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INDYCAR MEDIA CONFERENCE


November 12, 2015


Rod Davis

Jay Frye

Mark Miles


THE MODERATOR: Welcome to today's IndyCar media teleconference. We're joined today by Mark Miles, the CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
I'll turn the floor over to Mark to make an announcement.
MARK MILES: Thank you all for joining us. I have been eagerly awaiting this day. I am very pleased to announce the appointment of two veteran executives to two senior positions at IndyCar and in Hulman Motorsports.
The first is the news that Jay Frye is being appointed to the position of president of competition and operations for the Verizon IndyCar Series. I suspect everybody on this call knows Jay. I was asked previously if this appointment would be filled with a stranger or a familiar face, and Jay is in many respects a familiar face insofar as he is a veteran racer.
He will be responsible for all things operations, competition and technical matters for IndyCar. We are just delighted that he is willing to step over from his previous roles for the last two years with us as head of generating revenue, chief revenue officer.
I feel like Jay's background makes him the ideally suited candidate for this position. He had an excellent 15 years or so at NASCAR and showed as a team manager and part owner that he knew how to assemble talent. While he is not an engineer and didn't come up through the ranks of the mechanics, as team leader he showed that he understands the technical issues and knows how to pull all the ingredients together to field a successful team. I think that is exactly what we're looking for here on the technical side of IndyCar.
He also obviously, insofar as he was an entrant in NASCAR's competition, understands from a particular perspective how race control affects racing. He has a lot of experience looking at the officiating of motorsport from different perspectives.
Finally I think he has enormous goodwill with the rest of his team members on our staff with whom he's worked for the last couple of years and within our paddock with our sponsors, with Honda and Chevy, our stakeholders.
In leading up to this appointment, I spent a lot of time getting advice from team owners and others. While I tried not to focus in on a finalist or a winner too early, in the process of deciding who we wanted to appoint, I had a lot of opportunities to get input, and I think Jay is very widely supported and respected by our stakeholders.
So we are delighted he will be filling this position. He'll start in this position on Monday of next week, November 16.
Obviously his appointment left an opening in a very important role to Hulman Motorsports, both IMS and IndyCar, and that is the role of our chief revenue officer whose responsibilities include sponsor sales, fulfillment, and account services for our sponsors, as well as licensing.
We think there's a big continuing opportunity there to sign additional sponsors who will invest in IMS and IndyCar racing. I think Rod Davis, who will take the position of CRO, is the ideal candidate for us to serve in that role.
It turns out that I've known Rod since the late '80s where he and I worked together, and he was involved in the marketing and sales for the men's professional tennis tournament in Indianapolis, which I was kind of running as a volunteer. Then he went on and worked in U.S. Gymnastics in sales and marketing, then for U.S. Swimming in Colorado Springs.
I think it's fair to say that gymnastics and U.S. Swimming are two of the three leading governing bodies of Olympic sports in this country. If you were to talk with people at either of those places, you'd hear glowing recommendations and reports from Rod's time in both of those organizations where he sold more than $100 million in sponsorship arrangements and distinguished himself as a leader for those two organizations.
For the last 10 years Rod has started and had his own sports marketing consultancy. He has worked hand in glove with a number of distinguished clients, including the NCAA, the University of Notre Dame and many others with many other sponsor brands.
We were just fortunate that when we looked around, a person in Indianapolis, from Indianapolis, that myself and others here have worked with over the years, was available. I think he can speak for himself, but I think he is eager to step into this opportunity. He brings just the right skill set.
One thing I'd say, because it's very important to us as we build this organization, these are two great human beings. Both are honest and straightforward, like people, and are liked and respected by people. Just the kind of people we want to build this team around. Both also have just the right backgrounds I think to be successful in these two positions.
So this is a big day for us. Technically Rod starts on Monday, but he's cleared his calendar today and Friday and I guess we'll get a bite out of his weekend as well. We're really very fortunate that we could move Jay into this position with IndyCar and seamlessly move Rod into the chief revenue officer position for both IndyCar and IMS.
Those are my comments. We thought we would turn it over to each of these two gentlemen and introduce themselves and make a few comments, then take any questions.
Jay.
JAY FRYE: The Verizon IndyCar Series is a great league with great people. I couldn't be more excited. I really want to thank Mark and our board of directors for this incredible opportunity. I also would like to thank the team and team owners who played a big part in this for their support and confidence.
As Mark mentioned earlier, 2016 will mark my 25th year in professional motorsports, 16 of those I have been on the team side as either a co-owner or CEO or vice president and general manager. I am not a mechanic or engineer, as Mark said, but I've been atop of a pit box for approximately 700 races and organized and led hundreds of engineering and competition meetings.
I've always tried to have a common sense approach to everything: don't complicate what doesn't need to be complicated. Bottom line, I am a racer. I grew up in racing the past 25 years. Very fortunate to have a lot of great friends and connections in the motorsports world.
So one of the things we tried to think about was really just kind of top line goals, what we would like to do. It's very simple.
Be a sanctioning body that great racers and race teams want to participate in and are proud to be a part of. We are making great progress in that but there's still more work to be done. That's one of our top line goals.
Another goal that we'd like to work on is harness the power of the paddock. That would be, we have a phenomenal amount of talent, knowledge, experience in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock. We need to tap into this on a more regular and consistent basis.
We also need to build consensus with clear and defined goals for the league, which is something we'll work on. We need to create more value for our teams. Smart and well thought cost containment initiatives. There's many different ways to do that without affecting the great racing product we have, that could be schedule, testing days at the track, league buying power, work with our great partners, Chevy, Honda, Firestone, to offer efficiencies to the team. So that would be I guess the number two top line goal.
Then really a third top line goal would be race control as a whole. Officiating for any league is a challenge, always has been and always will be. Every night on television you see some sort of debate on officiating. Even with instant replay and challenges that the coaches have, there's still debate on whether the result was conclusive or not.
One of the things we want to try to do as a league is minimize the debate. What we can do and will do is this. We're going to hire the best and most respected people to be part of our steward system. We're going to provide the best possible tools and regular and consistent training to the officials and stewards. We'll create a consistent platform where the infractions have a clear and concise consequence that the competitors understand and are aware of.
That's really a few of the top line goals we want to work on. Again, I don't want to keep going with time here. But I think Mark would like to introduce Rod next, then we'll have some questions in a little bit.
THE MODERATOR: Rod Davis.
ROD DAVIS: Thanks, Mark.
I've been very fortunate to work with some terrific properties in the Olympic and collegiate space. I'm very excited about the opportunity to work with such an iconic sports property like the Indianapolis 500. That's extraordinarily exciting to me.

