Longtime Disney Executive Named To New IMS Marketing Post
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005 -- Phil Lengyel, a longtime member of the Walt Disney Company management team, will move to a newly created position with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation in May, IMS President and Chief Executive Officer Tony George announced Feb. 10.
Lengyel, 55, will retire from Disney on April 25 after 23 years of service and will start May 1 as executive vice president, marketing, for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy Racing League and Clabber Girl Corporation.
"We have worked with Phil at Disney since he played a role in the inaugural Indy Racing League event at Walt Disney World Speedway in 1996," George said. "As we have continued to grow our companies and expand our vision, Phil Lengyel has been on my mind to add to our team. He brings wide experience in sales and marketing, knowledge of big events and experience with major corporations throughout the United States."
Lengyel will join the IMS Corporate office as the fourth executive vice president reporting to George. IMS Corporate is charged with overseeing the finance, legal, communications, and sales and marketing functions of all of the Hulman-George companies.
"I am looking forward to playing a role within one of the most exceptional organizations in all of sport," Lengyel said. "I have been a fan of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500 since growing up in Northwest Indiana. The respect and admiration for the rich traditions of Indy racing led me to play a role in the first IRL race at Disney in 1996. Since that time, my interests have only intensified as I have watched the League grow from its infancy to its 10th anniversary."
Lengyel said he looks forward to working with Disney-owned ABC and ESPN, the IMS/IRL television partners, and to attracting new sponsors and alliance partners for the League and IMS.
He is vice president, alliance development, for the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He joined Disney in 1982 as a senior publicist after a career in television and radio news in Indiana and Florida. He was made promotions manager of Walt Disney World in 1984, director of marketing in 1987, vice president of marketing in 1988 and senior vice president of marketing in 1990.
In 1997, Lengyel became the executive responsible for marketing, sports and partnerships and moved into his current parks and resorts role in 1998.
Lengyel is a graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and has an honorary doctorate in business administration from Webber College in Babson Park, Fla. He and his wife, Jana, daughter, Lauren, and son, Shane, live in Windermere, Fla. He also has two adult children, daughter, Kelly, and son, Will.