Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Steve Newmark has been named president of its racing organization. Newmark will succeed Geoff Smith in the position; Smith is retiring at the end of December after serving in the role for the previous 13 years.
Newmark, who previously was a shareholder at the law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, joined the organization as senior vice president of business operations in April. He brings an innovative skill set and fresh approach, highlighted by extensive NASCAR and outside sports and entertainment experience, to the position.
"It is truly a privilege to be afforded the opportunity to lead one of the most successful organizations in professional sports," said Newmark, who spent the past six months getting acclimated to the organization's overall operating procedure. "At the same time, the position carries a great deal of responsibility to the drivers, employees and fans to continue the tradition of excellence established by Jack Roush and Geoff Smith. Fortunately, I believe we have one of the deepest organizations in professional sports, and are well prepared to remain a leader in NASCAR.
"Despite the recent challenges in the motorsports industry, I really like the tools that we have to work with and believe strongly in our assets, both on a competition and sales and marketing level. Particularly with how we finished the 2010 season, I know everyone in this organization, including myself, is excited to get started on 2011."
Newmark has worked as outside counsel to Roush Fenway since the early 2000s and was involved in the creation of the joint venture between Roush Racing and Fenway Sports Group in 2007 and the sale of its merchandising division in '06. His background includes vast experience in sports and entertainment, mergers and acquisitions, technology and e-commerce and venture capital transactions.
"I spent my first six months on the job visiting with as many of our partners as I could -- at races, at their offices, with their CEOs and marketing officers, seeking to understand their businesses and how as a race team we are delivering solutions, and what are the opportunities for us to do that better in the future," Newmark said. "As we move into 2011, we will continue to strive to deliver great value, through performance on the track, innovative activation programs and engaging with our partners to meet their particular marketing goals and objectives. I also look forward to working closely with NASCAR and the other teams to make sure that we continue to reinforce the message that motorsports marketing works for businesses of all sizes and across all industries."
Newmark has significant experience in the motorsports industry and has represented a broad spectrum of teams, drivers and sponsors at various levels of NASCAR since 1998. In addition, he has been involved in a number of high-profile transactions in collegiate sports, including representation of the NCAA in its recent television deal with CBS and Turner Sports for the NCAA basketball tournament, as well as representation of the Southeastern Conference in its multi-media deals with ESPN, CBS and its other media partners.
"We are excited about Steve coming on board as our president," Jack Roush said. "Steve has a solid background working in all areas of sports and brings new ideas and insight into our organization. Importantly, he has been part of the Roush Fenway family for many years, beginning as outside counsel and then as head of our business operations this year.
"Geoff Smith did an outstanding job of running the business affairs of our company for the past 20 years and we could not have done this without him. Geoff's leadership has set the bar high and we believe that Steve is the right person to ensure that we remain a leader in the marketplace and in the garage. Since his arrival, I've been extremely pleased with his business acumen, work ethic and his desire to engage in all aspects of our business. We are certainly excited to move forward with Steve at the helm."