While NASCAR already has over 75 million fans, we want our sport to look more like America. We continue to attract the best talent and the most dedicated fans in the world. To broaden the appeal of our sport and to sustain our growth, we have launched a concerted industry-wide commitment to raise awareness of our sport, promote diversity and help create additional on-track and off-track opportunities. The on-track initiative seeks to put drivers in the seat and crews behind the wall, while the off-track program seeks to create job and business opportunities.
In 2000, NASCAR formed the NASCAR Diversity Council in order to work closely with motorsports industry leaders toward achieving its diversity goals. As a complement to the Council, NASCAR created the Executive Committee for Diversity in May, 2004. Co-chaired by Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the Executive Committee includes business leaders from outside the motorsports industry to provide guidance on best practices. However, our most exciting initiatives are the ones that provide us the opportunity to directly interact with individuals. A brief description of many of our initiatives is provided on the following pages.
I am equally proud of the many organizations outside NASCAR’s offices that have embraced our overall diversity goals. Several teams and manufacturers are taking their own steps to put minority and women drivers behind the wheel and provide training opportunities for aspiring drivers.
While we still have a lot of work ahead of us, I am excited about what the future holds. I invite you to learn more about our diversity initiatives and the growing opportunities to join the NASCAR community.
Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO
Earvin “Magic” Johnson serves as co-chairman to the NASCAR Executive Steering Committee for Diversity. Johnson, the NBA legend and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, is active in a number of areas related to diversifying NASCAR’s fan base, participants and work force. Johnson assists NASCAR with creating grassroots programs such as Drive for Diversity that identify and develop minority and female drivers and crew members. In addition, Johnson helps NASCAR develop marketing programs that increase the sport’s visibility in urban communities and raise awareness of career and competitive opportunities in motorsports.
“I am impressed with NASCAR’s strong commitment to diversity. I plan to build upon the existing initiatives and develop an urban marketing strategy. This will give real opportunities for all people to participate in the sport as fans, drivers, crew members and many other positions.” – Earvin “Magic” Johnson
NASCAR’S COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
NASCAR is an American sport with a worldwide following. NASCAR is committed to making our sport – on and off the race track – look more like America. No other issue is more important for NASCAR to succeed and to grow. NASCAR’s role in diversifying the sport is to take steps to better educate new fans about NASCAR; to provide meaningful opportunities; and to facilitate greater participation within the industry.
In order to better educate new fans about the sport, NASCAR has developed and is supporting several important initiatives that encourage diversity throughout the industry. In addition to these initiatives, NASCAR has internal and external diversity councils to promote diversity at all levels of the sport and create meaningful opportunities for people of color both on and off the track.
On Track Initiatives
Drive for Diversity Program
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. The entire NASCAR community is saddened by the untimely passing of Reggie White. He will be remembered for his efforts and leadership to further diversify the sport. Both drivers will carry No. 92 on their cars as a tribute to White.
Off Track Initiatives
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 2005. For more information on this program please visit www.diversityinternships.com.
Support of 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 the Coca Cola Company
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.
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.
NASCAR pays tribute to Wendell Scott’s relentless spirit, contributions, and passion for the sport by contributing annually in his name to the United Negro College Fund and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. The Wendell Scott Scholarships support the education of diverse young people pursuing engineering and sports management careers. Scott competed from 1961 to 1972, in what was then known as the Grand National Division, and became the first African American driver/owner to win a NASCAR race with his 1964 victory in Jacksonville, Florida.