Resignation adds urgency to search for Speedway, IndyCar commercial boss

October 23, 2013
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Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles is still looking for a chief executive to oversee the commercial side of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The resignation this month of Mike Redlick, IMS’ chief sales and marketing officer, likely adds a little urgency to Miles’ methodical search. Redlick, who has nearly 15 years of experience working for NFL and NBA franchises, joined the Speedway in March 2011. No indication has been given as to why Redlick resigned.

Redlick's resignation is the second big blow to Miles' sales staff in recent months. Greg Gruning, IndyCar’s executive vice president of corporate sales and the series’ point man in brokering big sponsorship deals, resigned in late June.

It’s difficult to say whether Miles is being extra finicky so he can find just the right fit for the commercial CEO job or if nobody wants the position. Several candidates have surfaced and then—for various reasons—faded away.

Now, Miles, who admits the hire is taking longer than expected, says he may have to split the position into senior vice president of sales and senior vice president of marketing. Both would report to Miles.

While Miles considers dividing that key job, he continues to bring together sales efforts of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an unprecedented way.

He’s shopping combined sponsorships deals that include elements of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For instance, opportunities to be a major sponsor (perhaps even a presenting sponsor) of the Indianapolis 500 could be combined with title sponsorship of the series. Miles remains hesitant to sell a title sponsorship to the Speedway itself or the Indianapolis 500, though presenting sponsors are not off the table.

The new combined sales offerings give series sponsors opportunity for high-exposure events at the Speedway, and IMS sponsors opportunity to earn exposure at numerous markets nationwide where the series races. Sports marketers say it’s difficult to predict demand for the combined opportunities.

Previously, the IndyCar Series and IMS sales staffs worked mostly separately. Miles earlier this year began melding the staffs in the hope of driving efficiencies and increase revenue for the track and open-wheel series.

Selling a series title sponsor is a top priority that Miles is leading personally. Izod bolted as title sponsor following the conclusion of the 2013 season.

In addition to the series title and presenting sponsorship deals, Miles is also looking for a sponsor for the entire month of May at IMS. But he’ll also consider selling separate presenting sponsors for the new IndyCar road race at IMS, Indianapolis 500 qualifications weekend and the Indianapolis 500 itself. Miles said he’s willing to customize a package to fit sponsors.

Miles is not only looking for sponsors that will pay hefty six- and seven-figure sums for the sponsorships, but also a six- or seven-figure sum to promote the series to expanded markets.

The push for sponsors comes as Miles makes other significant changes to the series. In addition to launching the inaugural IndyCar road race at Indianapolis on May 10, Miles has compressed the season to five months, from March 30 to Aug. 30, in part to avoid conflicts with the NFL.

Miles added: “We wanted to have more consistency so that fans can know once our season starts we’re going to be out in front of them throughout and until the end.”

The series in 2014 is losing key races including in Baltimore and Sau Paulo, Brazil.

At the same time, Miles has floated the idea of having a non-points winter series of races overseas. It’s not clear how his sales staffers will pitch sponsors for the winter series and if they’ll bundle sponsors for that winter series with the regular spring/summer series.

