IndyCar Series, Speedway open Hollywood area office

January 11, 2011
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IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced today they will open an office in Santa Monica, Calif., to make further inroads into the media and entertainment industries.

“If we want to grow the sport, we need to be fully vested in relationships with the entertainment community that can tell the storylines of our sport," said IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard. “This will be a one-stop shop to pursue opportunities and make deals across multiple business lines and entertainment outlets.”

Sarah Nettinga will manage the new office and become senior vice president of media and entertainment for IndyCar Entertainment. Nettinga brings extensive experience to the initiative from her time building similar relationships with Hollywood in her previous role with NASCAR.

“Sarah has a substantial set of relationships that will get us off to a running start,” Bernard said. “She has a detailed understanding of this landscape that blends sports and entertainment.”

The IndyCar Series is in a unique position for growth that makes opportunities for integration into film, television, music and emerging media properties exciting, Bernard said. From the announcements of the 2012 new car project that includes engine manufacturers Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus to 14 new sponsors - including Fortune 500 companies Verizon, Sunoco and Philips - being added in 2010, the IndyCar Series has considerable momentum, he added.

“Having an IndyCar office in Los Angeles will provide our sport and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a strong presence in an important global community,” said IMS CEO Jeff Belskus. “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a great story to tell in 2011 as we prepare for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. In addition to the business reasons to have an office in Los Angeles, it is a very fitting location because many of the celebrated stories and personalities associated with the Indianapolis 500 over the last century have deep roots in southern California.”

At NASCAR, Nettinga developed and produced film and television shows with third-party producers, managing production for NASCAR for three motion pictures “NASCAR 3D: The Imax Experience” for Warner Bros., “Herbie: Fully Loaded” for Disney and, as an executive producer on “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby for Sony.” For television, she was responsible for six series, with the most groundbreaking being “NASCAR DRIVER: 360” for FX.

Prior to joining auto racing, Nettinga was a production executive at Warner Bros. International Television Production. She also has worked for Columbia Tristar Television, CBS, Petry Television, Westinghouse International and Sony International Television in roles that involved development, sales, production, branding and marketing in the entertainment industry.  
 

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  • Very smart endeavour. I know the Speedway has always tried to get big media names with some success. Jack Nicholson would be one of the most prominent of late. Having someone with Hollywood connections in Hollywood is a good start. The 50's and 60's were great for having celebrities and capturing the imagination of the masses.

    Anthony, have you heard anymore about the film based on the ealry history of the 500? I know they were talking about building a copy of the original track and I figured that was a long shot.

    As long as any media IMS does is not like the movie Drive. That was an abomination.
  • But the trouble is...
    ...sine I do business out here, I can atest, Hollywood does not care about motor racing in the slightest. Indy Car Racing is nto even on the radar screen. Thsi is just Ropin' copying a NASCAR idea that didn't work. I applaud the effort, but it is basically weak and will fall flat on its face. No matter what Ropin and the crew try, the fact remains, the sport is no longer popular, has run its course, and is fading away. There is nothign Hollywood can do short of having the cast of Twilight enter the Indy 500 to generate any interest. And maybe that is the way to go anyhow: The Indy 500 as a celebrity race. That might have some workability in it. As it stands now, it is a race of 8-10 real race car drivers and 20 or so pretenders. So why not make the whole thing a pretend race and field car Eva Longoria, Justin Timberlake, Cher, Sean Penn, Ben Affleck, and so on. That might work out. Otherwise, nobody knows who Vitor Meira is, expecially Holywood, and they do not care. Nor do they want to. Bottom line: Nice try, no go. Weak. Sorry. You lose again.
    • Burl,

      Again, is Burl telling the truth or telling more of his tall tales? Will Chief buy his stories hook, line and sinker? Will Burl tell all of us that he is leaving again, just to come back because he misses us?

      Inquiring minds want to know.
    • Burl
      Here goes Mr. Know It All, running his mouth once again. You complain about driving pretenders (as you put it), but you suggest using Hollywood types that have never driven? Brillian, Burl, Brilliant.

      Not.........
    • Burl
      Oh, Burl, I forgot, you forgot to take your Ritalin meds this morning!
    • Finally
      Actually, I think this is a solid move, and its the type of move I expected out of a marketer like Randy Bernard long before this. Truth is, the masses don't care that much what kind of tires or engines the cars run. That's for hard-core fans. To attract the masses, the series needs to put on a better show and they need to take it to a new, broader audience. This is the first move in that direction, and I think it could have a bigger impact than all the noise about the new 2012 cars, engine suppliers, etc. etc. that many fans simply don't relate to.
    • Seen this movie
      A few years ago the Speedway spent a fortune with William Morris Agency or CAA or someone like that do do just this. IT FAILED.
      Then a few years after that they spent a fortune with GENE SIMMONS of KISS who had a company that did this stuff. And IT FAILED.
      This too WILL FAIL. And cost more $$$.
      Just when you think the folks on 16th St. can't do anything more dumb, they do!
      IT'S OVER. ALL OVER.
      Forget trying to save Firestone; let's go chase "B" actors.
      Robin Miller: U R KILLING THIS SPORT. YOU TELL DOPE RANDY WHAT TO DO.
    • good pints, but ...
      Good points PeterCriss, but one hope is that Randy Bernard does this endeavor more strategically than Tony George and his possee. I always got the feeling that Tony was throwing money at some decent initiatives but in a very willy nilly way, with very little strategic thought. Randy has proven that not only is he a solid marketer, but a strategic thinker. I will agree with you on the Robin Miller front. He remains blinded by his hatred for Tony George, has abandoned quality journalism and has become an insufferable shill for the series. ie-Since TG could do no right, apparently RB can do no wrong. Robin would help the sport more if he took a bit more of an objective, honest (and dare I say) critical look at the sport and its leadership.
    • As Sure As the Sun Rises In The East
      Everytime there is a story on this site about the IRL, you can count on a comment from Burl telling us what a foolish mistake the IRL has made.
    • I reckon
      Look it's their business, but, I wonder why some incursion into Hollywood is the first place to look for the IRL's 'Holy Grail'?

      The on-track product sucks, the cars are ugly, the engines sound like a 140db version of the GhostBusters hearse.

      Wouldn't it make sense to make your ontrack product paletable and popular with the great un-washed rather than create a Hollywood based image of SOMETHING IT'S NOT? IMS is putting the cart before the horse...figuratively.
    • Kids: Don't They Say The Darndest Things?
      Predictably, I see the INDYCAR-obsessed folks can hardly contain themselves. That in and of itself is great news. The moment 'sky-is-falling' children STOP obsessing is the moment I will know the efforts are all for naught.

      What INDYCAR has done is orient itself inside the current decade. Building brand awareness and taking an active approach in attracting new fans has never really been taken seriously. It is now.

      The IZOD INDYCAR Series is in great hands, and good things are happening.

      Enjoy!
    • Ropin Randy
      is a genuis and I apologize to him - I don't want his apology...I bow to him. The greatest leader the sport has had. Long live Indy.
    • bomb
      Watch as this bull ropin'RB take the Indy Car into the ditch; he needs to gOOOOOOOOOOO!
    • Go????????
      Listen buddy, I'm staying and I'm a freaking juggernaught. You have to Goooooooooo!!!! Because you bore me and I'm 43 rolling in money and Will Be the most sought out exec in 5 years. Maybe I can bring CART back from the death,....doubt it that dude is cold
    • The fact remains...
      Hollywood did not work for CAA, William Morris, and Gene Simmons. They lost coin. In the case of CAA, Michael Ovitz'baby, they got caught up in the early IRL at Disney World when Ovitz was at Disney. Eisner canned him for many reasons, and Indy at Disney was not one. But Ovitz learned his lesson and does not like Indy Car racing. Neither did the crew at Morris. They, too, lost skin in that game. Simmons was nice baout what he knew was a lost cause. Thsi time around it won;t even get off the ground. Indy is over with on the national screen. Done. 300,000 Gomertons across this vast nation follow it. Coin is coin and Holly won't waste it on a yesterday sport with such a miniscule following.
    • Chief
      I applaud the effort to increase 'brand awareness'....but, the brand SUCKS. It has since it was created 15 years ago. 9 year old chassis will be out there this year.

      Brand awareness? The laCK OF POPULARITY of the series should tell you something. Trying to attract people that don't want you is just more $$$$ money down the drain.

      WHAT exactly is to be gained by this Hollywood office? So, IMS sales staff can work a few hours later to sell wares NO ONE WANTS? Hasn't the past 15 year taught you goofy folks anything?
    • So is this the Burl telling us facts, or Burl telling us stories when he gets caught with wrong facts? Sorry, no credibility. You should have left when you said you were going to.

