News & Media

Ganassi earns two Sports Business Awards nominations

May 12, 2011, Official Release,

CONCORD, N.C. -- After a banner 2010 that included a sweep of America's biggest auto-racing events, NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi and his organization are among the nominees at next week's Fourth Annual Sports Business Awards.

Ganassi is the first race team executive to be nominated for Sports Executive of the Year, and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams is the second race team to receive a Professional Sports Team of the Year nomination. The awards, given by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, honor excellence in sports business and will be announced next on May 18 in New York City.


Ganassi and his racing organization operate teams in the Sprint Cup Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the IndyCar Series. In 2010, the teams had unparalleled success, both on and off the race track.

On the competition side, Ganassi became the first owner in the history of American auto racing to win the so-called Triple Crown with victories in the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Early in 2011, Ganassi added a fourth prestigious win, the Grand-Am Rolex 24 at Daytona, to hold all four titles at the same time -- another first. Ganassi Racing ended the 2010 season with a team-record 19 wins and two series championships.

On the business side, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams was once again at or near the top of the motorsports world when it came to bringing in new corporate partners and sponsorship revenue. It was able to renew 100 percent of its 2010 expiring sponsorship deals for 2011 and beyond. In addition, the team was able to add a number of major blue-chip partners to its sponsorship stable, including McDonald's and Unilever.

"The accomplishments of Chip Ganassi and his race organization on the race track last year were not surprising, and the honor is very much deserved," said Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of NASCAR. "Chip and his entire organization are great representatives of NASCAR and American auto racing, which is why their success on the race track translates so well with corporate partners."

For Sports Executive of the Year nomination, Ganassi is in company with George Bodenheimer of ESPN/ABC Sports; David Levy of Turner Sports; Kevin Plank of Under Armour and Pat Riley of the Miami Heat. For Professional Sports Team of the Year, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams joins the New York Jets, the Orlando Magic, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Francisco Giants.

"For Chip to be nominated as sports executive of the year, especially among the stellar group he is nominated with, says a lot about him and how deserving he is of the honor," said Steve Lauletta, president of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. "Chip has always been an innovator in the sport, he motivates us every day to not only succeed on the track as we did in 2010 but to always deliver value to our partners. But in addition, to be nominated as a team is another source of pride for the entire organization. It is great for the folks at Sports Business Journal to acknowledge how much goes into operating a successful race team as we feel a little like the flag bearer representing auto racing as a whole. We are thoroughly honored and take great pride in both of the nominations."