Brian France

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Brian France
Born Brian Zachary France
Alma mater University of Central Florida
Known for CEO and Chairman of NASCAR (2003–present)
Parents Bill France, Jr. (father)

Brian France (born August 2, 1962) is the American CEO and Chairman of NASCAR, taking over the position from his father, Bill France, Jr., in 2003.[1] Time Magazine named him one of the "100 Most Influential of the Century" in 2006[2] and he was named one of the five most powerful sports executives by The Sporting News in 2005.[3]

Early life[edit]

France grew up in the racing world, learning the logistics of NASCAR from a young age.[4] France studied at the University of Central Florida but did not earn a degree.[5] Following his first few years of classes, he instead entered the NASCAR company in order to learn the family business.[6]

Early career with NASCAR[edit]

France managed several short tracks, including Tucson Raceway Park in Arizona in the earlier years of his career.[7] He also ran the NASCAR Entertainment Division in Los Angeles during the 1990s, creating associations between NASCAR and the entertainment industry.[8] This included Hollywood films and projects advertising on NASCAR vehicles, the appearance of actors and other entertainers during NASCAR events, and NASCAR figures themselves becoming integrated into reality television, television dramas, cartoons, soap operas, Hollywood feature films, music videos, and mass paperback novels.[9] In 1995, he became the creator of the Craftsman Truck Series,[8][3] which was launched from the competition department under his tenure there. Following this he became the head of the marketing department, where he endeavoured to grow the product's youth audience, and began to move the company away from its title sponsor Winston cigarettes in order to facilitate this.[6] His final position before becoming CEO was executive vice-president; he was also on the board of directors.[10]

CEO of NASCAR[edit]

In 2003 France was named CEO and Chairman of the Board for NASCAR by his father, who preceded him. One of his first actions was to create a new rule that drivers were no longer allowed to race back to the start/finish line when under caution.[11] After assuming control of NASCAR, France negotiated a title sponsorship from Sprint Nextel.[3] He also introduced the Chase for the Sprint Cup over the transition period,[4] receiving a $4.5 billion television contract for the initial ten race seasons.[8] Part of Cup was to award more points to significant or "spectacular" wins instead of consistent winning, as NASCAR had previously done, introducing it as a form of "post-season" for the sport.[12] He also made an effort to expand the audience base of NASCAR to minorities, and allowed Toyota vehicles to begin competing on the NASCAR circuit.[13]

Other businesses[edit]

France also owns Brand Sense Partners, a Los Angeles-based licensing company and owns the licensing rights of Britney Spears.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mark Spoor, Turner Sports Interactive (2003-09-13). "Brian France named NASCAR chairman, CEO - September 13, 2003". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  2. ^ Darrell Waltrip (2006-05-08). "Brian France". Time. 
  3. ^ a b c Thomas Durso (Spring 2008). "Taking Stock of NASCAR". Family Business: 50–53. 
  4. ^ a b Jim Francis (2007). The History of NASCAR. Crabtree Publishing Company. p. 27. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ Kevin Conley (2003-08-18). "NASCAR's new track". The New Yorker. 
  6. ^ a b Liz Clarke (2008). One Helluva Ride: How NASCAR Swept the Nation. Random House. p. 200-207. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ Rick Horrow, Karla Swatek (2010). Beyond the Box Score. Morgan James Publishing. ISBN 9781600377853. 
  8. ^ a b c Rick Horrow, Karla Swatek (2010). Beyond the Box Score: An Insider's Guide to the $750 Billion Business of Sports. Wordclay. p. 191. 
  9. ^ Clarke, 252-253.
  10. ^ Jim Pedley, Randy Covitz (2001). "Fields of Thunder: The Story of the Kansas Speedway". Kansas City Star Books. p. 50. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "NASCAR 2004". Popular Mechanics. March 2004. p. 84. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ Clarke, 219.
  13. ^ Clarke, 230-233.
  14. ^ Jack Gage (2009-02-09). "NASCAR's trouble at the track". Forbes. 

External links[edit]