Brian France Named CEO
September 13, 2003 | 12:00 A.M. EST
"Brian is well prepared to lead this sport and this company into the future," said William C. France, outgoing NASCAR Chairman and CEO, who, with brother Jim France, will serve as Vice Chairmen of NASCAR. "I am confident the future of NASCAR is in very capable hands. NASCAR is my life's work, and my father's before me; this decision is probably one of the most important ones I've made at NASCAR - and I know it is the right decision."
France, 41, has an extensive background in NASCAR racing, ranging from his experience as a racetrack manager to helping develop and manage the NASCAR Weekly and Touring Series divisions and launching the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He was a key proponent of NASCAR's new Research and Development Center, a future-oriented facility dedicated to improving the safety, operational, and cost-containment aspects of the sport.
"I've been fortunate to spend my entire life in this sport and have worked with some of the giants who made NASCAR what it is today - starting with my father and grandfather," France said. "NASCAR has always stood for quality - our sport, our employees and our fans. I am proud and honored to lead this great company into the future and build on that tradition of quality."
In 1999, The Sports Business Daily named France its Sports Industrialist of the Year and Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) named him the SMEI Marketing Statesman of the Year. Previous awards include Advertising Age honoring France as one of the publication's top-100 marketers of the year and Promo Magazine naming him one of that publication's top promoters of the year. He serves on many boards and is the founder and Chairman of NASCAR's Diversity Council, an organization comprised of motorsports executives focused on encouraging greater diversity within the motorsports industry. France took over NASCAR's marketing responsibilities in 1994 and has been at the forefront of NASCAR's dramatic sponsorship growth, including the recent ground-breaking announcement of Nextel Communications as the new sponsor of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series beginning next year.
France opened NASCAR's New York City office in 1997, designed to enhance the sports sponsorship sales and marketing efforts, and the company's Los Angeles office in 2000 which is focused on broadcasting, new media and entertainment marketing. France also spearheaded a host of marketing initiatives including internalizing the sanctioning body's licensing efforts and developing NASCAR's consolidated television plans that culminated with NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series events broadcast on FOX Sports, FX, NBC Sports and TNT.