SBD/November 21, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Will Mark Miles, Jeff Belskus Be The Duo That Revives IndyCar?

Belskus (l) and Miles could help bring back a declining IndyCar TV audience
Mark Miles was introduced Tuesday as Hulman & Co. CEO, and people who know him said that he has a "skill that will be vital in reviving a struggling sport: getting contentious players to work together," according to Cavin & Murray of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. IndyCar team "owners, equipment manufacturers, event promoters and drivers -- who regularly fight on issues such as money and rules -- will have to be sold on Miles’ vision." Miles' team will include IMS President & CEO Jeff Belskus, who will "remain president of the parent company but focus on racing activities." The hiring of Miles "comes at a time IndyCar is overwhelmed with issues." It has a "declining audience, a struggling TV package, an unbalanced budget and not enough sponsorship." Miles "didn’t offer many details about his vision Tuesday, but much of it will be based on information from BCG, a Boston-based consulting group hired to study every aspect of IndyCar and IMS" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/21). ESPN.com's John Oreovicz wrote hiring Miles "looks like a smart move on a number of levels." He is a "legend in Indianapolis sports and business circles." Miles has "credibility locally, nationally and internationally." His new role "puts him in position to have huge influence on the sport." Meanwhile, this is Belskus' "second stint as interim CEO for IndyCar, and there are signs that he'd like to shed the temporary tag." Since the series split with Bernard a few weeks ago, Belskus has "thrown himself into the task of repairing the broken lines of communication and bruised egos that developed in the second half of Bernard's tenure." Belskus' "familiarity to the Hulman-George family and the Indy car community, combined with Miles' experience and skills, could end up being a winning combination." Miles "may not be the man running Indy car racing, but it sounds like he's a pretty good guy to have supervising and assisting the man who is" (ESPN.com, 11/20).
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