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  • IRL
    When Tony George Had His Vision He Blinded The Fans Lost Millions Etc Etc...And Indy Car Was In Great Shape Before This Debacle Began In 1996.....I Know This Is Old News But Its The Truth...
  • Mark Miles: Results Count
    Except to mostly ignorant haters devoid of the ability or willingness to gaze at a mirror once in a while, Tony George is about as relevant to a conversation about IndyCar today as cart; i.e., not at all. That sentiment anchors a foolish fantasy-level belief that had Tony George not started the IRL the open wheel portion of the sport would be bigger than NASCAR and F-1 today, that sponsors would be beating a path to the door, that ever event would be sold out, that double digit TV ratings would be the norm, and manufacturers would have to be turned away. Sometimes late at night when I am alone I dream I am married to Scarlett Johansson. LOL. Miles has been around for over a year, and the one thing he is best at doing is talking about how much better things are going to be in the future. Mr. Miles, the future is today. Get with it. In the meantime those obsessed with Tony George and 1996 should at least attempt to evolve, get a life and orient yourselves in 2013.
  • HAy Hooter
    Why haven't you applied? WE have evolved to the point where if a few people show up at a track and a few more watch on TV then all is well in IRL land. Meanwhile, nobody with any sense wants to be associated with it. BTW, I only post here because figuring out the Captchas is kinda interesting.
  • Sponsors
    Is this real journalism or a plea for sponsors from IMS? Series is a joke, why would anyone want to be involved. They would get more value and exposure from sponsoring a spelling bee.
  • Will Scott Dixon
    or the snail be a bigger drawing card for the league that never has? My $10,000 is on the snail. Hay Dipsicle, I will pay off the ten thousand dollar bet you owe that CART fan if you can show me a new fan that sanil brought in.
  • Indy rules
    I watch two racing series adamantly, IndyCar and Formula One. I have been watching every race of both for many years. In the past several years the quality of on track racing in IndyCar has been superior to F1. It may not rival F1 in terms of big bucks or in terms name recognition, but the product on the track right now is superior, at least if one likes exciting wheel to wheel action with lots of different winners and diverse venues. Aside from that fact, I have never understood the almost insatiable drive of certain people to seemingly thrive on predicting the demise of the IndyCar series. People that accentuate the negatives of anything they can find. This type of negativity has been going on for over a decade now, but if these people actually opened their eyes and watched the events they would notice that there are things to be excited about with IndyCar...the sport is growing, albeit slowly, but no motorsport is growing quickly today. The series has Veteran drivers, a diverse schedule and on track action that is second to none.
  • 2014 Season Full Speed Ahead
    It has obsessed fans too.
  • That's what
    the commander of the Titanic said...full speed ahead. I hear the Hulman's are now renting out the grounds for birthday parties and auto cross events. Can multi-use re-zoning the parcel for an industrial park be far behind? Obviously re-purposing the land for residential use is out of the question due to the 3 sided ghetto that surrounds he speedway. Is Doug boles saving our track yet?
    • Speedway Indiana
      The community on the side of the front stretch is not a ghetto. IMS is a very healthy facility that has three major race weekends each year
    • Oh yeah?
      So why does it need taxpayer subsidies then? The Defender/Disciple of IRL/Indycar told me there's a 3 sided ghetto there and he has a house in it. Pfunk is that you, Wise old sage or Disciple? You keep changing your name to act like several different people with the same opinion. It's fun!
    • Counting down to 2016
      IndyCar posts lowest-ever viewership on NBCSN. Avg cable viewership per race (228K) down 64% since '08 (778K). IndyCar Series Sees TV Viewership Down 22%, Including Lowest NBCSN Audience Yet
    • Clarity for Dummies
      It would be nice if the squatting kids took time to learn how to read, then subsequently comprehend the words. Evidently that is too much to ask. Pfunk is correct; the residential area that runs from roughly 25th St. to the Legion Hall on Georgetown along the main straight is the fourth side; the non-ghetto (where the stately D manor is located). That said, the other three sides have either succumbed to or are well on the way to full blown ghetto, and the fourth side is suffering encroachment from the rapidly declining Coppertree-type environs. None of this, of course, has the first thing to do with Anthony's blog topic, which is also hardly surprising. I have a theory about the actual blog topic. The Church of Scientology might be a fair comparison. It has a fervent fan base, some charismatic