FEBRUARY 11, 2005
It is often forgotten in the course of the political battles in motor racing that the sport is actually an entertainment business and that the people in the grandstands want to have a good time and see a good show. In exchange they will part with their hard-earned money. Thus it is logical for the sport to look to the entertainment business for executive figures. While Formula 1 has relied on a colourful mish-mash of wheeler-dealers and buccaneers to build its business (and, some might argue, has not achieved its full potential) over in the United States there has in recent years been a greater desire to bring in professional entertainment executives.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Tony George has just hired Phil Lengyel, an executive who cut his teeth in the Mickey Mouse world of Disney. A 23-year veteran of the Disney business he started out as a publicist and went on to become a big cheese in promotion and marketing. Lengyel (55) will become the executive vice president of the Speedway, the Indy Racing League and the George Family's Clabber Girl Corporation.
"As we have continued to grow our companies and expand our vision, Phil Lengyel has been on my mind to add to our team," said Tony George. "He brings wide experience in sales and marketing, knowledge of big events and experience with major corporations throughout the United States."
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