New IRL boss could lead to front-office shake-up

February 12, 2010
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It’s not clear who the Indy Racing League board of directors consulted before hiring bull-riding honcho Randy Bernard to take over the open-wheel series.
But it’s clear they didn’t consult Terry Angstadt, and now there are questions about his future with the operation. If Angstadt departs, you'd have to wonder about the future of his top lieutenants; John Lewis and Greg Gruning.

Maybe Angstadt, president of the series’ commercial division, has become disposable in the IRL leadership overhaul. But he seems like the type of guy Bernard might want to reach out to.
That would appear to be more than the board has done in recent times.
Lets not sugar-coast this. Angstadt wanted to be IRL CEO. And he seemed to have the credentials (including at least some racing background) to warrant consideration.
“There was mention of me at some point, and then the process continued along,” Angstadt told Sports Business Journal. “That’s about it.”

Things in the IRL’s sales and marketing efforts have been a long way from perfect—heck dating back to the formation of this series in 1996.
But Angstadt was on the front line of several battles won in the last two years. Those including signing Izod to a series title sponsorship, landing new sponsorships and promotional deals with Apex-Brasil, Coca-Cola, Maker’s Mark, Mattel Hot Wheels, Verizon, Orbitz, National Guard and Peak.

No, the IRL is not profitable, but that bit of wrangling helped close the red gap by about $20 million.

For Angstadt’s part, he continues with his job, spending much of his time recently preparing for the IRL season opener in Brazil, where he’s helped ink a sanctioning deal that will bring the series another $5 million. That’s $2.5 million to $3.5 million higher than the normal IRL sanctioning fee.

None of that may be good enough for the IRL’s new boss.

Bernard has made it clear that job 1 in his new post (which doesn’t officially begin until March 1) is increasing revenue, not cutting costs. He is quite clear that more money must come in from ticket and sponsorship sales as well as other revenue streams.

Taking marching orders from Bernard may be difficult to swallow for Angstadt. Dealing with unkind critiques may prove even tougher.
But with Bernard having the full support of the board (remember he was hand picked by some of them), Angstadt may not have a choice.

If Angstadt finds himself too out-of-step with Bernard, he might find himself marching right out the door. And he’ll take with him institutional knowledge that no amount of bull-riding bravado can replace.

  • Just antoher example...
    ...of the lack of "Vision" at IMS. The one who needs to be shown the door is Brian "Gimme Four Good Ones" Barnhart, an utter waste of a position.
  • Give it a chance
    Bernard has the right qualifications for the position and understands the areas where IndyCar is lacking - television viewership and event attendance. Terry, Greg, and John have done a tremendous job thus far, convincing big names like Philips-Van Huesen Coporation (Izod) that IndyCar is still relevant to the consumer and delivers value to the sponsor. If Bernard proves to be a good CEO, he will recognize the value of Terry and his team and will capitalize on their strengths. I would like to see Bernard bolster Terry's efforts by giving him the support and resources that he needs to continue the sales growth. I would be shocked if Bernard does anything to disrupt the momentum the IndyCar sales team has managed to create in the last year or so.
    • Barnard??
      Hmm - the board also put Tony in charge - that didn't work real well either. Maybe it's time to let the CEO (instead of the Board) decide who should do the job!!
      C'mon boys, play nice. It should be about saving the IRL, not about EGOS.
    • What momentum?
      With no racing experience and no knowledge of the sport, how can you say Randy Bernard has the "right qualifications" for the job? The IRL has realized they need increased TV viewership and attendance for the past 10 years - with no great success in either area. Other than Izod, what sponsorship $$$ has the IRL sales team obtained in the last year or so? I'm really skeptical about Bernard's hiring as his on the job training to learn about the IRL and racing in general will waste more time...and possibly blunt any of the "momentum" you assume.
    • It really sticks in the haters craw that Barnhart still has a job. Lets see the prediction of his firing has filled these blogs for at least 4 years. But like most of the haters predictions, has not come true.