people involved, but a large negative perception issue. They need someone skilled enough to market the product to a skeptical marketplace not completely backed up with numbers needed to close sales. There are plenty of qualified candidates...so why no hires? Perhaps it's because the most qualified candidates do not want to work for a family that often comes across, often unwittingly, as petty, psychotic watered-down generational nutjobs. Perhaps they would like the authority and freedom to cross breed new, modern ideas. Perhaps they would like not to be whimsically fired for ambiguous reasons after a relatively short amount of time. Perhaps they choose not to be forced to march lockstep with philosophies that often seem downright goofy in a modern world. But who really knows?
    • 228 Thousand IndyCar Fans Can't Be Wrong!
      So it should be easy to land a title sponsor. My guess is Steak & Shake. Bu they would want ROI. BBBBbbbwwwwwaaaahhhhaaaaaaa!!!!!! 228,000 people tune in to watch IndyCar. In a nation of over 300 million people. BBBBWwwwaaaaahhhhaaaaa!!!!!!! Yes, yes, yes. You too van have a piece of Indy! I am having a potluck for the guys at work this Holiday Season....just a small gathering of about 30 or so....perhaps we can rent IMS! Bbbbbbbbwwwwwwaaaaahhaaaaaa!!!!
    • Mike Redlick's new job
      IBJ has recently learned that former IMS sales executive Mike Redlick has been hired as director of external affairs for the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida.
    • Good for Mike!
      I swim from the sinking ship too. Working for the IMS ain't what it's cut out to be. Mike's probably developing a course syllabus for the university based on the epic failures of the Hulman Racing and IMS properties. Business Failure 101: What NOT To Do In Business. All modelled on the business failure called Izod Indycar Series.
    • 100% Wrong For Over A Decade and a Half - LOL
      Boisterous predictions of the imminent demise of IndyCar/IMS are in their seventeenth straight year. Once again, the children cackling the loudest are the most incorrect. Again. LOL.
      • Hey Burl
        No renting needed, the Spedway will use some of the past 17 years' profits to cover it. LULZ IMS sinking money in a money pit for 18 years
      • many names
        Funny to see John using several different names to try and get his point across. too bad you are not fooling anyone. We all know you are pfunk, wise old sage , yadda yadda. Your side won by the way if you happen to be keeping score. Hulman Racing has killed another one!
      • DOWN 22%
        Wow. TV viewership DOWN 22%. Lowest TV ratings on NBC Sports Network. Lowest TV rating for Indy 500 in history on ABC. Locked into at least 2016 with ugly flying ICONIC failure DW12 car that even its own momma (Dallara) won't build a body kit for. Honda pulling out of sponsorship roles, major sponsors Firestone, HP, GoDaddy, iZod quitting series because of no ROI. Hulmans invading taxpayer pocketbooks to prop up the failing Speedway because they blew all their money on killing AOW racing. Speedway in a 3 sided ghetto and un developable. All this locked in to 2019 on unwatchable and un reachable fourth tier cable network. Schedule condensing, Indycar over 30 tracks they've been dismissed from / markets ruined in less than 17 years. IMS is consistent though...consistent at destroying American Open Wheel racing. They are good at doing the exact opposite of what the sport needs and wants. 2014 awaits. Mark Miles should resign IMMEDIATELY. Nobody is going to save this dreck. Nobody.
      • You just wait Chief
        NASCAR is going to save the League by being on the same TV network. HAHAHA where's Nelson,,,,,
      • Punt pass or kick?
        $900+ millions. And counting....
      • Mike King Sayonara
        Mike King out as IMS broadcaster. Wow, condensation is taking it's toll...
      • No IMS Radio Network 'ceptin' Indy...
        ...is one of the rumors. Heard this, actually, late last year as an eventuality. Heard IMSRM would be up and running for Indy only. Could it be this is why King is hanging onto his day job over IMSRN? When you think about it? Who listens to these other races? Costs $$$$$ to run a network heard by, I'll bet, less than 10,000 people in the USA for any given race.
      • A One Time popular IRL Forum
        had one thread and one post about the MAVTV 5 hunnert. Condensation.
      • How are
        Jan Jim and Fred doing these days. How's that trackforum figure that throwed in jail doing?
      • Dragon Racing?
        Rumors saying Jay Penske is closing Dragon down. To focus on Formula E. WIll this save our track?
      • Indycar in the depths of despair
        Gordon Kirby sez exactly what we advocates for AOW racing have been saying for almost two decades now...Indycar is clueless. http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/race/us-scene/indycar/the-state-of-indycar/
      • Where is Old Fred?
        The last several posts in this comment section remind me of Westboro Baptist Church members protesting a funeral. Just as classy too.
