CAA signing puts race league in driver’s seat

Indy Race League looking to expand fan base

Joining Coca-Cola and Motorola, the Indy Race League has signed with Creative Artists Agency as a corporate advisory client.

Tony George, whose family owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, created the Indy Racing League in 1994 and centered the League around the Indianapolis 500.

Looking to expand its fan base, George cited “the agency’s influence in the entertainment world, its foresight into pop cultural tastes” and agents “who know how to build brands and connect with consumers.”

Entering its seventh year, the IRL series has recently expanded to 15 races in markets that now include Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas and Indianapolis. It was formed in 1994 when smaller teams charged that their interests weren’t being considered by CART, or Championship Auto Racing Teams. CART had, under license from IMS, been using the “Indycar” name — which is a trademark of Indianapolis Motor Speedway — as the name of its series for many years. When the IRL was formed, that agreement was terminated, and CART in 1997 agreed to a settlement of an Indy Race League lawsuit in which CART agreed to stop using “Indycar” as the name of its series.

“The Indy Racing League has the best elements of so many great entertainment properties — action, suspense and colorful personalities,” said Richard Lovett, president of CAA. “CAA will build upon these tremendous attributes to grow the appeal of Indy Racing to a much broader audience of sports and entertainment fans.”

In celebration of the relationship, Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr.’s methanol-powered race car will be on display in CAA’s atrium from Sunday through March 24.

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