      Chief, We all know short of apologizing to you and giving you your job back or whatever it is the IRL took from you, they will never do anything right in your mind. So other than criticizing everything they do, do you have a real reason to be here? Seems like you embarrassed yourself when you backed up Burl hook, line and sinker on his fictious tales.
    • I Will Start Worrying When the Obsessed No Longer Care
      Hmmm. That's odd. Why, just yesterday we learned the following facts:
      -14 new blue chip sponsors for the series in the past twelve months.
      -Sponsorship dollars spent in INDYCAR in 2010 exceeded $80 million dollars, more than double the previous year.
      -Ratings in targeted demographics are up 40%.
      -IZOD touts a 350% ROI, far exceeding their wildest estimates.

      Opening a west coast office to establish a presence in that media hub makes perfect sense, and is staffed by someone with experience.

      For something thought to be lacking in popularity by obsessed simpletons, actual reality seems to tell a far different story.

      Looks like the chicken little kiddies are wrong again.
    • Go away and the idiots stay
      300000 gomers are better than the 17 losers on crap wagon.com talking about how cool it was when....uh....when....well I am sure there is something


      300,000 = 17 too funny
    • Not so good the idea
      In past this idea, Hollywood promoting the magnificent "500", this did not work out so well, no? Was not the great effort aimed to attract new admirers of the speed sport through bling started with John Cougar Mellencamp and his model wife? No? This produced akwardness as the famed singer from Indiana was past prime no? Young people of the speed sport would ask who? Did not subsequent actions to make this great sport attractive through Hollywood and the world of entertainment was not met with frustration? Product placement was introduced on sets of TV shows but to no avail as one recalls as the cheering masses of the sport did not assume. Instead, the grandstands gave to solitude. Not even the legendary Mr. Simmons of musical note was able to achieve substantive result in attracting new followers of the speed game through the attraction of the pretty people. Kim Kardahsian, Mark Whalberg, and Jack Nicolson did attend last year no? But the very word from Ms. Kardashian was she did not like the partake of endeavor, while Whalberg and Nicolson did, however there presence was not of avail to general interest and Television rating. So future endeavor of popularizing the speedy chariots and the "storylines" of the courageous pilotos through efforts from out West most likely will be of wasteful spending of the precious coin left in coffer no? Will not Hollywood offer only token representation of the "500" Mile Race and, perhaps, commericalization of the pilotos efforts for which there is limited viewing? The mammoth race is not enough for the 21st century lure no? Not in age of distraction and short attention span of the celebrity environ for which there is ample comparison to extraordinary radar blip? Here today, gone tomorrow mentality no? In other words, friends of the motor racing exhibitions, nobody gives a rat's behind about it accept a bunch of midwestern hicks. No?
    • Well That Was a Not Funny At All Variation of the Hater Bullet Points
      I will say this. The IZOD INDYCAR Series is in far better shape than cart, which killed itself. Twice. It is just too bad the handful of hating chicken littles who are unable to either grasp or accept reality will not grow up. This sport would be great with just a few more adults.
    • There is some truth in these negative posts
      As much as I dislike the fact, the sport is in a fairly significant descent. I applaud the powers-that-be at IndyCar for trying different things to spark some interest. The question is, will this latest effort fail to produce liek the first two or three attempts to utilize Hollywood-level PR to generate interest? What would be different this time? If the interest level is just not there, as it appears, then no matter the effort from LA-LA Land, the sport is destined to spend much needed cash on a strategy that just doesn't suggest teh "ROI" people like Burl incessantly discuss. So it is a big roll of the dice if this is much of a capital outlay. A couple bloggers here are right. There just is not an interest in the sport out there and attempts to make it seem "chic" in the past have fallen on face. I agree with the one blogger here who suggested the IndyCar Series focuses on the true, core fan and realizes it is small potatoes in the entertainment scene. Niche has already been carved. It now must be cultivated. Appealing to a mass audience through celebrity is, I am afraid, a bit of the derring-do these says in a world where there is little room left for wipeout. Let us see. My instincts tell me that the sport can survive and go on as a sort of small, but sturdy sport with one relatively noteworthy event that attracts a 3.0 TV and 200,000 fans. Not bad.
    • My Glass Remains More Than Half Full
      The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the center of the motor sports world since 1909. Those attempting to relegate the sport to a niche are just not paying attention. The sport drew over a million paying fans in person last season. Ratings in coveted demos are up 40%. Sponsorship spend more than doubled in 2010 to well over $80 million. Fourteen blue chip sponsors have signed up in teh past twelve months. Let's take a look once the season gets going and the 100th anniversary celebration gets rolling in earnest.

      I anticipate some of the haters may spontaneously combust.
    • Yet pofitability remain RED
      When asked a direct question about profitability Mr. Bernard danced away from the answer like Gene Kelly in 'Singing in the Rain'.

      Why did he do that?

      For 15 years the IRL is not profitable REGARDLESS of what's happening now. 2011 will be no different, and going to Hollywood has just as much importance as opening an office in Huntsville, Alabama. ZERO importance as this was never on ANYONE's list of IRL NEED TO DO's.

      All thet's really been done is the Speedway is just cover the tracks it made when murdering the AOW sport, and they are making a fast getaway.
    • Common Sense Takes a Front Seat With D in the Room
      "When asked a direct question about profitability Mr. Bernard danced away from the answer like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. Why did he do that?"

      The IMS and IZOD INDYCAR Series are privately held. Their finances have never been made public. I suspect he was respecting that. Either that or it was a simple, gratuitous way to drive the INDYCAR-obsessed children who offer continuous commentary always framed around its supposed demise (you children have been looking foolish every single year for sixteen years now with annual predictions of doom that never come to pass) absolutely into a another quaint frenzy that will last years.

      "For 15 years the INDYCAR Series is not profitable REGARDLESS of what's happening now. 2011 will be no different, and going to Hollywood has just as much importance as opening an office in Huntsville, Alabama. ZERO importance as this was never on ANYONE's list of IRL NEED TO DO's."

      Well, uh, actually, opening an office in one of the two media capitals of the world is a very smart idea, as long as it does not result in an abomination like 'Driven.' It is a no-brainer. It does not have quite the effect of getting someone such as, oh....Cedric The Entertainer involved, but is definitely a good start. Huntsville may have made sense had they adopted that retro rocket looking Delta Wing.

      "All thet's really been done is the Speedway is just cover the tracks it made when murdering the AOW sport, and they are making a fast getaway."

      Hmmm. That's odd. If one looks objectively at the AOW landscape over the past sixteen years, three basic facts are undeniable:

      1. The IZOD INDYCAR Series, the continuation organization of the Indy Racing League, founded in the mid-1990s by Tony George, has operated continuously since 1996.

      2. cart killed itself.

      3. champcar killed itself.

      The only thing that appears to be dead is cart. Twice. So if you are one of the children of the cart who myopically (and foolishly) equate AOW with cart, well son, you are out of luck. Once you grow up, you may want to get out of the way so the adults in the room can continue enjoying the sport, as many of us have since even before cart came along.
    • But the fact remains...
      ....The IndyCar Series gets vry low television ratings. 0.30 range. The Indy 500 in 2010 was the lowest rated ever. Empty seats abound at most tracks. Homestead was a ghostown. Mmmmmmmmmmhhmmmmmmmm. Why? Because Defender is a fan of a sport that is not even on the radar screen of 99.9 percent of Americans. Tiny sport now. Almost irrelevant. Quick now. When was the last time you heard or saw someone in mainstream sports media talk about the big State of IndyCar meeeting or some of the off-season signings such as Rahal's? MMMMMMMMMMMMhhhhhmmmmm. Minor League sport, Defensless.
    • Continuing Deployment of Simple Common Sense
      Please allow me to address the boilerplate taunts of chicken littles with facts:

      "....The INDYCAR Series gets vry low television ratings. 0.30 range."

      Low compared to what? The vast majority of sports and entertainment fare is 'down' proportionately across the board over the same period. This is more a result of having hundreds of new channels, a large number of signal delivery methods, widespread Internet availability and the proliferation of wireless technology. Besides, no one except unenlightened squatters on the Internet really pays attention to simplistic 12+ Nielsen numbers. Those who spend money on advertising certainly do not. Take a look at numbers in targeted demos. They are up 40% last year, and that is something no other sports or entertainment offering can claim.

      "The Indy 500 in 2010 was the lowest rated ever."

      ...in a world of hundreds of new entertainment and delivery options. The fact remains the ratings for Indy are still the high water mark for the sport, respectable by ad sales measures and par for the course when compared with other offerings.

      "Empty seats abound at most tracks. Homestead was a ghostown. Mmmmmmmmmmhhmmmmmmmm. Why?"