      • So, what is Hulman Racing gonna do about it?
        Isn't it obvious Hulman Racing doesn't have a clue? Mark Miles needs to be FIRED ASAP. You're making jokes while your own IRL is killing itself from within. The ICONIC committee was a joke, the DW12 is a joke, the schedule is a joke, the TV contract is a joke...the series is a joke. There is no vision...nothing. Even Indy tradition has been sacrificed. And you want to make jokes about it....classy, very classy.
      • WE just want to insure
        they are alive and can witness the results of the destruction you and they championed.
      • So
        How'd this work out? Kellogg's rolls out IndyCar-branded cereal nationwide Direct-to-consumer marketing of star drivers could be just what the series needs to boost interest, TV ratings. Hunnerts of thousands of new fans? Ha hahaha Chief, can you run the single digit number on that?
      • Oh boy, ha haha Oh my gut is busting
        Watch for the limited edition 10.9 oz boxes of Kellogg’s Vroom Cereal being found on clearance stores for as low as $1 each. I’ve gotten several e-mails & comments- plus Kelley & I also both found them for $1 at our stores yesterday. Clearanced Kellogg’s Vroom Cereal = as low as FREE
      • But...but....but....
        ....the ingrates over at Whackforum, which is sort of the spirit, face, and fanbase of the HulmanCar Series, say it is all roses. Or the other half of their personality, same five or six guys, say it is doomed. Bipolary, whacko, Disciple-like, I say. Why don't they call it the Whackforum Hulman Car Series Presented by Kelloggs? Bbbwwwwwwaaaahhaaaaa!!!!!! I'm done with this sport. The cars are ugly. The teams and drivers are wannabee ugly. The fans are ugly. The TV ratings are rally ugly. Bbbbbwwwwwwaaaaahhhhaaaaa!!!!! Sucks such a major suck even a cereal can't sell it.
      • We're All Gonna Die! Run for the Hills!
        Here is something that actually did get its plug pulled: The Indianapolis Air Show. It's all doomed I tell ya. LOL
      • May 29, 2016
        I get to drive the bulldozer first
      • Hay IRL Fans
        Maybe you should contact the Dr. for what ails the league
      • HEye Anthony
        How come you didnt write a State of the Indycar Series blog this year? It kinda writes itself...
      • 25/8
        That you Johnny? Making up more handles to argue with yourself since you are banned at every other forum other than your quaint little blog. Terminally butthurt
      • I wonder...
        ...if there is nay truth to the persistent rumor that the 2016 Indy 500, will, indeed, be the last one just before the bulldozer cometh. Also, is there anything to the Speedway considering another seat reduction? Another 10,000 coming out? True?
      • Why work for these clowns?
        Why would anyone with any smarts what to work for IMS? These guys manage to make all the wrong decisions. Unless you plan on being on the Hulman payroll for the rest of your life three years of Hulman car on the resume would be the kiss of death. Oh you worked for IMS, NEXT.
      • Well, back in the olden days...
        ...if you fell out of favor with the Hulman clan, or just got fed up being around that lot, an IMS entry on the resume could get you a gig at Burger Chef. So there is something. You might not get the hours you want, you might, but the employee discount was worth something, too. Then there was the five-finger discount any self-respecting Hulman-trained IMSer should have checked off long before, so there you go. You know? Or, you could go officiate at USAC. Today the landscape hs changed. And Burger Chef is no more. USAC has a full house of incompetents and the pay sucks anyhow. Randy Bernard found a gig on some country tv cable channel nobody gets but it is a gig. Steak & Shake probably wouldn't back-pile an app with IMS listed as a most recent. I am not saying it's a sure bet.
      • Bronys
        The male demo the IRL has been searching for http://jakewarga.com/files/gimgs/48_13-jake-warga-jakewarga-brony.jpg
      • Moar back in the old days
        If you worked or married into the family, you used to be able get a job at IMS and be a bigwig. And if you didn't kill anyone ....or even if you did, you got to keep your job. Heck, Brian Barnhart got a behind the scenes promotion for messing up all seasons up to and including 2011. It was only that arrogant fence post that got him promoted. So, its probably real hard to find that caliber of candidate inept enough to handle one of these Hulman Racing jobs. Save our track....How's J. Douglas Boils doing? Why they taking grandstands down? How they gonna rake the taxpayers tax monies without tickets to sell for seats that aren't there? They should increase grandstands or plow over the golf holes to make more room for the new snake pit . That'll pack em in tax receipt wise....
      • Hulman Demolition...
        ...is hiring. Job should be good through 2016. Work is really going to pick up in June 2016. It'll eventually run out, but then you need to get on to the Speedway Redevelopment Corp. There is going to be work out there at least until 2019. You might even get to put up the landmark stone and plaque.
