I remember the meeting as if it were yesterday—the September NASCAR race at the Richmond International Raceway when two Nextel representatives came to visit my boss and I, they wanted to take a backstage look at our operation. It was here that we gave Steve Gaffney and Sean McCloskey a peak behind the curtain, which opened up more opportunities than we ever thought possible for our 20-person agency.

While reflecting, I quickly realized that many of the proudest moments in my career have been possible because of that meeting in Richmond. Moreover, every time I think about one kick ass event another memory arises that was even more incredible.

The Sprint Tribute to America featuring Bon Jovi, the creation and activation of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge, the Red Hot Pit Stop featuring The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the King of the NASCAR midway the Sprint Unlimited Experience; all of these events were best-in-class at the time and rival anything that has followed. Of course, this is a reality thanks to the trust that Sprint put into their sports marketing employees and the quality vendors that quickly became partners.

As I sit here in Las Vegas on the eve of the last Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet, I look forward to the many new opportunities that will be presented in 2017. For that, I must stop and say THANK YOU. Thank you Nextel and Sprint for the last 13 years of business, the myriad life lessons, and the friendships that have become irreplaceable. I will forever be grateful for the experiences made possible because of your involvement in our sport.

Not done, but hopefully unlimited forever.

Michael