      Mostly because NASCAR tracks were overbuilt. Even NASCAR does not come close to selling them out. The dreadfully attended and poorly promoted events; i.e., ISC events, were all dropped. Still, the IZOD INDYCAR series drew 1.2 million fans to race track seats in 2010, and that number is expected to rise in 2011.

      "Because Defender is a fan of a sport that is not even on the radar screen of 99.9 percent of Americans."

      Defender has been a fan of the sport since 1959. And if you look at it objectively, it hasn't enjoyed NASCAR levels of popularity since the 1960s and 1970s. And if things were as dire as positioned by the children of the cart, what does that say about the supposed star power of the cart drivers who became a part of INDYCAR after cart killed itself, twice? Moral of the story: The sport, centered around IMS, will be around long after we're all gone.

      "Tiny sport now. Almost irrelevant. Quick now. When was the last time you heard or saw someone in mainstream sports media talk about the big State of IndyCar meeeting or some of the off-season signings such as Rahal's?"

      Saw all of those things reported on SportsCenter and on the web sites of most major American publications. All were covered in the motorsport-centric publications as well.

      "MMMMMMMMMMMMhhhhhmmmmm. Minor League sport, Defensless."

      I, like most rationally thinking adults, am pleased with the momentum the series has, including the support of dedicated sponsors, including IZOD, whose initial investment is producing a 350% ROI, far exceeding their expectations. Fourteen blue chip sponsors have sighed with the series in the past twelve months, and that investment has more than doubled to over $81 million dollars. Even the boo birds would agree that's not bad for a 'minor league sport.'

      Burl, when are going to start using your head?
    • Been there done that
      Hollywood, Las Vegas, been there done that, failed miserably; Hollywood does not like racing, LV does not want their casino guests at a race track, especially at night time. I cannot understand why this board has brought in a "roper" to do the same things they failed at before. This is a time for innovation and new ideas. Get some top notch people.
    • Defenseless misses again
      Nice try, Defenseless. But it dopes out goes down dumb. Hey, do me a flavor. Give me a total $$$ value of those "14 blue chip sponsors", then a break down of each as to what they are putting out. Then run me comparison numbers from 1995 ok? Let's adjust for inflation. See where we are at ok?

      As for your explanation of Homestead by pointing your soiled finger at NASCAR: Ok, I'll buy that one. Overbuilt. So to that end, it would make sense for that race track to take some seats out. There are probably 20,000 too many for that facility, reflective of the state of the sport. But in Indy Cars case, there is a high school football stadium we are redeveloping right now in Texas. I have available, aluminum bench seating, only four years old and in excellent condition, that seats approximately 5,000. Teh school fileld that to capacity and that is why I have a contract to expand to a permanent faciltity seating 12,000. These are nice grandstands of high quality. I would make an offer to the IndyCar Series if they are interested because then they could hold a race that is actually a sell-out. I am pretty sure they could seat 5,000 and then go to the standing room only card. Sounds good and gives guys like you, Belsuks, Talkin', Ropin', Gobblin' Robin, and WindyMan, data to warp.

      Bottom line: The IndyCar Series and the Indy 500 are teensey. Ok, maybe the "500" still has value, but diminished. And you'll see that in buttage and rating coem May. One hundred means nothing to anyone but boater hat wearing geekdom at Trackforum and the rest of the oddball Branch of Davidson Gomeratti who weep at the alter of Jim Nabors and Tom Carnegie.

      And there is your trouble Defenseless: Indy has a high geek number.
    • making a profit?
      To Chief's comment: "When asked a direct question about profitability Mr. Bernard danced away from the answer like Gene Kelly in 'Singing in the Rain'."
      I think Chief brings up a very good and important topic. In the end, as I've always said, Randy Bernard will be graded on the series' scale of profitability alone. I did ask Randy about this after Tuesday's presentation. He was pretty straightforward about 2011 and the comment he made about profitability, and I'll share what I've learned on this blog within a few days. I'll also share a few other things I learned after the presentation. Thanks for reading.
    • Hollywood
      I think it is a great idea for the IICS to open a Hollywood office. It will work beautifully now that the twice dead non Indy series are out of the picture. You wait the IICS will be bigger than Nascar and F1 now that we will have that Hollywood office. Maybe they can come up with an "American Idol" type show that goes across the country looking for future IICS drivers.Have the final showdown at Fontana! I would watch that show.
    • Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
      Here is the actual beginning to the press conference, recorded when Randy Bernard stepped to the podium. He said:

      "Gather 'round me, everybody
      Gather 'round me while I'm preachin'
      Feel a sermon comin' on me
      Then settle back and just sit tight
      While I start reviewin'
      The attitude of doin' right

      You see, you've all got to accentuate the positive
      Eliminate the negative
      And latch on to the affirmative
      Don't mess with Mister In-Between

      You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
      Bring gloom down to the minimum
      Have faith or pandemonium's
      Liable to walk upon the scene".

      Suddenly, all across the world, media and web pundits alike all began singing the same tune:

      "(Man, they said "We'd better accentuate the positive?")
      ("Eliminate the negative?")
      ("And latch on to the affirmative?")
      Don't mess with Mister In-Between (No!)
      Don't mess with Mister In-Between!

      (Ya got to spread joy up to the maximum!)
      (Bring gloom down to the minimum!)
      (Have faith or pandemonium's)
      (Liable to walk upon the scene!)

      You got to ac (yes, yes) -cent-tchu-ate the positive!
      Eliminate (yes, yes) the negative!
      And latch (yes, yes) on to the affirmative!
      Don't mess with Mister In-Between
      No, don't mess with Mister In-Between!".

      So, this explains why pesky details like 'no profits' or 'bad TV ratings' can easily be dismissed. But, the truth ALWAYS finds it's way to the surface though....remember, in business, failure is an opportunity. And opportunities only coverup the damages to the sport since the IRL's creation.
    • Poking Zoo Animals With Sticks
      Let's review the reaction of the children of the cart after being treated to a heaping helping of facts by an actual adult:

      A. One of them completely misunderstood (as far away as a human mind can actually get, actually) the purpose of having a presence on the west coast. This is unsurprising.

      B. 'Ol Burl continued with his boilerplate hate, both asking for specifics and trying to do something no one in business every would...compare 2010 to 1995. Here's a deal for you. I'd be happy to go into detail the moment one of you provides me a detailed accounting of revenue versus expenses over the life of Indy Car that makes a case for a 'loss' taunted at between $600 million and $750 million.

      C. Anthony chimed in with a timely tease for a future blog.

      D. Some unoriginal, unfunny child hijacked my real name and posted something that both makes little sense and fails as any sort of obsessed homage.

      E. Chief, when called on his usual equine excrement, trotted merrily off to the la-la land in the part of his brain that is, frankly, God's own private little mystery.
    • Nice try Defenseless
      You'll need help with B.somewhere else. I never claimed that loss number. I have ni idea how much they have lost. But you seemed obsessed with the number i.e. scared. I see you are not a business person either. You gave that away to us in your last waste. The problem with you Branch Davidson's is your strict adherence to Gomerton fundalmentalism. Blinders on, Defenseless. Blinders on. Don't hurt yourself when IMS is sold and the Indy 500 is no more ok? I don't like you, but I wouldn't want to see that.
    • I wonder
      I wonder how the IndyCar Series will use the Super Bowl here in 2012 to try to lift its image. Surely with all the efforts they're making in other markets, they'd certainly try to leverage an event bringing in tens of thousands of people (many who have never been here before)to try to raise their profile. I know it's in February here, but still since it's just a month or so before the start of the big season with the new cars and engines it'd be a good platform to use as some kind of publicity spring board. Probably a good question to pose to IndyCar higher ups.
    • Finally, An Intelligent, Forward Looking Question
      Great point, Anthony, and also a great question to ask the powers that be.
    • The Children of the cart Handle INDYCAR Success Without Much Class
      "You'll need help with B.somewhere else. I never claimed that loss number. I have ni idea how much they have lost. But you seemed obsessed with the number i.e. scared."

      The actual number is hundreds of millions less than the one(s) that are oft-stated. Nothing to fear there.

      "I see you are not a business person either. You gave that away to us in your last waste."

      Actually, I am self made, successful and rapidly expanding. I'm very happy.

      "The problem with you Branch Davidson's is your strict adherence to Gomerton fundalmentalism. Blinders on, Defenseless. Blinders on.

