I was laying on the couch with the dogs, deeply entrenched in watching a mediocre movie (I tend to watch a lot of bad movies on Netflix), when the phone rang, the caller ID showing a New York area code that I didn’t recognize. I figured it was another spam call trying to extend my truck’s warranty, so I sent the spambot to voicemail and got back to Vin Diesel, who was busy saving the world for the millionth time. Moments later a VM alert popped up, and I was presented with a message from NASCAR President, Steve Phelps, asking me to give him a call as he wanted to see if I could help him with a special project.
Two weeks later I was headed to Florida to attend the Daytona 500 and start a ten-week project focused on looking at ways to enhance the NASCAR Event Experience. This mission was something I am extremely passionate about as I have spent most of my career studying live events and looking for ways to apply them at a NASCAR race. Whether it was my first job as a NASCAR official organizing pre- and post-race ceremonies in the NASCAR Southwest Tour or when I was working for myself producing high-end hospitality experiences at the NASCAR Garage Bar and Grill, I have always been obsessed with enhancing the at-track experience.
The mission that Steve tasked me with was to attend every event possible throughout the following ten weeks and develop recommendations on ways to amplify a NASCAR guest’s experience using best practices from marquee events like the Daytona 500, Long Beach Grand Prix, and Valspar Championship. I was even asked to head over to the “Mouse’s House” to see what takeaways we could apply from Disneyland.
This adventure was a dream come true and filled my brain (and Instagram page) with amazing activation ideas that could apply to the NASCAR landscape. Then came the hard part, presenting my findings and subsequent recommendations to the team at NASCAR.
After two weeks of preparation and with 100 presentation slides finalized, I left NASCAR HQ after a three-hour presentation feeling ecstatic about the work that had been done but a little melancholy that the project was over.
That was until my phone rang again…
I am excited to announce that I have just accepted a full-time position at NASCAR Headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida, running the Event Experience team. I will have the privilege to work with a group of rock stars who are striving to entertain each and every guest that attends a NASCAR race—from the time they enter the property until they get back in their cars and head out, swapping stories with their friends about the epic event they had just attended.
I believe that my entire career has been building to this point where I can use my personal passion for live events and apply them to my professional career. The team at NASCAR has developed an amazing foundation that I am pumped to build upon.
I hope to see you all at the track sometime soon,
P.S. Please reach out if you have any recommendations on other events that we could learn from or favorite activation ideas that could apply to my new world.