SBD/Issue 89/Leagues & Governing Bodies

IRL President Barnhart Talks Of Series’ Long-Term Future

Barnhart Hopes To Stabilize IRL’s
Event Schedule In Near Future

IRL President & CEO Brian Barnhart is interviewed by Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR, and says of the state of the racing series, “Look at the stability we’ve provided: long-term contracts through our television and engine partners through 2009, long-term commitments with our tire manufacturer and gear box people. Our (contracts) are in place for a longer period of time than any other form of motor sports. We’re providing a stable platform for our team owners. Now we need to give them long-term stability with the (event) schedule.” Barnhart said there would be 18-20 cars racing this season. He said of the current marketing strategy, “If we keep doing what we’re doing, I’m not sure we can make enough inroads. We must raise the value of participation in this series. We need aggressive thinking.” The IRL recently signed a deal with KISS’ Gene Simmons, who recorded the song “I Am Indy” for the series to use this year. Barnhart said of the song, “It’s not meant to be a top-40 single, but it will serve its purpose for us and improve the fan experience. It’s foot stomping, and when you connect it with our marketing materials and put videos with it, it’s cool” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/26).

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