Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 23 No. 13
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

GolinHarris to promote IRL

The Indy Racing League and its series title sponsor, Izod, have jointly hired GolinHarris, a Chicago-based public relations firm, to promote the IndyCar Series and its drivers as the agency of record.

The focus for GolinHarris will be reaching mainstream media outlets in the U.S. that don’t typically cover the IndyCar Series, while also giving the racing brand a greater reach.

“Our goal is to make our drivers stars in the mainstream landscape, and hiring GolinHarris is one of the first steps in doing that,” said Terry Angstadt, president of the IRL’s commercial division. “Pop culture, Hollywood, product placement, all of those things fit into what we talked about.”

The IRL will continue to maintain an internal PR team that handles all of the needs around the events and in the event markets. But GolinHarris will be given the opportunity to bring back the type of flamboyance that used to be associated with open-wheel racing at the Indy 500.

“You used to have the Who’s Who of Hollywood attend the Indy 500,” Angstadt said. “It was THE place to be. I don’t think it’s an impossible goal to get back there.”

GolinHarris emerged as the winner after as many as five agencies pitched for the Izod IndyCar Series business about three weeks ago. Both IRL officials and executives from Phillips-Van Heusen, Izod’s parent company, were involved in the selection process over three days of pitches.

Izod and IndyCar settled on GolinHarris after returning from Miami, where they displayed show cars around town during Super Bowl week.

“We look forward to working closely with their sponsors, teams and drivers to promote the sport to new audiences around the U.S.,” said Gary Rudnick, GolinHarris’ executive vice president and regional managing director.