Jha moves from NFL to Tremor Video Sports Media Back9Network steps to the tee on DirecTV Dodgers, Astros show challenges Cardinals lead way in MLB local ratings Canada set for new TV routine Sports Media Ryder Cup a ‘crowning moment’ Nets prep for playoffs minus mainstays Network positioning ESPN2 as stand-alone
Upcoming Conferences and Events
SBJ/20090323/Forty Under 40
Published March 23, 2009
Marshall Carlson spent his spare time as a high school youth in a small four-bay garage, running errands, cleaning up and being there for the mechanics when they needed a hand.
“I always loved cars, I loved everything mechanical,” Carlson said. “But I never envisioned that I’d be in this type of role.”
That role has taken Carlson into one of the top team jobs in NASCAR, running Hendrick Motorsports — NASCAR’s version of the New York Yankees, minus most of the drama — as general manager and executive vice president.
While owner Rick Hendrick will always be the face of the team, Carlson has emerged as the team’s day-to-day leader, a behind-the-scenes role that puts him in the middle of everything from contract negotiations to sponsorship, engine shop issues and finance.
One minute he might be in a meeting with Hendrick’s competition team, the next minute he might be reviewing a sponsor’s contract.
“It’s my job to stay abreast of everything,” Carlson said. “One of the real fortunate things about this company, given the breadth of what we do, is that we have a pretty flat management structure. We don’t make any major decisions without the stakeholders having input.”
If a department of Hendrick Motorsports needs a new piece of equipment, more staffing, more resources, Carlson’s job is to understand the need and implement a plan “to make sure our people are in a position to be successful.”
At the end of the day, though, Carlson probably spends as much or more time on contracts as anything. With a sponsor roster that includes Pepsi, Lowe’s, DuPont, National Guard, Kellogg and CarQuest, among others, “we’re representing a lot of companies on the track, through licensed merchandise, media,” he said. “These are complicated relationships and we have a significant responsibility to that company.”