DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- 2004 saw advancement for NASCAR's on-track, off-track
and urban marketing diversity initiatives, which are carrying over into 2005.
NASCAR's Executive Steering Committee for Diversity held its inaugural meeting
and discussed existing diversity initiatives and future steps to further
diversify the sport.
The committee is co-chaired by NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne and
Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Johnson and Pyne have worked together since last May to
identify and select the members of the committee.
Each participant's experience and leadership in the area of diversity is an
indication that NASCAR will be getting direction and advice from experts who
successfully implemented diversity solutions in their own business.
The Executive Steering Committee is comprised of the following
Tish Sheets -- Director of Diversity & Special Projects, NASCAR
NASCAR is committed to making its sport -- on and off the racetrack -- look
more like America. No other issue is more important for NASCAR to succeed and to
NASCAR is proud of the numerous activities in the area of diversity planned
for 2005. NASCAR is not where it wants to be in terms of diversity, however,
NASCAR is aggressively promoting diversity at all levels of our sport. The
following is an update of some of the initiatives supported by NASCAR.
Drive for Diversity: The Drive for Diversity program, run by Access
Marketing & Communications, seeks to develop diverse and female drivers and
crew members. In 2004, the program's inaugural year, five drivers earned a place
in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and six crew members earned jobs in the NASCAR
Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series. Much of the success in 2004 is a
result of support for the program by key sponsors and involved team owners. In
2005, as many as eight drivers will participate in Drive for Diversity, and the
crew member program will be doubled from six to 12 participants.
Joe Gibbs / Reggie White Driver Development Program: Joe Gibbs Racing
and NFL Hall of Fame member Reggie White formed a partnership that identifies
and assists minorities who have a desire to get into auto racing. Chris Bristol
and Aric Almirola will return in 2005 for their second season in the NASCAR
Dodge Weekly Series as part of the development program.
Bill Lester: Bill competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in
2004 with Bill Davis Racing. Toyota has been a great supporter of Bill Lester
and many of NASCAR's diversity initiatives. NASCAR anticipates Bill's fourth
full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2005 with Bill Davis
NASCAR's Diversity Internship Program: The 2004 program completed a
successful summer with 30 interns working throughout the industry with NASCAR,
tracks, teams, media partners and sponsors. NASCAR is very pleased with the
outcome of the 2004 program and looks forward to a new class of interns in
Urban Youth Racing School: NASCAR supports the Urban Youth Racing
School, a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia that provides inner-city
youths, from ages 8-18 years, with the opportunity to learn about motorsports.
In 2004, the UYRS students, with support from Craftsman, were "team members"
during All-Star race weekend in Charlotte, gaining knowledge and first hand
experience from teams. These students were so well received and their assistance
was so appreciated that they were invited to participate as "team members" for
the MBNA 400 at Dover International Speedway in September. The UYRS also
traveled to North Carolina race shops and NASCAR's R&D Center for a
week-long educational tour in August. The two UYRS points champions will be
recognized in a pre-race ceremony before the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
race in Daytona.
Supplier Diversity Program: NASCAR recently developed a supplier
diversity and minority vendor program to foster a more diverse supplier base.
The program invites women and minority-owned businesses to be considered equally
as subcontractors and suppliers for all goods and services purchased at NASCAR.
NASCAR is a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and is
working closely with the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council to
further develop the program.
NASCAR College Tour Presented by Coca-Cola:- In this joint effort,
NASCAR and The Coca-Cola Company visit Historically Black Colleges and
Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to build awareness about the
motorsports industry and its exciting career opportunities. The College Tour
wrapped up the 2004 program at the University of Miami during the season-ending
Homestead race week. NASCAR looks forward to a new schedule of schools during
the 2005 NASCAR College Tour.
Scholarships: NASCAR provides funding for scholarships to Historically
Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions. We provide
funding for scholarships to these institutions to help nurture new talent and
raise awareness of the industry's efforts to increase diversity and attract the
best minds in America. This includes the United Negro College Fund and Hispanic
Association of Colleges and Universities.
Marketing & Consumer Awareness: NASCAR launched urban marketing
outreach efforts in Atlanta and Los Angeles in 2004. During the spring Atlanta
race last year, a test program was developed and implemented. The "Welcome to
Atlanta NASCAR Weekend" was so successful that plans are currently taking shape
to recreate this theme of awareness and opportunity for urban communities.
In Los Angeles, many events surrounding the September race weekend brought
awareness of NASCAR and generated excitement within the urban communities. One
example is the "Bud Hispanic Heritage Night" at the LA Galaxy game. Earvin
"Magic" Johnson helped NASCAR's awareness efforts at his area businesses,
including displaying show cars and NASCAR information at his movie theatres and
Starbucks outlets in South Central L.A. His T.G.I. Fridays hosted NASCAR "watch
parties" for the "Pop Secret 500."
NASCAR continues to support a wide range of events and causes that are
supported by a cross section of civil rights organizations across America.
Committees and councils
In addition to developing and supporting these important initiatives that
encourage diversity throughout the industry, NASCAR has an internal Diversity
Council and an Executive Steering Committee for Diversity, co-chaired by Earvin
"Magic" Johnson and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne, to promote
diversity at all levels of the sport and create meaningful opportunities for
women and ethnically diverse people both on and off the track.