      See, this is where what little credibility you think you might have vanishes. I am assuming you were actually going for 'Branch Davidians, the religious cult from WACO who ran afoul of federal authorities years ago. I suppose that is a slight improvement over Kool-Aid/Jim Jones/Guyana references that are also popular with your limited intellect ilk. Classy. And 'Gomerton?' I am assuming that is some obsessed reference to Jim Nabors. Whatever. Do you not imagine how seriously you might be taken if you posted as an adult would?

      "Don't hurt yourself when IMS is sold and the Indy 500 is no more ok? I don't like you, but I wouldn't want to see that. Don't hurt yourself when IMS is sold and the Indy 500 is no more ok?"

      Let's compare notes when that particular concoction actually comes to pass, shall we?
    • Come on Defender
      Get out of here. My cup reunneth over since 1987 as a real businessman with a multi-million dollar operation across two-thirds of the nation. I am sorry to disappoint you but you'll have to move onver and let the big dog eat. You're a pup in a junkyard dog's pen.
    • How it is
      I have no skin in the auto racing game and just read these blog posts out of curiosity. I guess the IndyCar/Hollywood connection caught my eye because I have clients out there in PR. I do watch the "500" every year and I attended the 1990, 1993, and 2000 races with my company. It is a huge event for an ok sport. I am not convinced it is terribly popular, however, and I know in my travels around the country it seems to not even exist. We get a warped perspective here in Indiana. My brother-in-law and his law partner represent an Indy Car racer whom they will nto tell me the name who is worried the sport is going to collapse soon and wants to find some other type of racing to compete in. I wish I knew who it was. But Jim made it clear this driver is known to the Indy car fans and is a winner. Apparently, he was told by his agent to prepare for the end. That is all I know about the perceived demise of this sport. It may be true. I do know the interest here in Indianapolis has diminished considerably since I was a kid back in the 70's and 80's. The whole atmosphere is different. As much as I dislike agreeing with on obvious axe-grinder such as this Burl character, he is right on one point. It seems very "minor league" and even a little hokey if you will. That is too bad. I sense it is in desperate shape just in my contacts here in the business community and from what my brotehr-in-law told me about the race driver who said it may soon be over. Sad.
    • Indianapolis: Still The Capitol of Motor Racing
      Good points, Logan...hence one of the reasons for opening a west coast office in one of the two media capitols of the planet.

      Over the past three years my travels have included stops in Kuala Lumpur (and other smaller Malaysian locales), Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Jakarta...and in Europe recently it's been Brussels, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and several cities in Great Britain. In every single instance while making small talk, the question about where I am from is asked. When I tell them Indianapolis, 100% of the locals mentioned the Indianapolis 500. 100%.

      Typically, those who dismiss the sport as 'minor league' are folks not predisposed toward auto racing to begin with. The other extreme group are generally disenfranchised, youthful cart enthusiasts who lack the maturity and knowledge to orient themselves within an appropriate century.

      Big bad business man wannabee Burl is a shining example of that particular yelping fringe.
    • One thing, though
      My old homey from our days at Norhtern Illinois was with the Cubs a couple years ago as an intern. He said some Indy 500 people wanted to have the Cubs sponsor a car. They turned them down because they said the value of the rcae was just not there like it used to be. They ran some numbers or something. The team wanted freaking $1 Million to make the car look all Cubs-like. The baseball team said, nada. So then fast-forward right? Last year, after we both graduated, he got hooked up with this one girl who's dad has something to do with this one team, I don't know the teams, but he told her that story and she was like, "yeah, we can't get sponsors anymore. It's is all out of the owner's pockets more and more." Or words to that you see? That's all I have but my boy was all like "that race is so not important anymore." I guess the girl's Dad is out of it now. All I know, I been out there to see the place. It's huge but way too many seats. People my age, they don't know this sport that is for sure. They are like, what? I'm not even sure they know what the Indy 500 is. So there is some truth is all I am saying. I'm cool with whatever.
    • New Fans Always Welcome
      Hmmm. A couple of things seem really odd. If people your age don't know this sport, what prompted the comment? You are obviously interested enough to grace us with your presence. Also, more and more sponsors are signing up. Why, in just a few days one of the great stories from last year, HVM, announces full season sponsorship.

      The series itself more than doubled its own sponsorship last year and is well over $81 million.

      Knowing the IZOD INDYCAR Series is on hiatus from the Chicagoland area, a Cubs sponsorship really does not make sense.

      I feel sorry for your girlfriend's father. He evidently is hooked up with a welfare team. The good teams pound the pavement until they fund their teams. Even Foyt Racing did that.

      Thanks for stopping by. The 100th anniversary season is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever, and your demos are right up the INDYCAR target alley.
    • Paranoia and Narcissisim Prompt Your Comments
      Defender....there's good and bad in everything. It is a horrible dishonesty to the fans to always present the 'ROSY' IRL picture all the time. Let's be honest for a change, you dislike my opinion because you hate the fact that I AM CREATIVE.

      You can't 'control' a creative self-thinking mind....nor any of the other 'self thinkers' that post here. And it drives you INSANE.

      Remember the Humpty-Dumpty analogy....I admit the Speedway is taking steps, but ol' Humpty was shattered into billions of itsy-bitsy pieces. Ropin' Randy has done good...but he's a freshman used car salesman trying to make a smashed 1975 Ford Granada on rims into a flash elegant 2012 Aston-Martin DB9.

      All you Indy bootlickers are happy with a 1975 Ford Granada. There's work to be done. Be a little more humble Defender, we may all get along better for the betterment of the sport (because of it). YOU can't do it, can you?
    • As Previously Stated...
      The IZOD INDYCAR Series is always glad to welcome new fans.
    • Speedway Needs to be MORE Welcoming to "Minority Groups"?
      Apparently during the State of the Series speech, Randy Bernard made mention that the series hadn't been very welcoming to "minority groups" and the speedway was poised to correct that. Randy referred to them as "those minority groups".

      This USA has been one big melting pot for a long time...and now the speedway wants to be more welcoming? What did they do to not be welcoming previously?

      The IRL opportunist ways with George Mack and Cory Witherall turned my stomach as did the touting of 'short track heroes' being the second coming of Aj and Parnelli. These opportunist ways have run aground recently as they've used Danica and her gender for all they could get publicity-wise.

      So IMS, I'm insulted already that you have to do something special to get us interested, but more so because you seek to publicize it like you have. Minorities are proud peoples and will NOT fall for this revisionist welcoming.

      Explain what the problem was and what you are doing to fix it. OR JUST SAY NOTHING.
    • A Call For Those Purporting To Be Race Fans to Discover Maturity
      Seriously, Chief? The more time passes, the more you regress. Grow up. Is that so difficult. You are pretty distant from funny.

      "Let's be honest for a change, you dislike my opinion because you hate the fact that I AM CREATIVE."

      No. You are not. You are an obsessed child who foolishly believes he is creative, but is woefully mistaken. All anyone needs to do is attempt to wade through your repeated nonsense. You are a screeching chicken little type whose sole purpose anywhere on the Internet seems to be to drop waste on otherwise worthwhile conversation.

      "You can't 'control' a creative self-thinking mind....nor any of the other 'self thinkers' that post here. And it drives you INSANE."

      Actually, it makes me sad. Society has regressed enough without having to deal with immature, classless vandals.

      "Remember the Humpty-Dumpty analogy....I admit the Speedway is taking steps, but ol' Humpty was shattered into billions of itsy-bitsy pieces."

      There you are incorrect again. cart was shattered into lots of little pieces. Twice. They no longer matter, except in the deluded, juvenile minds of those still attempting to tear the sport apart because they can't get over their preferred organization's boycott and subsequent multiple self destruction.

      "Ropin' Randy has done good...but he's a freshman used car salesman trying to make a smashed 1975 Ford Granada on rims into a flash elegant 2012 Aston-Martin DB9."

      Actually he is an accomplished, proven executive who took a completely obscure sport to a respected position of profitability. He leveraged that feat into an opportunity to repair damage caused both by cart scorched earth and entrenched IMS ineptitude. So far he is exceeding expectations.

      "All you Indy bootlickers are happy with a 1975 Ford Granada."

      What possesses you to name call like a grade schooler? How old are you? 'Bootlickers?' Excuse me? Happy with a '1975 Ford Granada?' Hardly. Pay attention, son. The number one issue Randy heard from fans was get rid of the spec. So in 20121, that is precisely what is happening, and with multiple manufacturers. Every actual race fan to whom I have talked believes that is a great evolutionary trend. So do I.

