Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trials and Tribulation of IndyCar

So what is happening with IndyCar these days?  Tony George resigns from the Board of Directors, CEO Randy Bernard is removed by the Board, and ICS (Tony George, Zak Brown, founder & CEO of Just Marketing; Mike O'Driscoll, chairman of Jaguar Heritage &non-executive director of  Williams F1; Terry Angstadt, former president of IndyCar's commercial division; and Claire Roberts, the CEO of ArbiterSports wants to buy the series for a "Song" (cheap money).  Discontinuity and confusion seem to be the course of IndyCar from the outside looking in.

Here in lies the reason for a buyout! To break the chain of "IndyCar's incestous "buddy-network" that thrives on rewarding incompetence" a very powerful and controlling leadership/ownership team must takeover the management of the series. The reality is that anyone that wants to purchase IndyCar has to convince the board that there is beneifit to them for selling, whether through financial convenents, long-term earnouts, or stock incentives. The other issue is the acquisitions at this level are based on a number of factors, trailing revenue, earnings, roadmap market view, and many others. None of the previous looks good for IndyCar. To most bankers this would be a "fire sale", all your buying is the intellectual property, racing rights and meager marketing relationships.

The ICS acquistion is the right move, minus George's involvement, and with the right funding and total control will change the dynamics of the series. Although there are numerous names floating about the market for President of IndyCar one of the best is Scott Atherton.  I don't believe Atherton can or would leave ALMS/Grand Am until 2014 (at the earliest), although I agree he's the right guy to be President of the series. Another is Roger Pensky of which there is no way that I believe Penske would take on this role or a direct ownership role within the series, too much happening with his own company.

I know Zak Brown, and he's a great leader and a passionate advocate of Motorsports, whether he's the right guy to be CEO of IndyCar is yet to be seen. The fact is. IndyCar needs someone with the strength, power and marketing savvy of an Uncle Bernie "Ecclestone" (like him or not, he's made F1 a global marketing & sports powerhouse), to right this ship. This means total control and a management team that can move this series forward aggressively.

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