NHRA V.P. of Marketing Darcy to make fan access presentation during Showtime! Conference in New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing offers its loyal fans many thrills during the course of a national event. Race drivers chase victories down the quarter-mile drag strip at 330 mph in technologically-sophisticated machines tuned for maximum performance. While the ground-shaking power associated with the world's fastest motorsports attraction is more than enough to keep fans screaming for more, there is one aspect of attending an NHRA national event that is vastly different from any other major sport. For the price of admission, all fans are given a pit-pass and granted unlimited access to interact with the stars of the sport.

Gary Darcy, NHRA vice president of marketing, will discuss the strategy and benefits of NHRA's popular open pits policy, as well as the numerous activities available both on and off the track during an NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event, when sports event promoters and marketers from across the industry convene Dec. 4-6 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans for Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal's conference SHOWTIME! Turning Sporting Events into Entertainment Experiences.

Darcy's presentation, "Harnessing the Incredible Fan Access of the NHRA," is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 6. NHRA will join the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco Giants, Indiana Pacers, Portland Sea Dogs, World Wrestling Entertainment and many others to give insight into how events are turned into compelling entertainment experiences. Key areas to be examined include: positioning the game as part of the entertainment experience; engaging sponsors at every level of the event; determining how much sensory bombardment is too much; creating an arrival experience and measuring the tangible and intangible benefits of in-game promotions.

Presented by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal, SHOWTIME! is an event for sports franchises of all sizes and budgets. The audience will hear first-hand case studies, best practices and key lessons learned from those who bring sports and entertainment experiences to life.

Darcy joined the NHRA in June of 1998 as vice president of marketing. He is responsible for all aspects of NHRA licensing and marketing, including developing new programs and services and creative planning for NHRA's overall marketing strategy. Since joining NHRA, he has developed numerous sports marketing programs specifically to the NHRA's ever-growing sponsor client base.

While at NHRA, Darcy has been a key player in the management team, playing a significant role in developing the sport's first-ever strategic plan designed to increase visibility for the sport of NHRA Drag Racing including branding, marketing and licensing.

Prior to joining the NHRA, Darcy had strong background in consumer packaged goods marketing. He spent eight years with specialty health care company Allergan Inc., where he worked in marketing and sales. Darcy was instrumental in directing the marketing and sales effort for Allergan's contact lens care division.

Before Allergan Inc., Darcy worked in marketing for M&M Mars Inc. He developed marketing programs and worked on strategic planning for their pet food division, Kal Kan, Inc.

Darcy graduated from California State University Long Beach with a degree in finance and anthropology. He also earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Southern California with an emphasis in marketing.

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