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Zak Brown is leaving his mark on motorsports, both inside and outside the car. As an owner and driver, Brown races around the globe. He also founded a series called the Legends of Motorsports with former CART and Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal. When Brown trades his firesuit for a sport coat, he’s CEO of Just Marketing International, a motorsports agency that directs the marketing of such clients as Verizon, LG, UPS, Subway and UBS.
Each of those experiences are reflected in his JMI headquarters in Zionsville, Ind., just north of Indianapolis. The front portion of the building houses the JMI business offices, while the back contains the racing operations for Brown’s team and a car collection worth millions. It’s a fitting environment for a man who lives racing, and made racing his living.
1. Champagne bottles from his wins as a driver; 2. Brown’s huge collection of die-cast cars in JMI’s lobby; 3. Firesuits featuring the colors of JMI’s clients; 4. A classic Cardinals photo of (from left) Stan Musial, Hank Sauer, Ralph Kiner and Enos Slaughter.
5. Rays swim around the tank in JMI’s lobby; 6. A helmet autographed by Sprint Cup drivers; 7. The first sponsorship Brown ever sold was to TWA on a car he was driving; 8. A Formula One car once driven by Juan Pablo Montoya hangs on the wall.
One of the many race cars in Brown’s collection is the Coca-Cola-sponsored Dallara Indy Car that Eddie Cheever drove to the 1998 Indianapolis 500 championship. Brown stands next to the Verizon Smart cars that buzzed around Daytona Beach, Fla., prior to the Daytona 500 when Verizon first entered NASCAR in 2009. Verizon is one of JMI’s clients. Among the cars in Brown’s collection is this No. 17 Smirnoff Ice Ford, which Matt Kenseth drove to the 2003 Sprint Car title. Smirnoff’s parent company, Diageo, is a longtime JMI client. Two Marlboro-sponsored cars: Brown is restoring the Penske PC20 (left), which Rick Mears drove in the ’90s; the 1979 McLaren M28 was driven by John Watson. Brown occasionally races this 1986 Porsche 962 in the Bobby Rahal Legends of Motorsports Series, which Brown helped establish with the former CART and Indy 500 champion.