SBD/July 12, 2013/People and Pop Culture

IndyCar Exec VP Greg Gruning Leaves Series For Job Outside Sports World

IndyCar Exec VP/Corporate Business Development GREG GRUNING has left the series and taken a position with a technology company. He is now the Chief Revenue Officer at Segmint, which collects data from financial institutions and retailers and analyzes it on their behalf to identify consumer-buying behavior. Gruning said, “This was a great opportunity for me and my family. I say this as an outsider now, but the base of sponsorship for IndyCar is solid. Our renewal rate was phenomenal. We extended our core (sponsors). 'Turbo' is kicking in now. I still remain as positive as I have been about IndyCar." He believes the opportunity still exists "to leverage Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar together better than has ever been done in the past to truly put Hulman & Company out there," and he notes Hulman & Co. CEO MARK MILES "is on this” (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer).

THE PERFECT PAIRING? In San Diego, Bill Center wrote the position of Hulman Motorsports President "would seem to be a perfect fit" for former Padres President & CEO TOM GARFINKEL. IndyCar's current marketing "is a joke," the TV package is "terrible," and "national driver awareness is weak." Garfinkel could be "the perfect person to address the woes of IndyCar -- were IndyCar to give him control to make dynamic decisions." But that is "the potential major rub." IndyCar has been "its own worst enemy when it comes to marketing." It has "long been a sport run by the individual teams rather than a central authority." Were IndyCar to "give Garfinkel autonomy, it would be interesting to see where he might take the sport" (UTSANDIEGO.com, 7/11).
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