      "There's work to be done. Be a little more humble Defender, we may all get along better for the betterment of the sport (because of it). YOU can't do it, can you?"
      Spare me your quaint lectures. Look in the mirror. There is always work to be done. There has been work to be done since day one. If there is ever a point where there is not work to be done, I will be worried.
    • None of this explains...
      ...why the sport is so unpopular that at many of its events, including the championship season finale in a major market, there were tens of thousands of empty seats. Defender cannot argue that fact. Memo to Defender: There were TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EMPTY SEATS. And the Greatest Spectacle in Racing was NOT A SELL OUT, featuring wide swaths of EMPTY SETS. EMPTY SEATS! The INDYCAR Series cannot fill them because it has geeky-nerd drivers only a tiny percentage of hardcore racing fans have ever heard of or care about, a pompous image, ugly cars, a boring product, and a howdy-doody rodeo fair director for what Defender considers a brilliant executive. Yep. Corn dogs and bullstink. Perfect fit, actually. Defenderless, your sport is on its last eight second ride, it's gonan get throwed, and tossed out with the midway trash. She's done, Defenderless.
    • The Kids Are In An Uproar This Evening
      "...why the sport is so unpopular that at many of its events, including the championship season finale in a major market, there were tens of thousands of empty seats. Defender cannot argue that fact. Memo to Defender: There were TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EMPTY SEATS."

      News flash: All ISC venues were dropped. The reason? Lack of promotion, which resulted in lack of filled seats. I assume your latest shrieking tirade deals with Homestead. They never drew a crown even in the utopian cart days of yore. NASCAR can't even fill it up. Is there some attempt at a point, kid?

      "And the Greatest Spectacle in Racing was NOT A SELL OUT, featuring wide swaths of EMPTY SETS. EMPTY SEATS! The INDYCAR Series cannot fill them because it has geeky-nerd drivers only a tiny percentage of hardcore racing fans have ever heard of or care about, a pompous image, ugly cars, a boring product, and a howdy-doody rodeo fair director for what Defender considers a brilliant executive."

      What explains a half-full IMS for the latest Brickyard? I thought NASCAR was the most popular form of motorsport in the USA. Why did the most popular form of motor sport in the world, F1, draw less than 100K? By comparison, the 300,000 the Indy 500 draws every year seems great to rational thinkers, especially given the economic challenges today. Heck, why did NASCAR not sell out ANY of their races last season? Why are there wide swaths of grandstand at most F1 races? What makes you believe INDYCAR is the only form of entertainment that does not sell all its seats?

      "Yep. Corn dogs and bullstink. Perfect fit, actually. Defenderless, your sport is on its last eight second ride, it's gonan get throwed, and tossed out with the midway trash. She's done, Defenderless."

      If I apply your 'logic' in a general sense, the only sport with a future is the NFL.
    • Word in Edmonton
      They're shooting for attendance records! Apparently they never came close previously to the CCWS records. I wonder why?

      CANOE.CA has the article....IRLZOD series needs to hit 80K race day and 200K weekend to even get close.

      Folks in Edmonton think this is a big record to break....me too.
    • It is a New Decade
      I don't care. No real racing fan cares. Only children like you do. If cart was as great as it is portrayed they would still be here. They are not. They are dead. Twice. Students of history will also tell you to subtract about 60% of the count at any cart event and you will come close to the actual number. I do not care about that either. What cart did at Edmonton has no relevance to today.

      Get past it. Orient yourself in 2011.
    • I didn't write the article
      People like it when records are broken legitimately.

      The IMS knows they have major hurdles to get the sport back to the way it was....I wish them luck on their quest. Breaking this record will be an accomplishment for the young IzodCar series.

      Geez Defender, you'd think you'd be excited about eclipsing a prior great record. I think the other record the IzodCars need to shoot for is Toronto....176K weekend and about 78K for CART/CCWS series there respectively. I believe the IRL drew 15K for the weekend the past two years. Maybe the promoter needs to go OR they should open an office up north like in Hollywood.

      I also hear they going to merge the record books of the MERGED IRL and CART/CCWS series. This will go along way to help ol' Humpty get put back together.
    • super bowl and track
      The Track should use the Super Bowl for PR not some office in LA LA Land. Great idea AS. Too bad the Track has NOT had a PR dept. in , uh, like never.
      And which daughter is the one who "hand picked" Randy? And I mean HAND picked.
    • Oh, Smack
      Hey Ignatius -- does it hurt that you're being ignored on your favorite forum?
    • Congratulations!
      Congrats go out to SAM HORNISH for being dumped from his Cup ride. The grand legacy of IRL drivers promoted to the big leagues has proven to be a grand waste of time. Apparently ZERO former IRL drivers amounted to anything outside of the IRL itself. Indy ain't built no starz since 1995. Hmmm, what happened?

    • Hmmmm. That's Odd.
      You know, you're right.

      Sincerely,

      Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman
    • The Dingoe ate your BABY
      Pride of the IRL, Tony Stewart, got punched out last nite in Australia. Here's a snippet:

      "Stewart got into a dispute with the owner of the Sydney Speedway -- stunning, I know -- and things turned a mite ugly. Seems Stewart wasn't pleased with something, perhaps track conditions, and made his concerns known to Brett Morris, co-owner of the track by allegedly hitting him with a helmet. Morris didn't take the gesture as a souvenir, and reportedly decked Smoke, leaving him with a black eye."

      Ryan Newman NEVER stepped foot in an IRL car.

      Regardless, the IRL FAILED to retain Mr. Stewart's services, thus even failing at what launched the IRL in the first place, getting USAC roots racers in the IRL. Who's the next AJ? Why, it's gotta be the Dancing With Stars champeen or that girl that does soft porn, Danicka Patrick.

      So yeah, I am right. The IRL has produced ZERO. Quite a legacy that they are depending on ex-CART and CHAMPCAR WORLD SERIES drivers, team owners and other series principles like TOny Cotman to rebuild the IMS Humpty Dumpty back again. Too bad for \you IRL lubbbers, they are rebuilding it with CART-like features. Hahahahha!
    • If It Is cart-Like, Why Wouldn't You Kiddies Like It?
      Basic facts about INDYCAR production:

      1. Sixteen years of turning wheels.
      2. Television ratings up 40% in targeted demos.
      3. Title sponsor reports 350% ROI, 'far exceeding' their expectations.
      4. Fourteen blue chip series sponsors in twelve months.
      5. Sponsor spend in 2010 more than doubled to over $80 million.

      Basic facts about cart:

      1. Not relevant since 1995.
      2. Killed themselves.
      3. Successor organization also killed itself.

      Is it not time, Chief, for you and your handful of delinquent friends to grow up?
    • IRL was a FAILURE
      That's why they changed the name. YOU too...twice.
    • REAL basic Facts about CART
      REAL basic facts about CART:

      1. Indy/IRL has not seen prosperity SINCE the IRL locked-out CART with the creation of the IRL. FACT.
      2. Remnants of CART/CCWS were MERGED with the IRL in 2008. Tony George paid $$$. FACT.
      3. Successor organization (IRL) DEAD, no longer relevant.

      Is it not time, Defender, for you and your narcissistic multiple personalities to grow up? 500 hits a DAY on that blog of yours sure is using up all the bandwidth preaching your revisionism, eh?
    • Not This Pointless Nonsense Again
      Chief, you remain the most delusional person on earth. Take you cute little continuous, ineffective taunting of grownups, for example. None of what you fat finger ever makes any sense whatsoever.

      "REAL basic facts about cart:
      1. The INDYCAR Series has not seen prosperity SINCE the IRL locked-out cart with the creation of the IRL. FACT."

      One of the problems with children who refuse to budge from 1995 is the wildly stupid (more stupid with each passing year, actually) notion that cart was 'locked out.' On the contrary, every single cart team was explicitly invited, in writing, to compete, and cart chose not to. That sounds more like an arrogant boycott as opposed to a 'lockout.' If the notion there was a 'lockout' is real, that points to very severe delusion.

      "2. Remnants of cart/ccws were MERGED with the IRL in 2008. Tony George paid $$$. FACT."

      How can you legitimately call a glorified asset sale a 'merger' and keep a straight face? Actual adults can't. Why are you unable to cease pounding the stupidity drum and join the rest of humankind in the current decade and century? Pining for what you mistakenly believe existed will get you nowhere.

      "3. Successor organization (IRL) DEAD, no longer relevant."

      This is perhaps the most stupid 'fact' ever concocted by you petulant children. The IRL began in 1996, has operated continuously ever since. The leadership is different (and better) and the corporate entity previously known as the IRL is now known officially as The INDYCAR Series. Projecting cart-style failure (twice) onto the INDYCAR Series just screams delusional.

      "Is it not time, Defender, for you and your narcissistic multiple personalities to grow up? 500 hits a DAY on that blog of yours sure is using up all the bandwidth preaching your revisionism, eh?"

