gardea, Next Level offers a wide variety of professional services custom tailored to fit the needs of its clientele. From event-specific or cause-related PR and sports marketing to athlete representation, Next Level has the resources to assist companies large and small.
With Gardea’s guidance stemming from 20 years of experience, Next Level has matured thanks to the ability of its entire group of aspiring and passionate minds to push the envelope both individually and as a collective unit. Next Level’s presence can be felt throughout the powersports industry and the company has served as a catalyst in many of motorcycling’s most groundbreaking moments, whether on the race track, on a show floor, or in the media.
The Next Level offices are located in the Southern California hotbed that houses many of today’s leading motorsports and action sports companies. In addition to maintaining excellent relationships with many of today’s leading brands within those fields, Next Level also has well-established ties with key national media, industry publications and websites.
Providing full service to its clients is a hallmark of Next Level and as a result has established a foundation to tackle any and all of a company’s needs. From traditional email marketing and press release composition/distribution to the development of product launches and social media campaigns, Next Level has the ability to maximize exposure for any brand. Additionally, with exceptional on-site activation and event management Next Level brings a hands on approach to all projects.
Next Level is continually innovating ways to bring attention to the small, yet formidable world of powersports, action sports and motorsports as a whole. No job is too big to tackle and no idea is too far beyond reach.
THE NEXT LEVEL TEAM
After a collegiate career pursuing his love of stick and ball sports both on and off the field, Tony was exposed to the uniquely captivating world of motorsports after taking a post-graduate job with stadium off-road racing organizer Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group in 1991. His newfound passion for the sport signified the beginning of what has grown to over 20 years of experience in auto racing promotions.
Tony’s focus and expertise in the field of public relations and marketing has immersed him in the competitive disciplines of supercross and motocross, stadium off-road racing, personal watercraft [jet ski] racing and more. During his tenure, Tony has witnessed the all-encompassing power of the computer, endured the ever-growing dependence of cellular telephones, and casually partook in the demise of the fax machine…the latter of which Tony thought he “couldn’t live without” and would “be here forever.”
Along the way, Tony has forged excellent relationships within the powersports and greater racing industry, which ultimately led to the formation of Next Level Sports Management in 2004. Over the past decade, Next Level has transformed from a Little Engine That Could group of aspiring young enthusiasts to a collection of overachievers who collaborate to develop successful programs and marketing initiatives for its A-list clients, cementing the company’s status as one of the premier agencies in a continually growing segment of the sporting world.
Originally a “Cajon Zone” motocross kid, Dobey raced locally in Southern California from 1986 to 1997. Once he realized his dreams of a pro career would not come true, he focused on working in the motocross industry in any capacity.
While still racing, Dobey began in the sales department with the original “JT Racing USA” under John and Rita Gregory. He worked his way up to Sales Manager before his 25th birthday but eventually left JT to form One Industries with partners Marc Blanchard and Ludovic Boinnard. Over the next decade One Industries grew to an innovative leader in the motocross industry and was eventually sold in 2007.
Dobey remained with One until December 2011. Dobey brings more than 20 years of motocross industry experience to Next level Sports Management where he will focus of new athlete procurement and management.
Algonquin College (2015) – Sport Business Management
Algonquin College (2014) – Business Administration – Major in International Business
Born and raised in Canada, Steve Essex grew up in a family absorbed in the racing industry. Racing his way through the Canadian motocross amateur ranks and captain of Canada’s capital city rugby team, it was clear Steve had a desire for sport and athletics was in his blood. Steve completed his undergraduate degree at Algonquin College majoring in International Business which led to a job within the Government of Canada.
After completing an internship with Own The Podium, a Canadian Olympic financial support group, Steve went on to complete an internship with Next Level Sports Management, where he worked closely with all of Next Level’s account managers. This opportunity allowed Steve to apply both his business and sport knowledge abroad, leading him to obtain his sport business management degree with confidence.
Growing up in sunny Southern California, the Motocross capital of America, Casey found himself in love with the sport at the age of 5. After receiving his Christmas wish, and first motorcycle in 1995, he became hooked and there was no looking back. He continued to pursue his childhood dream and race competitively for the next 13 years, before pursuing his first part-time gig as a mechanic in the racing industry.
Throughout the next few years, Casey would help several riders before landing a position at Dubach Racing Development (DRD) as their media relations coordinator. His ambition to remain involved within the sport continued as he spent several years contributing to various media outlets in the Motocross industry. At the end of 2012, he was presented with the opportunity to manage a Kawasaki racing effort in Central and South America. He relied on importing several of Kawasaki’s Supercross and Arenacross stars to lead them down a successful path over the next three years.
In January of 2016, Casey accepted a position to join the Next Level Sports team working in media relations. If his office chair is sitting vacant, you can probably find him logging miles aboard his bicycle or tearing up your local Motocross track.
Until the age of 13 Patrick spent his youth in Connecticut, riding bicycles all summer long and waiting for the snow to melt during the winter. Shortly after moving to California, he fell in love with dirt bikes and every weekend became all about motocross.
Starting in the industry at 16, by 19 he began his career with Shoei Helmets and quickly moved into the athlete program. During his 7 years at Shoei, his roles spanned from Technical Adivsor to Racing Services Specialist, traveling to races and events throughout the U.S. At the age of 25 he began his new role as Sports Marketing Manager at Bell Helmets, where he spent the next 4 years traveling the globe working with some of the fastest racers from all disciplines of 2 wheel racing.
