SBJ/Nov. 11-17, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Hulman hires top marketing, sponsorship execs

Hulman Motorsports last week announced the hiring of former NASCAR team owner Jay Frye as chief revenue officer and former Ford marketer C.J. O’Donnell as chief marketing officer. The hiring brings an end to a nine-month search for an executive to oversee commercial operations for the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles began a search this year for a replacement for former IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard, who left the organization late last year. But Miles this summer decided to split the CEO job into two positions, one overseeing sales and one overseeing marketing, and hire two executives who would report to him.

“We felt we could find really strong people like the two we’ve got and be flatter and leaner,” Miles said.

Frye most recently served as general manager of Red Bull Racing’s NASCAR team. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at MB2 Motorsports, a Sprint Cup team he helped start in the late 1990s.

O’Donnell most recently served as the marketing manager for Ford’s electric vehicles. Prior to that, he worked on the marketing teams for the Lincoln and Jaguar brands.

“I like these guys for similar reasons,” Miles said. “They are seasoned pros who won’t require on-the-job training. Both have run businesses. They’ve had to manage resources, make payroll, build teams, set priorities.”

Frye will be responsible for sponsorship sales across both IndyCar and IMS. His most pressing job will be to find a new title sponsor for the IndyCar Series. Izod’s title sponsorship ended this season. O’Donnell will be focused on filling out Hulman Motorsports’ marketing staff and developing a marketing strategy for IndyCar and IMS.

“These guys complete the filling out of my executive leadership team,” Miles said. “They will oversee all the basic commercial functions. It provides the leadership for our racing enterprises in a consolidated way.”

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