    • Trouble if Terry leaves
      With all of the sponsorships and relationships that Terry is responsible for, the IRL will be in big trouble if he leaves. Bernard is not making his job easy by leaving out Izod when speaking of the IRL. I will be curious to see how Bernard does, he hasn't impressed me in any of his press conferences.
      • Sad
        I can't tell you how sad this has made me. I remember going to Mid Ohio before the split and seeing two racers not make the field because they only had 26 (i think that is the right number) pit positions available. I love open wheel and would hate to see the 500 die. I can only hope this is the beginning of something good and the end to the poison caused by the split.
      • iman's issues
        indyman should take Lil' Al down to FLORIDA and explain to TOney what Indy used to mean.
      • Izod Indycar Series
        why did the man who ruined indycar for 15 years pack up and leave; doesn't he know what Indy means?
      • Read my Lips...
        "He is quite clear that more money must come in from ticket and sponsorship sales as well as other revenue streams" - read: ticket prices are going up. So, is that a good strategy for a sport that's already in the throes of losing it's fanbase? Hmmm....combine that with attempting to attract more sponsors who are going to get less exposure - yep, a job I'm sure all of you would like to have. He has a tough road ahead - hope Goodyear gets the right tires for him!
      • txt msg, coming soon?
        From: Randy Bernard
        To: Terry Angstadt
        Subject: 2 things to discuss with u ASAP
        - - - -
        1. Do u know a guy named Kevin Camper?
        2. Can u pls clean your desk out by the 28th? This is your 2 wks notice
      • Izod Indycar Series
        Indyman, someone spilled your drink

        Oh, and the George clan is having a garage sale

        and now that TOney is gone, his former sickofant followers are calling for the clock to be turned back 15 years
      • Start over...
        Reality is that Angstadt has not brought in any real deals. He has merely used the sponsorship that teams and drivers have brought to the series and done "small" series deals. His guys are out of touch and have had no real vision for the future, instead trying to recreate the past. I think it is best to have a completely new direction. Why are some of you longing for the past 5 years...nothing has happened...the series has gotten smaller in every way you could possibly measure it. Angstadt has no credentials to run the series as a CEO, much less a marketing director.
      • Typical of the haters. get facts wrong, misrepresent reality and then perform a little sleight of hand. the 5 d's of dodgeball yet again.

        first, it was flavor aid at joneston, not kool aid. second, that is a show car hauler and like most of the series, they are selling off extras to cut costs and raise capital. i saw a 2 year old Hendrick trailer for sale last year. Does that mean they are going out of business?

        Finally, i like that you post links to your comments in other threads. real classy. Probably no different than the haters who post here under different names.

        So what did you think of NASCARs premier track coming apart during its premier race? Classic.
      • iman's issues
        as always, iman doesn't have anything good to say about the series he devoted 15 years of his life to; it seems that iman and TOney could have done better with 600 million dollars and 15 years. sad sad sad

        unlike you and the irl, hendrick is a winner, bigtime winner, huge winner. People would actually pay to own a winner's leftovers.

        NASCAR - it's always fun and exciting, no matter what what is cowboy Bob up to today?
      • Izod Indycar Series
        the two hour televised track repair at Daytona garnered ten times the number of viewers of the average indyfarce event.
      • Black helicopters and tinfoil hats
        IMS BLEW another opportunity to steal NASCAR fans yesterday. Running IZOD commercials in football playoffs was bad enough, and one during the ARCA Danica race...BUT not running any of them during the Daytona 500 weekend is a sin. Who runs the commercial division of IRL? MAJOR faux paux in my estimation....hiding out on Versus whos not even on Direct TV for 9 years more is a stroke of genius!!!! Someone's head needs to be delivered on a platter.
      • Yet again Truth ignores the truth. But we have come to expect that from him.


        have to agree it would make sense to run IRL commercials during the race. Not sure why you think running them during NFL playoffs was "bad enough". isn't that what izod is supposed to do? run their commercials where the target audience is?
      • Bad Bad
        Well...first off the commercials run by IZOD had no information on where to see on TV the Indy Car series. In addition, running them 2.5 months before the season starts in BRAZIL SOUTH AMERICA, seems a waste of time. After all, the media is dominated with DANICA. Wasted time if you ask me.

        Just learned Newman Haas Lanigan is down to one car officially, MUTOH. Apparently let 7 folks go. If you run commercials exposing the league on Versus...does that mean it really happened? And I mean that as it relates to sponsors?
      • I think you answered your own question. the commercials on during the playoffs were Izod featuring the IRL. They are for selling the clothes and use indy cars as a back drop.

        If they had been IRL commercials, they would not have done as well being months before the first race. Sounds like a smart move. i am hoping/expecting the marketing blitz for irl races will be occuring a couple of weeks prior to the first races.

        Have not heard that about NHL. Can you link that? if true, just another sign the economy is hitting racing hard.
      • Gold from straw
        Nobody can market this product better than Terry Angstadt. The product is flawed and has only two or three venues of real interest. Nobody will make a day out of watching spinning tops. Flat out around overly banked corners is little different than a video game.

        The IRL would take a huge momentum hit should Angstadt leave and it will take Bernard about a week to figure that out.

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