Veteran executive Mark Miles now has one of the most difficult jobs in sports—putting open-wheel racing on sound financial footing. But he’ll start the task from a position of strength, at least in the eyes of sponsors.
“Mark Miles’ reputation speaks for itself. He has the track record and experience in sports and sports sponsorships to really grow this sport,” said Eric Timmerman, CEO of Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka, an IndyCar sponsor.
Zak Brown, who represents various motorsports sponsors, said: “Miles knows how to do big events and has a wide range of skills that will take the IndyCar Series to a new level.”
Miles was introduced Nov. 20 as the new CEO of Hulman & Co., which oversees the diverse business interests of the Hulman-George family, from Clabber Girl brand baking powder to IndyCar. It’s IndyCar, however, that will be Miles’ biggest challenge.
Though the series offers an exciting brand of racing, it has struggled to gain a big enough following to boost television ratings and sponsorship revenue.
The series is being led on an interim basis by longtime Hulman & Co. executive Jeff Belskus. But it’s clearly Miles, in his new role with Hulman & Co., whom the family is counting on to reverse the series’ fortunes.
Miles will try to do what ousted IndyCar boss Randy Bernard couldn’t: build trust with hard-to-please team owners and drivers and build a following among fans.