Nation's largest minority-owned grocery chain goes sports car racing Market Place Holdings to sponsor Marcus Motorsports ...
Nation's largest minority-owned grocery chain goes sports car racing
Market Place Holdings to sponsor Marcus Motorsports #69 BMW.
Richmond Va. (March 21, 2003) -- Marcus Motorsports announced today that Market Place Holdings, Inc., will become the primary sponsor of the #69 BMW M3 for the remainder of the 2003 Rolex Sports Car Series. Richmond-based Market Place Holdings is the largest minority-owned grocery chain in the country.
"This is a huge bonus for the series, and it is great for our team. It is a tremendous opportunity to have Market Place Holdings as our primary sponsor, as well as its suppliers as associate sponsors," said team owner Steve Marcus.
"Steve and I have always felt that inclusion would set our businesses on the right track. Bringing minorities into racing is natural. There have always been minorities working at the racetrack and around racing," remarked Jonathan Johnson, president and CEO of Market Place Holdings. "We are excited to be a part of this race team and series."
"Bringing minorities into sports car racing is advantageous to all of us - the series, the fans and the teams. There really isn't a strong minority influence in sports car racing right now, but participation of a sponsor like Market Place Holdings helps prove that our world has evolved to welcome minorities into this sport," added Marcus.
In 1992, Johnson established Community Pride Food Stores, Inc., in the Richmond inner-city and expanded it into a seven-store chain before acquiring Rack & Sack stores in the Richmond suburbs seven years later. Market Place Holdings was established in 1999 as the umbrella organization for the two subsidiaries, boosting the grocer's annual sales from $47 million to approximately $110 million.
After running a handful of Rolex Series events in 2002, Marcus Motorsports began its assault on the Rolex Series GT championship in February this year at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, finishing sixth in the GT class. Round two of the Rolex Series produced a GT podium finish for the BMW team, which finished third despite fuel pick-up trouble.
Marcus Motorsports currently leads the GT team owner point standings and its drivers, Hugh Plumb and Brian Cunningham, are tied for second place in the GT driver standings. When the #69 BMW heads westward for the Phoenix 250, May 1-3, it will be sporting a new red, blue and silver paint scheme representing its new primary sponsor.
Tickets to the Rolex Series Phoenix 250 at Phoenix International Raceway are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 602-252-2227.
For more information on Marcus Motorsports, visit www.marcusmotorsports.com. Additional information about the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grandamerican.com.