(Interruption in audio.)

ROD DAVIS: The series is coming off a great season. TV ratings are up. The action on the track is phenomenal. Jay has had phenomenal success in bringing new partners to the sport. Seems like there's great momentum and a great platform for me to build off of here.
For me joining a new organization, it's comforting to know that Jay is across the street, I can tap into his knowledge and his historical perspective. So it's really a plus for me.
Another important aspect here is the platform that we have in front of us. The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, opportunities for new presenting sponsorship, the ability to share this story in the commercial marketplace and attract new brands to invest in the sport and promote the sport is certainly goal number one.
I think we have a great story to share. I'm looking forward to sharing that and trying to stay aggressive as we go out and attract more brands and more commercial partners to the sport.
Finally I'm really humbled by the opportunity to join this team. The talent of the executive staff and the leadership that Mark brings is something that is well-known in our industry as we look at organizations. The opportunity to be part of this team, join the talent here, again, is very humbling. I'm appreciative of that opportunity.
THE MODERATOR: We'd be happy to take any questions.

Q. Jay, I know speaking with you after the season ended, you kind of looked at this as a dream job. What was it about this position that you really looked at as a dream job, one that you really wanted to take, where the responsibilities can be sometimes a major headache?
JAY FRYE: Well, I'm originally from Illinois. I grew up a huge fan of IndyCar, the Indianapolis 500. That was really one of the pieces. Earlier I talked to the group. I brought up kind of an interesting story. It's kind of funny.
We're all friends with Kenny Schrader. Kenny drove for us for six years. There were times when I would get frustrated with something, I'd talk to Schrader about things. At the end of the day he would say, When we did this, you rose your hand and said you wanted to do this, right? You decided to do it, make it happen.
When I was fortunate enough when Mark asked me to do this, I think we have a great product, great teams, great people. It was an honor for me to raise my hand and say, I want to do this. I'm very enthused about this. I think we're going to have a lot of success.

Q. As far as some of the issues that are out there right now that kind of need to be decided upon, one is Honda with the aero kit situation. How soon do you think it will be till we have closure on that?
JAY FRYE: I'll let Mark respond to that.
MARK MILES: I'm on point on that at this point with the engineering staff. So I'll take that.
I think quite soon. We were in the wind tunnel again over the weekend. We have data looking at parts that Honda presented to us to review. I've had one meeting this week to look at all that. We have another one. I think you can expect quite soon we'll communicate with Honda and Chevy about our decisions.
You will recall this is not about the superspeedway configuration. This is about short ovals and road courses and streets. We think the work done in the tunnel last weekend was quality, clear, helpful, and will enable us to make some decisions very quickly.

Q. Jay, will the technical staff that's in place now stay in place? Will you add to it? Will you take anybody out? Also, is race control going to be one driver, one ex-driver, a panel of drivers like it's been? Do you have a clear-cut plan for that yet?
JAY FRYE: On the people, obviously we've been here for a couple years, so we have a good idea of what everybody does, what their roles are. One of the things we want to do with the league is make sure we have great people in positions.
I think we've got a lot of really good people. So it's yet to be determined on the roles. Maybe roles change, maybe things are moved, maybe the structure.
Again, like we said earlier, this is a great league with great people.
On the race control piece, we want to have the best that we can find. We want them to be racers. We want to provide them the tools, train them, have weekly follow-ups. We want to, again, try to take away the debate sometimes. Like we said earlier, there's always going to be debate. If we can minimize the debate and make race control more transparent in a lot of ways, that's what we plan to do.
THE MODERATOR: Seeing as we have no further questions, we will thank everybody for joining us today on the call and we'll wrap-up today's IndyCar media conference call.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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