LAS VEGAS - Ricky May, a former minor league baseball team owner and motorsports marketing executive, has been named vice president of sales and marketing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
May succeeds Howard Nemenz, who came to LVMS in 1999 and has decided to return to business in North Carolina. May will report for duty May 7, and Nemenz will remain on the staff through June 1 in order to assist in May's transition.
"Ricky is one of the most creative and innovative people I've ever known," said Chris Powell, executive vice president and general manager of LVMS. "I've known Ricky for many years, and we're very fortunate to be able to attract a person with his capabilities.
"Howard's contributions to this speedway have been numerous, and we will miss him very much. And in Ricky, I believe we've found the perfect successor. He and Howard will work closely in the coming weeks to ensure that the speedway's sales and marketing efforts continue without interruption."
May's resume is far-reaching and diverse. In 1981, the Durham Bulls made the 22-year-old May the youngest general manager in minor-league baseball history. In 1983, May began a three-year stint as an assistant athletic director at the University of Louisville. He left the collegiate ranks in 1985 to become manager of sports marketing for Valvoline. At Valvoline, he worked with Indy Racing star Al Unser Jr. and coordinated all of Valvoline's sports-marketing efforts.
In 1992, May helped found the Northern League, a Class A baseball minor league. He also was owner and president of the Thunder Bay (Ontario) Whiskey Jacks until selling the team in 1996 and beginning a career in sports consulting. His consultation service has included NASCAR and NCAA clients.
"While this new opportunity comes with its challenges, Howard and his staff have made my job less difficult," May said. "For me, it's just going to be a continuation of the strong sales and marketing efforts the speedway has been producing since Howard got there two years ago. I'm looking forward to working with the entire staff at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and continuing to build its reputation as the Motorsports Capital of the World."
May, 42, is a North Carolina native and is a 1980 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.