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Biography: Brian France

Episode 504
CAPTURING THE CHECKERED FLAG: Winning Customers Through Savvy Sports Marketing


Featured Guest:

Brian France

Chairman & CEO, NASCAR, Inc.

Brian Z. France, actively involved in NASCAR for more than two decades, is a member of the NASCAR-founding France family and assumed the roles of NASCAR Chairman and CEO in October 2003. He is the grandson of founder William H.G. ("Big Bill") France, and the son of NASCAR Vice Chairman William C. France.

He is without doubt making his own mark.

France has led the charge on several fronts in recent years, helping to redefine a sport amid a period of unprecedented growth and popularity. France's efforts are not going unnoticed; early in 2006, Time Magazine included him in the prestigious "The Time 100; the people who shape our world" listing. He also has been the subject of profiles by other major media, such as CBS' 60 Minutes, Fortune Magazine and CNBC.

France has an extensive background in NASCAR racing, ranging from his experience as a race track manager to helping develop and manage the NASCAR Weekly and Touring Series divisions. As a track manager, he was involved in writing and enforcing rules, developing race procedures and every other aspect of competition. He successfully oversaw the transformation of the Tucson dirt track into one of the premier paved short tracks in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series.

France has been heavily involved with many of NASCAR's recent innovations. France worked closely with NASCAR's competition department in the development of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, which debuted in 1995. He was a key proponent of the NASCAR Research and Development Center, a facility opened in 2003 and dedicated to improving the safety and operational efficiency of the sport.

France has been at the forefront of NASCAR's dramatic sponsorship growth, including the ground-breaking announcement of Nextel Communications as the new sponsor of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series beginning in 2004. He has also led a host of marketing initiatives, including internalizing the sanctioning body's licensing efforts and developing NASCAR's consolidated television plans that culminated with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series events being broadcast on FOX Sports, FX, NBC Sports and TNT. France was actively involved in the October 2000 announcement of NASCAR joining forces with Turner Sports to produce NASCAR.COM.

France spearheaded the opening of NASCAR offices in Los Angeles, New York and Charlotte to address the sanctioning body's growing business needs and partner base.

In 1999, The Sports Business Daily named France its Sports Industrialist of the Year and Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) named him the SMEI Marketing Statesman of the Year. Previous awards include Advertising Age honoring France as one of the publication's top 100 marketers of the year and Promo Magazine naming him as one of that publication's top promoters of the year. He serves on many boards and is the founder and former Chairman of NASCAR's Diversity Council, an organization comprised of motorsports executives focused on encouraging greater diversity within the industry.

France resides in Daytona Beach, Fla.

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