      I honestly do not believe it is me that needs to grow up. I have had the proper respect and reverence for the institution of Indy since 1959. Perhaps in the unlikely event maturity creeps into your repertoire down the road you may begin to understand it. But right now you are very distant from even basic understanding, and I feel truly sorry for those of you who choose a willfully stupid path.
    • No way
      You can't convince me....you are an IRL revisionist. I am an AOW historian. You lie.
    • Smart Business Move: INDYCAR Opening a West Coast Office
      People who may be mentally ill often have a difficult time recognizing their own potential mental illness. Youthful cart enthusiasts who willingly lodge themselves in 1995 and refuse to budge fall into this category. It is sad, really. An oozing sore on an otherwise healthy (and getting healthier every day) and vibrant sport.
    • Mumbles and you
      "People who may be mentally ill often have a difficult time recognizing their own potential mental illness."

      What's your excuse? Between you and Tony George you could occupy an entire wing of the old Central State.
    • You Are Not In Kindergarten
      Listen...this quaint little game of 'I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I' is cute, but beneath me. All I want to know is:

      1. INDYCAR opening a west coast office...good idea?

      2. When are you going to grow up?
    • I reckon...again
      Look it's their business, but, I wonder why some incursion into Hollywood is the first place to look for the IRL's 'Holy Grail'?

      The on-track product sucks, the cars are ugly, the engines sound like a 140db version of the GhostBusters hearse.

      Wouldn't it make sense to make your ontrack product palatable and popular with the great un-washed rather than create a Hollywood based image of SOMETHING IT'S NOT? IMS is putting the cart before the horse...figuratively.

      I reiterate...IF THE IMS had something to market (like a REAL RACING series) it would be a good thing. But, this just costs throws good $$$ after bad, just like always. ALL FLASH with nothing to show for it.
    • We're Making Marginal Progress
      "Look it's their business, but, I wonder why some incursion into Hollywood is the first place to look for INDYCAR's 'Holy Grail'?"

      It appears the notion they are looking for some type of 'holy grail' is another fantasy concocted from your vivid imagination. Material I have read simply indicates the series is looking to broaden its exposure in the entertainment capitol of the world. A presence in both New York and LA is a very smart approach, particularly when staffed by someone with experience.

      "The on-track product sucks, the cars are ugly, the engines sound like a 140db version of the GhostBusters hearse."

      Look, to be honest, the sour opinions of a handful of youthful cart enthusiasts who refuse to budge from 1995 means almost as much as the future viability of the cart series; i.e., absolutely nothing. You failed to address the question of when you would grow up; the bitterness of your subjective dismissal answers the question. At least we know you are a fan, otherwise you would never spend this much time obsessing over it.

      "Wouldn't it make sense to make your ontrack product palatable and popular with the great un-washed rather than create a Hollywood based image of SOMETHING IT'S NOT? IMS is putting the cart before the horse...figuratively."

      Hmmm. Objective folks look at it and see that it is the most diverse series in the world, and other than a few seconds of big time drag racing...also he fastest. The legitimate concerns mature adults have expressed about spec series have been addressed as well. It appears the minority of which you a part is shrinking rapidly.

      I reiterate...IF THE IMS had something to market (like a REAL RACING series) it would be a good thing. But, this just costs throws good $$$ after bad, just like always. ALL FLASH with nothing to show for it.
    • Unbeknownst to You and Your "Alter-Ego's"
      I previously responded about 55 messages back with the same exact same reply. Your boilerplate then (as now) is psychotic.

      I guess we ARE making progress. You know Defender, electroshock therapy would work wonders for you.
    • Defender's obese wife
      "Hey Ignatius -- does it hurt that you're being ignored on your favorite forum?"

      Ignored? He can't even post. Bwahahahahaha!!!
    • Lost in all of this...
      ...is the fact the sport is so far off the public radar screen that, well, NOBODY cares!

      Face it, it is OVER! Not even Lord Randall shall saveth. DONE! Finis! Kaput! Through! It is all over but the Centennial sportfans.
    • Chief
      For 8 years the IRL has been what it will be in 2011. THE SAME.

      SAME chassis, SAME engine, SAME winners, SAME losers (AJ and original IRL brethren, FTG).

      Yet they want to market the nothingness of the IRL..err INDYCAR (renamed to capitalize on the past great series) in 2011. WHY do that? WHY not wait until 2012 when what was left of the original IRL is gone forever? Just more lipstick on the pig.
    • One not-so-good item...
      I took a tour of the Speedway last week with my wife and father-in-law. There was a TCGR employee there and we got to talking about the State of the Sport as that was all the buzz. He was less thasn optimistic saying on of the other teams was told that unless the IndyCar Series can show a consistent 1.0 rating on TV in 2011, they were done. And apparently several other sponsors are thinking the same. I have heard or read this before as a "baseline" number, but now it seems all too real. It would be a monumental leap in interest for the series to go from a .30 to a 1.0 in one season. Also, I am hearing that large swaths of emoty seats may yet be the reality this May at the "500". We bought our tickets and tens of thousands were still available. I asked how ticket sales were going and just got a downward look and a shrug. Times sure have changed. Even in the dead of Winter, the place just seems lost. I wish it were not true but the old gray mare ain;t what she used to be that is for sure. Still, we'll be there for the 100th Anniversary and hopefully many more to come. But you do have to wonder. Kind of reminds me of the old Astroworld amusement park I used to go to in Houston where I grew up. At one time, season after season it was all the rage. It was the thing to do. Tlaks were of expanding or even relocating it to a Disney-size property. Then it sort of went into a down trend and before long it was passe. In the end, hardly anybody went and only the real hangers-on could be found there. Then it became a weed lot. You have to wonder if old IMS is headed that way. Nobody I know anywhere knows or follows this sport. Anywhere. They know Danica and Helio as the Dancing With The Stars guy. Some have heard of Dario I guess. But theey really don't know the sport still even exists. One time a few months ago a big time sports fan asked me, "What other races besides the Indy 500 do they have?" He only knew of Toronto beside Indy and I think that is because it is on ABC and he stumbled on it. And this is a sports bar, season-ticket, all sports kind of guy. Not good.
    • Still Trying to Understand the Motivation Behind The Ignorance of Some Others
      Oh, the humanity. LOL. I am surprised there are so many people who just do not get it but obsessively comment anyway.

      Wonder whether anyone bothered to ask that team about ratings in targeted demos being up 40%, which is something no other sport can claim? I did not think so.

      Folks, look. If there is one thing I have come to understand from attending events at IMS since 1959 it is this: The Indianapolis 500 was around before any of us were born, and it will be around long after we are all dead. Anyone who cannot accept that is neither sane nor rational.

      Chicken little hysteria spouted by those who really do not understand it makes the folks doing the spouting look really foolish.

      Why not simply enjoy the show? Here is a safe prediction: The 100th anniversary event will be a sellout.
    • TV ratings
      Are everything is pro sports. Everything. Darius is correct. The 1.0 number is widely discussed as a bare minimum. The IZOD League Car Series Presented by Ropin' Randall falls so far short of that mark they would need a NASCAR-like trend surge to get even close to 1.0 How are they going to do that on JK Vernay and Bertrand Baguette? Nope. There is a very good reason why all but six of the driver's in the IZOD are paying for their thrills.

      It is basically a six car, pro-am series. Better were the days of Racin' Gardner and Jimmy Kite. At least back then you coulf do it far cheaper. Far cheaper. And the Gomertons still came out in theior boater hats with milk lip and tears for Jim Nabors, all Tom Carnegie-like in their roaring approval. It had an everyman quality to it. If Racin' Gardner can do this, so can I. Now it is just a bunch of rich Euros and South Americans, chicks, and metromen. Rejected firmly by the one-time patron, it is left to ferment like bad fertilizer foot.
    • Been reading this blog
      Any sport that continuously refers to a "target demographic" is by defintion a niche sport as some here contend. They are correct. This IndyCar Series is a niche sport, I have to agree. And one with a following so miniscule in comparison to the other sports, it is quite fair to submit this: the sort of advertisers requisite to sustain the economic models which the sport is predicated on are most certainly not going to entertain a small, select grouping. Especially when even a modicum the amount spent of a top flight IndyCar team would buy across the board exposure. Or better yet, monies not spent at all. The entire economic structure of the sport will have to change to reflect institutional sponsorship monies i.e the return of the Wynn's Friction Proofing Special for a tidy $250,000 worht of annual sponsorship or perhap's a non-institutional such as a recycling plant that entertains its employees at the "500" for a $75,000 buy in. In short, this is the only way the sport can sustain. Otherwise, it will continue to rely on international drive buyers, the nature of which it is clear the American automobile racing fan has for all intents and purposes, firmly rejected. I submit the days of this sport are numbered otherwise. Thank you and good day.
    • Marco Out?
      I heard this is Marco's last year before sports cars. That ought to tell you soemthing right there.
    • The Tin Foil Hats Are Being Utilized
      (Insert hysterical shrieking here) Wah wah wah. The sport is dead! It won't last another year! Bwaaahhhhhh.

