MB2 Motorsports Teleconference July 26, 2006 Participants: Bobby Ginn, Jay Frye, Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin RYAN JULISON: I'm Ryan Julison of Ginn Clubs and Resorts. It's a pleasure to have you on the line today. We have an exciting...
MB2 Motorsports Teleconference
July 26, 2006
Bobby Ginn, Jay Frye, Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin
RYAN JULISON: I'm Ryan Julison of Ginn Clubs and Resorts. It's a pleasure to have you on the line today. We have an exciting day and a big announcement that announces that Bobby Ginn has acquired MB2 Motorsports. And with us today we have Bobby Ginn, who is the president and CEO of Ginn Clubs and Resorts; Jay Frye, CEO of MB2 Motorsports; Sterling Marlin who drives the #14 Ginn Clubs Chevrolet and Waste Management Chevy; and Joe Nemechek. Bobby, what does this mean to you have this exciting announcement to take over a NASCAR team?
BOBBY GINN: Obviously it's exciting to us. Individually I've been a NASCAR fan for my entire life. All of my family are NASCAR fans, so the idea of being involved in a team was a lifelong dream.
But from the business aspect of it, having an opportunity it buy into something that is as stable a team as MB2 was; the philosophy is in place; great drivers; Jay who has managed the team for the last ten years, to be able to do it -- I wouldn't have been able to do it if all of those things and others were not already in place. And it's just being able to get into a team today would have been so much more difficult. We've never been able to convince ourselves to do that so we're excited about it.
RYAN JULISON: Jay, what does this mean for MB2, you've worked a long time to build this team and a it's a special day for you.
JAY FRYE: It's an exciting time for MB2. One of the things we've tried to do in the last year is come up with a program that differentiates us from the other teams. You know, with Bobby coming on, we certainly have that, the assets of the Ginn Club & Resorts and that Bobby brings to our company is unprecedented and it certainly is things that other teams don't have. It will help enhance our current sponsorship situation, it will help secure the future sponsorships and it's just a really exciting time for us.
Somebody asked earlier, this team has worked hard for ten years and it's a good group of people that do the right thing and work hard and all that stuff. The team deserved a break and Bobby Ginn is our break.
RYAN JULISON: Joe Nemechek, Florida guy right out of Lakeland, how does this impact you and the team and what's it like having a Florida owner?
JOE NEMECHEK: It's definitely neat. Growing up in Lakeland Florida right down the road, I never knew that Bobby Ginn had built a place, this is one place here at Reunion is as big as it's gotten. Our family moved to Lakeland in 1979 and went to Disney World when it first opened. It was small, the castle wasn't even open when they first finished that place. I've been driving past this property when I first started running late models and started racing across the State of Florida. Bobby had a vision, he grew that vision, and you can see it, it's just incredible. And now to have him involved in our team is going to bring the race team to the next level.
THE MODERATOR: Sterling, it really all started with you and Bobby sponsoring some races with the #14 car. What's it like to have this culmination with Bobby becoming an owner?
STERLING MARLIN: It's nice. You won't meet a nicer guy than Bobby. You look at all of the facilities he's done, it's all first class, and first-class team now. This really will make us step to the next level and do things we need to do and now we're looking forward to it and excited about it.
Q: Bobby, any immediate plans to restructure the team or do anything differently than it's been doing for the rest of the season and after this season what you see for the team next year and down the road?
BOBBY GINN: Not any major restructure for this season. The one thing we are doing is we are starting some additional equipment and in the shop itself that may have a little bit of impact on this year.
But primarily, we're focusing on things going into next year. We obviously would like to expand. We went into this thinking this would be a four-car team and we're striving to get to a four-car team. We understand the dynamics of what that means when you can get that.
One of the things that MB2 has is it has the facilities and the property that they own and the building that they were in to be able to accommodate that without having to go through major renovation or to build another building or whatever. So we don't have to move the team. It's there. Their lives are settled into the places they are in.
What we are going to do for next year is we are going to work on sponsorship, work on cars and hopefully we'll be a little bit better next year and continue to get better thereafter.
Q: Maybe Jay could talk about it, where the team is right now, kind of a status report on where you think you are and what, if anything, this will do to improve or help?
JAY FRYE: Well, this whole announcement today will do nothing but enhance our overall program. The last two weeks we started to turn the corner performance-wise and we've got a lot of good things going on and we're looking forward to this season and the future of the team is very, very bright. There are a lot of good things to come in the next couple of years with the expansion, the growth.
So it's again, the most immediate need is to finish the year strong and we see that coming. We've got some new things going on here shortly and we just want to finish the year strong.
Q: How are you poised right now? The car is in the shop and all that sort of things, how are things going, are they going well currently?
JAY FRYE: Yeah, again we think over the last few weeks we think we've turned the corner some. We've had some good runs. We really haven't had the finishes we wanted but the cars have been fast. There's a lot of races left this year and we certainly expect to get one of our cars in victory lane before the end of the year. We still need some poles to get into the shootout and we're excited about the end of the season.