Patrick now has 14 years of experience in the motorsports industry, focused primarily around marketing, media and athlete relations. Now at 29 years of age, his love of racing and all things two wheeled is stronger than ever.
Jesse Kiser grew up on the concrete floor of his family motorcycle shop in North Carolina. He began riding at age 7 and built his first motorcycle at 16. While in high school he raced in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, maintaining and racing a Mustang racecar with his father. He moved to California after accepting an Editor position at HOT ROD Magazine in 2010. After several terrible purchasing decisions he ended up with a 1967 Impala convertible, a former HOT ROD cover car. He also started collecting motorcycles, from a homebuilt American Ironhorse to a Honda CB360 along with an XL350 flat track bike.
After leaving HOT ROD, he returned to freelance magazine editing, which included his love of photography and writing. In 2012, he began working with RideApart, an online motorcycle magazine; maintaining and managing all editorial after being named Senior Editor in 2013. In 2015, he accepted a position as an Account Manger with Next Level Sports Management working closely with Kawasaki. Kiser loves anything on two or four wheels, whether it’s in the garage, on the race track or behind the lens of his camera.
Vice President, Client Services
University of Florida (1999) – Telecommunication/Sports Management
With more than 10 years experience in motorsports public relations, Tom McGovern possesses a wide array of skills. Beginning his career at NASCAR, McGovern has worked with sanctioning bodies, race teams and sponsors throughout the past decade. Prior to coming to the motocross industry, McGovern worked in public relations and new media in open wheel racing. Before moving to public relations he worked in both television and radio covering all of the traditional sports.
A Florida native and proud Gator, McGovern graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Telecommunication with a minor in Sports Management. McGovern brings a solid knowledge base of video production to go along with the traditional roles in public relations and marketing. He built many great relationships over the last decade in all forms of media and continues to stay on top of the latest trends in the business.
Meghan Rauba, born and raised in the Inland Empire of Southern California, joins the Next Level Sports Management team after working alongside the Kawasaki PR team for the past five years. Growing up heavily absorbed in the powersports industry and on a dirt bike helped make Meghan's move to Next Level an easy one. Her passion for powersports products, mixed with her kind demeanor and strong work ethic, made Meghan a perfect fit for the team.
After earning two associates degrees at Riverside Community College, Meghan is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Sports Marketing. When she's not in the office or sitting in a classroom, you can find Meghan tearing up the local tracks and deserts on her KX250F.
Vice President, Client Services
San Diego State (2009) – MBA Sports Business Management
University of California, Santa Barbara (2006) – Communications
Roegner joined the Next Level Sports team in November of 2009 with more than a dozen years experience working in the motorsports industry in a variety of roles. A former professional Supercross and motocross racer, Roegner has also spent time working with other riders, race teams, brands, publications, and sponsors.
Racing and working throughout high school and college, Roegner, originally from Boston, Mass., graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Communication and a minor in Sports Management in 2006. Since graduating with an MBA from San Diego State University’s Sports MBA program, Roegner has handled PR, marketing and social media responsibilities for a variety of clients ranging from local and national events to nationwide, Fortune 500 companies.
California State University, Fullerton (2007) - Communications
Ashley Schiermeyer, an Orange County native, came to Next Level Sports Management fresh from graduating California State University, Fullerton with a communications degree. Ashley initially worked with Kawasaki Racing when she joined the team in 2007, working on all disciplines from supercross, road racing, ATVs, drag racing, off-road, and amateur racing. After her husband took a job in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2011, Ashley made the transition to East Coast life and started working on variety of accounts under the Next Level umbrella including AIMExpo, Pirelli, Metzeler, Monster Energy Supercross, and the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Ashley’s love for learning about the constantly changing social media world has made her our go-to girl for all things social.
When she’s not reading up on the daily changes to the Facebook timeline, she can be found hanging out with her husband Ben, daughter Amelia, and cute French Bulldog Maadi. Mom life has taken her mostly off the road, but you can still find her at a variety of events as an enthusiast. She didn’t believe people when they said that tattoos are addicting, but six different tattoos later, she can agree with them. Most of the tattoos reference scripture, a part of life that is very important to Ashley. There is one tattoo that both she and her husband share. Yes, they are crazy.
Media Relations Manager
University of Redlands (2007) – MA, School Counseling
University of Redlands (2006) – Psychology
Brandon Short has been with Next Level Sports Management since the summer of 2008. His primary role in the company is serving as the Public Relations Manager for all three major national motocross championships: Monster Energy Supercross, the AMA Arenacross Series and the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Prior to becoming involved in the motocross industry, Short gained valuable public relations experience as an intern at California Speedway in Fontana for three years. Additionally, he holds a strong lineage in motorsports thanks to his father Jim Short, a well-known former auto racing writer for the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper.
Born and raised in Riverside, Short is a Southern California native, graduating from the University of Redlands in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. From 2006 to 2008, he attended the University of Redlands’ School of Education in pursuit of his Master’s in School Counseling while also working as the Graduate Assistant for the Sports Information Department. Upon the conclusion of his interim period at Redlands, Short joined the Next Level staff and has built a solid foundation of public relations experience and knowledge from the ground up. He has established strong relationships within the motocross community and thanks to his familiar name within motorsports media, continues to help push the level of exposure the sport receives on a national level.
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