      Do you people understand how fundamentally impaired you appear? Indy Car racing has never, ever been a top sport. Ever. Not in the cart era. Not in the roadster era. Not in any era. Positioning it as somehow needing to be for survival is utterly ludicrous and unrealistic.

      The goal of IMS for INDYCAR is profitability. That is Randy Bernard's #1 job. He is succeeding.

      For those wailing about the lack of Americans, do not worry. Many more are signed up for '11. The ladder system is being configured to generate even more.

      All the chicken littling in the world does not change basic facts:

      -Those who use 12+ numbers as if they mean something are, essentially, well beyond ignorant. Those numbers are not how advertising purchases are based. Numbers that matter: Targeted demographics. In those, a 40% increase is something no other sport can claim.

      -Series sponsorship more than doubled in 2010. Total spend exceeded $80 million dollars. Fourteen blue chip series sponsors have been signed in twelve months.

      -The series drew over one million in attendance last season.

      Seriously, doomsayers, use your brains for once. If you want to obsess over a series actually sliding downhill, go pester NASCAR enthusiasts.

      Meanwhile, back onto topic, a high priority these days for INDYCAR is effective marketing. Keeping the sport in the public eye. Employing someone with that type of experience on the west coast is a very smart move.

      Again, the Indianapolis 500 was here before any of us, and will be here long after we are all departed. If you do not believe that, you know very little about the the institution that facilitated the entire sport, and you have my pity. It is difficult to feel contempt for ignorance.
    • Maybe they can
      Maybe the new West Coast/Hollywood office can work on a documentary about the sport from 1909 to 1995.
    • High Point in Indy Car: 60s Through the Early 70s. IMHO.
      Why stop at 1995? The sport continues to this day. The evolutionary turn cart had ended in an embarrassing fashion.

      Oh, other bad news today:

      -The federal government cleared the way for the Comcast purchase of NBC-Universal. Watch for a re-branded Versus and other channels to enhance the INDYCAR viewing experience.

      -A national brand title sponsor for the Milwaukee race will be announced on the 27th.

      THE SKY IS FALLING. Lol.
    • Whoopp-dee-frickin-doo
      IRL is a bad reality show. The gag order in place for all the drivers and owners in the IRL needs to be publicized. Why isn't it?

      Why does the series have a gag order in place? What is leaks occur again?
    • Why Would Anyone Want to Publicize The Figment of Some Kid's Imagination?
      To what 'gag order,' specifically are you referring? And what could that possibly have to do with the INDYCAR series opening an office on the west coast?
    • You know, on second thought...
      ...I think I may be wrong. I think, in fact, and upon closer study, the Indy 500 and IMS will be around for a long, long time and experience a significant resurgence in popularity. This will be especially true if the series switches to NBC in 2013. No, no I was wrong. The Indy 500 is going to be huge this year and around for a very long time. I stand corrected.
    • Gag order
      I was talking about the one referred to by Marshall Pruett in his article linked from the indycar webabomination site about 2.2L engines and the state of the IRL BS. That gag order. Don't the IMS send you the press releases?
    • Sorry. That Must Have Eluded Me.
      You are being obtuse again. I did see a Marshall Pruett story on the Speed TV web site about engines, but nothing that would indicate any sort of gag order. It appears to be just another figment of your obsessed yet vivid youthful imagination.
    • Gag Me With A Bottle of Milk
      There is some sort of order or understanding. I have heard that. Basically it comes down to, "you wanna run the "500" and race in the Izod Series shut your lips". Basically, that is it. Driver's have precious leeway in what they can say, but so as not to appear to be gagged, so to speak - pun intended - they are allowed to offer slightly counter opinions to some issues. Anyone who pulls a Stewart is going to ashcanned if they are an official. If they are a rent a ride driver the offense would be weighed. The truth will come out someday. The league is a joke. A complete and absolute joke. Only not funny. And the sport suffers because of it.
    • Where Have I Heard This Nonsense Before?
      "...some sort of..." "...I have heard that..."
      "...the truth will come out some day..." "...The league is a joke..."

      Same script, different day. Next. Grow up.
    • The Racing Is Not Enough
      How come the IRL FAILED to draw sustainable attendance at it's venues over the past 15 years?

      Why has the IRL FAILED to create sustainable TV ratings in it's 15 years of existence?

      Racing-wise, WHAT REALLY WILL CHANGE from the years previous to 2011?
    • IRL-IZOD-INDYCAR
      They simply have failed to deliver a sustainable product as evidenced by the very poor TV ratings and decline in attendance.

      This Defender character cannot in any way, shape, or form, defend the fact the series' Championship round was attended by no more than 10,000 and had a television audience of no more than 300,000. WNBA-level stuff.

      He can reference "targeted demographics" all he wishes, that won't cut the mustard for long-term sustainment. He is obviously not in advertising and certainly not a businessman. I am.

      Only institutional sponsors would view a "targeted demographic" with such small numbers as a potential investment, mostly for VIP association. That would place the series at a decidedly "minor league" level as some have called it here, something akin to WoO or, generously, ALMS. That is hardly the stuff of a major sport.

      The hard truth is the current structure is set up for failure. In just looking at the peripheral numbers, I give it two to three years. And that is extremely optimistic. Most likely less time if interested parties wish to cut their losses. It would take a tremendous turn-around to last that long and change course for a sustainable future.

      In all seriousness, if the 2011 season fails to deliver a tremendous increase in TV viewership, which is everything, and as an aside, sees an increase in attendance at most races, there is absolutely no way it will last. This is especially true considering the existing teams face a substantial increase in expenditure at the end of this season.

      I understand there are folks here who love this sport. However, much of their repeated mantra in defense of it, falls flat on the face of reality. The series is very sick and may cease to exist. That is a very real possibility.
    • With all due respect
      The CART/OWRS/Champ Car formula ultimately ended in failure with substantial monetary loss to multiple parties. It would be ill-advised to resurrect that operating plan.

      Mario Andretti was a great race car driver and, by all appearances, something of a successful entrepreneur, albeit from a narccistic platform. His advice to Mr. Bernard is not without selfish-motivation, something that was painfully en vogue in CART's pinnacle era. The end result was complete and absolute failure.

      For this sport to succeed it first must reconcile with the fact it is of second tier importance now, perhaps always was. Then it must retreat to a USAC/1970's-era level of operating cost across the board and hope the legendary Indianapolis 500, as its centerpiece, will be sufficient enough to justify a half dozen other races on small venue ovals. The era of CART and all its grandiosity is long past and of virtually no appeal to the American motor racing demographic at large. They evolved. The sport did not.
    • Oh well...
      If the .1rl goes away, will anyone really notice?
      I mean, apart from Defender, who will be suicidal for a while, but he'll eventually get over it, and become a huge F1 fan. :P

    • IndyCar and the "500"...
      ...can cease to exist at the end of this May and it would be but a blip on the radar screen of sports history. But it would get short-term coverage in mainstream media. It would be a big story for a 15-minute fame run. Then on to the next thing. The Indy 500 today is small taters. Small, small taters on the American sports conciousness.
    • Mr. Stroud
      The racing...the CART racing in 1995...is what they want back. What ever made that successful, they want that back. Whether the business of CART ever gets anywhere again is not the point...

      When you sever the success of the sport because of a stupid meglomaniac's ego centricity and paranoia....well, that's why the sport is on it's knees. And yes, the IRL was a FAILURE...and everyone knows it...AND is the exact reason this 2011 IRL lameduck season is gonna suck, regardless of the amount of lipstick is on the IRL pig...indycar name as well. ICK.
    • The Largest Attended Single Day Sporting Event in the World
      Attendance challenges are a reality almost every sports and entertainment venue faces this year. I find it comical that folks portend doom just for the Indy 500, however. I have been going to the track since 1959. Back in those days 150K was considered amazing. Of course they only had seating for 150K as well. Not one NASCAR race sold out last year. Does that mean they are doomed as well?

      From my vantage point high above turn one, I saw every seat filled in the most expensive seats, and I have not seen as many people lining the infield (budget conscious) in decades.

      My opinion about those who believe the race is history is as follows:

      -Their ignorance about the event knows no bounds.

      -They are willfully stupid for whatever reason.

      The one thing I know for sure is that it was around long before any of us became fans, and it will be around long after all of us are dead.
    • Facts, some ignore 'em
      -500 race has fallen in importance, national and international, due to Hulman-George involvement.