      • Truth is...
        ...the powers-that-be do the best they can over there at W. 16th. Of course there is no demolition actually going on. But seats are being removed. Or were. We can joke around about the place but you know, when you really think about it, you too, Chief, they are trying to save this sport and IMS. Sometimes in our snarky fun, I think we fail to realize they keep IMS up as best they can. There are the rumors of it closing after the 2016 Indy 500 but it is mostly fan griping so we'll see. My guess is, they keep it going, but it will have to be a smaller venue. Too many seats for today's level of fanship.
      • FIRE MILES!
        That guy ain't got the right stuff. The series hasn't been in a worse condition EVER. EVER. I see Disciple raising a ruckus over the poor conditions at IMS. Bathrooms leaking sewage, parking lots all broken up with gigantic craters and sidewalks all cracked with possible code violations everywhere. PLUS, it's not even ADA compliant at all. I hear he's gonna report IMS to the Speedway, Indiana building code inspectors. Wouldn't that be awesome, the #1 former paid speedway propagandist turning AGAINST the speedway to help save our track? Things must be really bad at IMS. HaY AnTHONY! Get this guy Disciple for some sound bytes again...J. Douglas Boles and Mark Miles aren't getting the job done...yet they are repaving the road course for the street racers in the IRL!!!! Bwaawahahhahhaha...this is so RICH you just can't write it...$10 million to repave yet the outhouses are full of it. Rust every where...TV viewing screens at Texas motor speedway cost more than the $100 Million sales tax grab! Mark Miles, fire yourself. It's over brother....
      • Change of heart
        Thinking about it, I think I have been too harsh on Indy Car and IMS. I will try and keep my comments positive from now on. I have to admit with all of the downside of OW racing going on, the racing itself is as good as it has ever been. Let's hope for more positive news coming out of W16th.
      • ^^^ Not me
        An imposter above posted that nonsense. I would never refer to "W16th"...it's "16th and Jonestown"...that's how you can tell....that's that imposter Discpicle. Bwahahhahhahaha! Bro, if you are gonna spoof me, do it RIGHT! BWAHHAHHAHHAHA! FIRE MARK MILES TODAY...do it for the KIDS!
        • DW has a new job
          His old job Falken Tire says it will run in GTLM class of United Sports Car Championship next season & Derrick Walker will return as team manager.
        • Mark Miles - good
          I am going to retract my earlier statements based on the news today...I hope they get it right..I will be watching as I am the only one who knows what is going on and everyone else doesn't know what they are talking about..BWAHHAHHAHHAHA! GO MARK MILES
          • Imitation
            is the sign of a hollow mind
          • Perhaps
            I should run over there and defecate upon the premises. That’ll show ‘em. Oh wait. I’m an adult. Never mind. I am merely a fan with a deep sense of the rich history of the place, and am making suggestions as an adult to those charged with maintaining the history. Hulman Racing's biggest mistake was letting Belskus run the place at all. Miles obviously has no sense of or respect for the place, and Boles seems like a yes man but utterly clueless about the sanctity of the place he supposed to be managing. The whole thing is a wretched failure.
            • 25/8
              One only needs to take a brief look at your quaint little blog to see how much of an adult you are. Lots of defecation there.
            • Dipsicle faults them
              for not being religious nut cases?
            • Save our Track
              What has J. Douglas Boles done to save our track today? Was he out filling potholes? Naaaah. Was he out treating the rust laden grandstands with petroleum naval jelly? Nope. Was he repairing the foundational cracks in the sidewalks and handrail that dot the speedplant? Not a chance in Hades. Yes men don't get dirty... Disciple should volunteer to do these chores to save our track. He's a long time IMS yes-man.
              • right on
                I know Boles' talent is articulation, politics and back stabbing. It's hard to tell if Miles has business acumen but he clearly has mastered politics to build the career he has had. It's also clear he has no racing background and his passion for the Speedway is the social position it provides him in Indy circles. The track and the sport need what other successful motorsport businesses have had (NASCAR, F1) - a leader who is both a smart business professional and someone with passion for the product cultivated over a lifetime of dedication to it. More than anything thank you for the comment about empty suit Doug. Glib, lacking in character, him having a role of influence at IMS insures one thing: more rudderless floundering.

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