This announcement today will obviously help that, really, too, because it solidifies our future, solidifies what's going on with the company. Like Bobby said a minute ago, we ordered some new equipment that we would not have been able to order before. All of this stuff will enhance the program long term, and again, we need to expand. We need to do some things going forward and we'll be able to do that now, too.
Q: Does today's announcement affect at all or change the looking around that you guys were doing at possibly joining another organization or working with another organization on such projects as the Car of Tomorrow and so forth, or does this kind of mean that you guys have decided to kind of go it solo?
JAY FRYE: For us it means we're going to be able go at it solo. There are a lot of things going on with the company. It started the last year where we need to do some things differently to differentiate ourselves from others and situations were brought to us from other teams and entities that were exciting, flattering that type of thing.
But the scenario we're announcing today is the best things that could possibly happen. With Ginn Sports Group, we have access to sports marketing experts that will help us secure new sponsorship. The hospitality group that Bobby brings will help with our current sponsors that we have, and just we really have something now that we can really hang our hat on that really does differentiate us from the other teams.
Q: How and why did you make the jump from sponsorship to car owner? Did you get into it as a sponsorship with an eye toward ownership?
BOBBY GINN: Well, I always thought I wanted to have a NASCAR team. That was always something that, you know, you would hope you could get to. The scenario, sometimes things just happen. Like they work their way out and that's what happened here. You know, we tried it with sponsorship and the results that we had from our employees, from our club members and property owners, people who do business with that we took to the track and were in the hospitality business; we understand it and we understand how you make people have fun with things. Never have I done anything that was more overwhelming than what we did with NASCAR, and that first sponsorship really just brought it together.
We for years have been using the track to entertain with, but that took it to just a higher level. From there, we went into a higher level of sponsorship and you know, we worked our way through it as we began to do that and get more around the track, we looked at several teams. We talked to some teams and we kept coming back to Jay.
The reason and the final opportunity that really made itself available from our perspective was here was a team that had all of the facilities in place, all of the drivers and the sponsors to get two teams started. I didn't have a long lead time to design the shop and get it up and staffed, so starting a team really wasn't an option for me. The manager of the team in Jay was somebody that everywhere I went to for advice; throughout the NASCAR circuit, I didn't hear anybody say anything but good things about Jay. So, you know, that made me feel that much more comfortable.
And then really the last thing was that I think we figured out how to be able to be a supportive part of a team. We understand the marketing, we understand sponsorship, we understand what it means to be a sponsor. We're in the hospitality business. We know how to treat people and so we thought we could bring that element to it and free Jay's time up to spend time back in the shop, back with his people and really getting Sterling and Joe the best equipment they can put on the track. And that's something that I don't think he's had the opportunity to really be able to do.
The last thing that really pushed it through, with the Car of Tomorrow I think we have this tremendous opportunity. And I'm not in any way saying we're writing off the rest of the season; just the opposite. I think the enthusiasm in the shop and the enthusiasm on the track today by Sterling and Joe, this is kind of a new birth out there. Sometimes it just takes that. Sometimes it's just between the ears that makes the difference. When a tenth of a second means the difference in first and 20th, a quick thought process and feeling good about yourself may just make that thing just that much better.
But going into next year, there's a leveling of the playing field. Everybody has got to build a new car. Everybody has got to retest. Everybody has got to come out and do some things different. So the dominance of the four or five big teams, there's an opportunity as a crack -- I'm not saying that they are going to go away; they are certainly not. But they are still going to be the dominant teams, but there's a crack in the armor that someone else may be able to get in there and compete. It may never occur again. I mean, I don't know that it will ever be another time when NASCAR just says that we're going to build a new car. That's a factor that I put a lot of weight on in making the final decision.
Q: It's been such a frustrating season for both cars, and just wondering, how you've been able to keep the morale up or keep being optimistic on the season and the future with the frustrating finishes?
JAY FRYE: Well, again, like Bobby just said, the team there's still a lot of good things that have happened this year. We struggled some. We had some bad luck. There was a lot of indecision on what was going to happen with the future and where we were going and all of the rumors about our team and that type of thing and that all has been answered today.
I agree with Bobby what he said; our shop this week was different. People feel good about where they were at and they feel really good about where they are going and the future. There are a lot of races left. We are certainly think we're going to win a few of them by the time the season is out, and what happened today will just enhance that.
Q: Just wanted to find out if you had any contact with other teams as far as ownership possibilities, and in regard to Nelson, did you give him an offer that he couldn't refuse?
BOBBY GINN: Well, yes and no. I did have contact with other teams. We looked around and talked to some, some more seriously than others. As far as Nelson is concerned, Nelson had decided that he wanted to sell the team and it was his decision to do it. It wasn't a negotiation where I went to him and tried to talk him into selling the team. He made the decision to do that. I think the negotiation basically went: He made me an offer, I made him a counter and he accepted it. It really wasn't a -- it wasn't a knock-down, drag-out negotiation.
Continued in part 2