Manager, Industry Marketing, Nascar
Jimmy Small has been a Nascar executive since joining the motorsport giant after graduating in 2008. First in Nascar’s offices in Daytona Beach, and then at the Charlotte headquarters, Small has been an invaluable member of the marketing team, working with teams from all three series and assisting with business case studies of sponsorship programmes given to all Nascar prospects.
Landmark moment of your career so far? I wouldn’t say I really have one, but I’m pretty proud of a sale I made at the beginning of 2012. I sold a one-race Nascar team sponsorship to HBO to promote the season three launch of their show Eastbound & Down. Actor Danny McBride even got involved by designing the paint scheme himself. I’m a huge fan of him and the show, which made it even more special. On top of that, this sponsorship has proven fruitful, as HBO was exposed to the value of a Nascar team sponsorship. We are now working with them on opportunities to promote other shows.
Sports industry idol? John Henry of Fenway Sports Group. I really admire his penchant for a diverse portfolio of sports properties including Roush Fenway Racing, the Boston Red Sox, and Liverpool Football Club. I believe progression is expedited by flattening the boundaries between sports. I also admire his venture in iRacing.com – an official Nascar-sanctioned series!
Favourite franchise/team/athlete/brand in sport? My alma mater: the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish. They have established the pre-eminent college brand in the world of academics and athletics – a brand that I am proud of as an alumnus.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time? The late Mitch Hedberg would have answered with, ‘Celebrating the ten-year anniversary of you asking me this question!’ Seriously, though, I absolutely love what we’re doing here at Nascar right now, and would like to see myself here to witness the impact our unprecedented Industry Action Plan has had on not only our sport, but across the entire sports landscape.
One piece of advice for someone looking to start out in the industry? Look at this opportunity as a career rather than just a job. Take pride in what you do. Remember that you, yourself, are a brand. Your reputation is your brand’s equity, ambition is your capital, effort is your marketing campaign, and success is your brand’s product.
iPhone, Blackberry, or Android? Funny you ask that… We actually just released Nascar Sprint Cup Mobile for the iPhone and it offers unequalled access to a sport. The app is also available on Android. I currently have the Sprint iPhone 4S with a wood-grain case manufactured by 3M.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Foursquare? Twitter. The access athletes, especially our athletes, provide fans is outstanding. We’re very proud to have Twitter as a digital partner and so happy we’re able to provide our fans the complementary experience to our live event and race broadcast. And the content our drivers have delivered to fans so far is incredible. One of our drivers, Brad Keselowski, actually stashed his phone in his car at the Daytona 500 and was able to tweet out pictures of his point-of-view during a red-flag delay.
Moët or Bud?
Silver Bullet. Coors Light, the official beer of Nascar.
One particular line you use to close a deal? ‘This is more than a logo on a car or uniform. This is more than a product placement. This is the opportunity to transcend traditional marketing boundaries and engage with consumers on an incredibly emotional level. This is the unrivalled opportunity to transform your brand into an icon and establish a legacy. This is Nascar.’
Location: Charlotte, USA
Education: Graduated with a BA in economics from the Universityof Notre Dame
What his nominators said about him: “Jimmy is the most passionate person in Nascar for developing the future of the sport, and he is relied upon heavily by his colleagues, peers, and race organisations. I can think of no one else more deserving of this award.”