CRAWFORD JOINS INDY RACING LEAGUE; OPENS LEAGUE OFFICE IN NEW YORK INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 25, 2005 -- In its continuing effort to broaden its marketing reach, the Indy Racing League announced Todd Crawford, a member of the ESPN and ABC ...
CRAWFORD JOINS INDY RACING LEAGUE; OPENS LEAGUE OFFICE IN NEW YORK
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 25, 2005 -- In its continuing effort to broaden its marketing reach, the Indy Racing League announced Todd Crawford, a member of the ESPN and ABC Sports management team, will join the League in a newly created position of vice president, broadcast relations.
In his new position, Crawford, who starts on June 6, will open the Indianapolis-based sanctioning first office in New York, where he will extend the IRL's presence in the country's largest media market. Crawford will be responsible for working with ESPN and ABC Sports on marketing, sales and promotional issues related to the League's race broadcasts, as well as developing synergy opportunities throughout the properties of the Walt Disney Company.
Crawford will work closely with Buddy McAtee, vice president and executive producer of IMS Productions, the IRL's television production arm. IMS Productions is a full-service video production company and serves as the League's liaison on all television production issues.
"Todd's diverse experience and extensive contacts throughout the Walt Disney Company, including ESPN and ABC Sports, will be invaluable to the League as we build the presence of the IndyCar® Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series^Ù on television," said Ken Ungar, Indy Racing League senior vice president, business affairs. "He brings wide experience in television, sales and marketing, knowledge of sporting events and experience with major corporations throughout the United States."
Crawford has been with the Walt Disney Company for 15 years. He joined Disney in 1990 as a talent recruiter for Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He was selected as a key task force member to develop worldwide press events in 1993 and became a permanent member of the Walt Disney World marketing division in 1994.
He played a key role in the launch of Disney's Animal Kingdom in 1998 and became Associate Brand Manager for Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex later that year. Among his responsibilities at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex was the marketing of the Indy 200 IndyCar Series event at Walt Disney World Speedway. In 2000, Crawford relocated to New York to become director of sales with ESPN and ABC Sports.
"I am thrilled to become a part of the Indy Racing League family and to be charged with the responsibility of establishing league operations in a key market like New York City," Crawford said. "I remember watching the Indy 500 growing up in Michigan and look forward to joining what I believe is one of the finest organizations in the world of sports."
Crawford, a native of Frankenmuth, Mich., is a 1990 graduate of Northwood University located in Midland, Mich. He and his wife Lisa, along with their two boys Davis and Evan, live in Stamford, Conn.
"An office in New York City has been one of the league's objectives, and Todd's vast experience will serve us well in building a presence in the world's media capital," said Brian Barnhart, president & chief operating officer for the Indy Racing League. "His background is perfect for his role in working with ABC Sports, ESPN and the entire Disney family in developing synergistic opportunities with the league."
The IRL's New York office will be located at 330 Madison Ave.
The 10th season of IndyCar Series competition continues with the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast by ABC at 1 p.m. (EDT) and the IMS Radio Network. The radio broadcast also will be available on XM Satellite Radio channel 152 "XM Extreme." The next Menards Infiniti Pro Series race is the Futaba Freedom 100 on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast by ESPN2 at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 27.