NASCAR names Jim O'Connell chief sales officer


NEW YORK, n.y. (Jan. 10, 2011) -- As its corporate marketing division continues to set new standards for creativity and client service in a sport with the most active sponsorship, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced today that Vice President Jim O'Connell has been promoted to Chief Sales Officer. The promotion is effective immediately.

"Jim's leadership in overseeing our New York office and cultivating the business of NASCAR significantly impacts the entire sport," said Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, NASCAR. "Jim and his team have delivered to sponsors greater return on investment, creativity, personal service and exclusive assets, helping NASCAR to set new standards in value-added sports sponsorship. We are pleased to recognize Jim's impact on the sport with this new role overseeing the sanctioning body's sales efforts."

Despite the prolonged recessionary environment, in 2010, O'Connell's team renewed 75% of its partner agreements and increased NASCAR official partner revenue 10 percent. Two new partner categories were created: cause-related marketing with DRIVE4COPD becoming the official healthcare initiative of NASCAR, and "Green," highlighted by a landmark sponsorship agreement with American Ethanol led by Growth Energy, the largest NASCAR sponsorship since Sprint entered the sport in 2004.

O'Connell joined NASCAR in 2006 as Vice President of Corporate Marketing, overseeing the division of NASCAR that attracts and maintains corporate interest in the sport. His new title will be Vice President and Chief Sales Officer.With the largest events drawing the most loyal, sponsor-conscious fans in sports, NASCAR has relationships with more major corporations than any other sport.

O'Connell's primary responsibilities include managing more than 40 official partner relationships to ensure that NASCAR sponsors achieve maximum returns on their investment, and overseeing the development of new business for NASCAR as well as its teams and tracks. Among other new business accomplishments, O'Connell led NASCAR's efforts to secure new series entitlement partners for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

As sponsors seek even greater value during the recession, O'Connell's team has developed several new partner strategies designed to add value and drive their business objectives. Under O'Connell, NASCAR formed Business Solutions, a unique department which has created dozens of exclusive assets and business development strategies for official partners. Additionally, the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council provides a robust platform fostering the trading of products and services among NASCAR partners. Comprised of more than 50 active members, this "B2B Council" has been widely recognized as the leading business-to-business sponsorship program in professional sports.

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