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Just Marketing International was founded in 1995 focused solely on representing corporate interests that wanted to market their firms through motorsports.
These days, though, the Zionsville-based company is making quite a name for itself as a talent representation agency.
The diversification started two years ago, when JMI somewhat surprisingly signed a deal to represent NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon. JMI founder and CEO Zak Brown has known Gordon and his family for years and simply said he jumped at the chance to represent the four-time NASCAR champ because of the type of talent and person he is.
This year JMI has continued that diversification. In September it signed a deal to represent drag racing legend John Force.
This month, JMI added another of the world’s biggest racing stars to its stable, signing a deal with three-time Formula One champ, former F1 team owner and well-known motorsports commentator Jackie Stewart.
Additionally this month, the firm signed three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda, who has more recently founded two commercial airlines.
Earlier this month, Stewart parted ways with New York-based IMG, who had represented him for 45 years. Stewart said he parted with IMG because it is no longer involved in F1. He added that the split was amicable.
“I am looking forward to working with Zak Brown and [JMI President, International] David Webb, who I have known for many years, and their experience and relationships with Formula One are exactly what is required at this stage in my career,” Stewart said. “I need to align myself with a company that’s already [in motorsports], well-connected, already servicing multi-national corporations, looking towards bringing new business into the sport.”
It’s not clear how many more individuals JMI will sign. Brown, who now resides in London, said much of the company’s focus remains on corporate representation. But clearly his growing stable of stars has him excited.
“Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda are legendary global figures within motorsport, so supporting them with their business endeavours is something everyone at JMI is really looking forward to,” Brown said.
JMI in October was acquired by London-based communications giant Chime Communications Plc for $76 million. Previously, the company was 60-percent owned by New York-based private equity firm Spire Capital Partners. London-based global ad agency WPP owned 20 percent, and Brown held the remaining 20 percent.
Brown said the acquisition by Chime will have little impact on the company's business focus or his role in the firm.