RTA Names World Surf League's Jonathan Marshall Exec Dir
The RTA named World Surf League COO & General Counsel JONATHAN MARSHALL to the newly created position of Exec Dir, filling what figures to be an important new position for the coalition of NASCAR teams. Marshall, who starts June 1 and will relocate to Charlotte, will become the day-to-day leader of the group, which now has 14 member teams, three full-time employees and a board comprised of NASCAR team owners. RTA Chair ROB KAUFFMAN, who will retain that title and role, on Saturday said that the group hired Marshall so that teams can have someone working every day on key initiatives from cost control to digital media and esports. Marshall is a 20-year sports entertainment executive who also has prior stints at USA Today Sports Media Group and Westwood One. Marshall was selected during a process run by executive search firm RSR Partners. THE DAILY first reported in November that the RTA was working on hiring this position. Marshall said, “I’ve had the great fortune to meet with a number of the team owners and presidents, and they all have a different perspective but a lot of commonality between what they’re trying to do. So it’s really my job to make sure I’m listening to all the members of the RTA and come back and say, ‘Here’s what everyone is thinking, and how do we collectively move this thing forward?’” Marshall said he has pledged to spend the first 90 days on a listening tour (Adam Stern, Staff Writer). ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass noted Kauffman "swears he hasn't hired" Marshall "as someone to be a thorn in NASCAR's side." He said, "No, that is not our objective by any stretch of the imagination. ... Jonathan's role is not that at all. It's to help coordinate, collaborate, work on alignments of interest and, if there are hot issues, bring them up to me and the board and we'll figure out how to address them." Marshall said, "I'm an objective observer at the end of the day that represents the race teams. I work for the race teams. That's who I work for. ... Their concerns are about the growth and health of the sport" (ESPN.com, 5/19).