      -Attendance has fallen to lowest levels since 1995, 1979, 1961, 1959. Blame has been placed on everything BUT the real reason: The IRL FAILED and held no real interest for racefans. Together, the IRL and 500, have floundered. Now, they change the name of the series to the old "INDYCAR" moniker and expect to have the same respect as the former IndyCar series did. Not a chance Hades friends. And, they exoect it in IRL Dallara "planes", 8 year old chassis known for breaking the backs of drivers with alarming regularity.

      -TV rating for the 500 have fallen to lowest levels SINCE live broadcasting began in 1986. 3.68 in 2010 reflects the apathy in the sport due to Hulman-George destructive influence on sport.

      -Hulman-George family have spent $750million and COUNTING to prop up the dead IRL...and are now engaged in the practice of the resurrection of CART formulaic racing...known as a successful form of racing snuffed out in it's prime by Hulman-George involvement (creation of IRL).

      Frankly...THOSE ARE ALL FACTS. And IMS lubbers and Indy bootlickers can't handle the FACTS. Watch, wait and listen for Defenders own boilerplate making excuses for the IRL and the 500's own failures...later in this blog.
    • Again, I Urge the Kids To Discover Maturity and Relevance.
      Another one of Chief's cute little childish tendencies is not reading (whether capable or not) the patient, adult explanations of actual reality. I am really not certain I can go much more slowly in the explanation department. But I will generously give it a go.

      "-500 race has fallen in importance, national and international, due to Hulman-George involvement."

      Since 1946? LOL. On the contrary, the 500 has enjoyed immense stature for decades. The only 'people' who believe it is less than it was are, essentially, ignorant cart enthusiasts who have been crying the same jag for sixteen years. Their track record of predicting doom is 100% incorrect.

      "-Attendance has fallen to lowest levels since 1995, 1979, 1961, 1959."

      This one is very easy to prove. The number of seats in 2011 is much higher than in either 1959, 1961 or 1979. And yet attendance for every Indianapolis 500 in the INDYCAR era is much higher than in those years. 1995 featured lots of empty seats low in the north chute and on the backstretch side of the NW Vista. I know that does not fit the hater argument, but facts rarely do.

      "Blame has been placed on everything BUT the real reason: INDYCAR FAILED and held no real interest for racefans."

      Again, the only confirmed failure was cart. Twice. It is really too bad its most militant apologists refuse to budge from their mostly self-concocted utopia. INDYCAR has been a lot of fun, turning wheels for sixteen years.

      "Together, INDYCAR and 500, have floundered."

      They have? When do you expect they will self immolate, as cart did? Twice?

      "Now, they change the name of the series to the old "INDYCAR" moniker and expect to have the same respect as the former IndyCar series did. Not a chance Hades friends."

      Actually, the twice failed cart series is best left in the past. The goal for INDYCAR (actually alive) is to forge a new level of success that exceeds anything in the past.

      "And, they exoect it in IRL Dallara "planes", 8 year old chassis known for breaking the backs of drivers with alarming regularity."

      Fortunately, Dallara and the INDYCAR series have made phenomenal safety advances over the years. INDYCAR has led the way for the sport. Dallara is building a new factory on Main Street in Speedway, Indiana to lead the next generation. Lots of additional manufacturer involvement has been confirmed. These are all tangible signs of growth for the series.

      "-TV rating for the 500 have fallen to lowest levels SINCE live broadcasting began in 1986. 3.68 in 2010 reflects the apathy in the sport due to Hulman-George destructive influence on sport."

      In actual fact, the 12+ numbers for INDYCAR mirror ratings trends for the vast majority of sports and entertainment offerings. Other facts we know for certain include:

      -Ad sales are not facilitated using 12+ numbers.
      -Ratings in targeted demos are up 40%, and no other sport can claim that.
      -It is likely this particular taunt will keep on being used by the more ignorant cart enthusiasts.

      "-Hulman-George family have spent $750million and COUNTING to prop up the dead INDYCAR...and are now engaged in the practice of the resurrection of cart formulaic racing...known as a successful form of racing snuffed out in it's prime by Hulman-George involvement (creation of IRL)."

      If that is true, why would you not be 100% supportive? Did you hate cart and act like a child between 1979 and 1995? You may not have been born yet. Oh, and when will you address my request (nearing 100 times now) that you provide an accurate accounting of revenue versus expenses that explain that funny $750 million number? No one has. Particularly no one of importance.

      "Frankly...THOSE ARE ALL FACTS."

      You have a generous definition of 'facts.' It is quite funny.

      "And IMS lubbers and Indy bootlickers can't handle the FACTS."

      'Bootlickers' huh? Classy. Actually we handle them by laughing uproariously, which is the only logical reaction.

      "Watch, wait and listen for Defenders own boilerplate making excuses for the IRL and the 500's own failures...later in this blog."

      Nope. No excuses. Adults understand the evolution of not just the sport, but of the entire planet. It is my belief that the obsessed INDYCAR followers who spend many waking hours trying to tear it apart for no apparent reason should discover maturity. Perhaps even address actual topics, which in this case is the opening of a Hollywood office to further promote the growth of INDYCAR.
    • Nothing is confirmed EXCEPT
      The points I made. If so, Firestone wouldn't be developing an exit strategy. Baltimore would have a title sponsor. IMS would advertise the centennial to 30+ national tv ratings households during football games. But IMS won't.

      All facts...important ones some will not admit too. Digital Impressions are up 350% though. WooT!
    • A Job Awaits
      When will you present your case to Randy Bernard? He listens to everyone, even imbeciles. Go for it, guru.
    • Word out of Indy...
      ...ticket sales are below expectations going into the end of January now. A race that use to sell out the previous Summer now features large swath, large swath, of available seat. Just go look for yourselves. Defenseless will not be able to defed this. An amazing number of seats are available. Could it be the Centennial Indy 500, the self-billed "Most Important Race in History", will feature aluminum fans? Why, yes. It could be so. It will be so. The Indy 500, it seems, is passe. Passe indeed. Mmmmmmmhhhhmmmm....the times they are a changin'. The legendary Indy 500 is now just another old sporting event of no real importance or impact on the American sporting scene. The poor attendance last year and the lowly TV rating already reflect that. And Defenseless is too dumb to not the place has way too many seats for an event that public now walks past without notice on their journey along the American pathway. The Indy 500, it would seem, is just soem background noise down the street somewhere like some distant leaf blower.
    • Nice comeback DEFENdeR
      "1995 featured lots of empty seats low in the north chute and on the backstretch side of the NW Vista. I know that does not fit the hater argument, but facts rarely do."

      That's your bunged-up reasoning right there. Remember when the IMS used to say '400,000' seats until Curt Cavin counted them. Remember when Penske said 50,000 folks missing was like a drop in the bucket to a place like Indy?

      Good thing there's aerial HIGH DEFINITION photography these days to capture the empty aluminum. Keep lying DefenDer. The Speedway needs to determine whether it's going to tell the truth, or continue covering up the past lies.
    • Hooray for Hollywood!
      No one said there weer never empty seats. My elusive (at least to you) point is that even in the 'utopian' cart years of yore there were empty seats.

      Here is another consistent fact: IMS has never released any attendance figures. Ever. The media and cart are responsible for 'half a million' claims then as they are now. In actual fact, the size of the crowd at Indy generally runs

      Your mostly incoherent attempts at posting comments here continue not to make much sense.
    • Edit Post
      (copy/paste screwed up...this is a really bad site for allowing even basic functions)

      My sentence that said: 'In actual fact the size of the crowd at Indy generally runs...' should say 'between 350,000 and 375,000.'

      You're welcome.
    • Low interest in the Centennial 500
      It is utterly amazing how many seats are available for the Largest Single Day Sporting Event In The World today, January 24. Tens and tens of thousands. Entire sections, row upon row. Me thinks the IndyCar Series rent a riders this year may be endangered while motoring around the track in their 9 year old race cars because their vision will be impaired by the blinding reflections of sun off the aluminum. We'd better hope for a cloudy day.
    • Blame others
      Sure DefenDeR, it's this web site's fault for your inability to cut and paste.

      Blame others, it works perfectly for you.

      It is about today and tomorrow...unless IMS sells more seats it'll be the WORST attendance EVER. Notable because it's been in decline since 1996 and the influx of $$$ to the series isn't buying any advertising on Network TV's anywhere. Who do you blame now?
    • Better Get Your Seats Quickly, Fans
      The 2011 Indy 500 will be sold out. Copy and paste this for future reference.
    • IMS paying Defender to come here
      How much they paying you Defender? How much they paying you to repeatedly come here and spout the same nonsense?

      Betcha they're not getting any ROI on your BS either.

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