International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy was inducted Thursday into the Cynopsis Sports Hall of Fame.
Kennedy was feted at the organization's fifth annual Sports Business Summit in New York. She joined ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen (left in the above photograph) and Major League Baseball executive Billy Bean as inductees recognized for their roles in transforming the sports world and its influence on popular culture.
Mark Lazarus, the chairman of NBC Sports Group, presented Kennedy for enshrinement. Kennedy, who called the ceremony at Three Sixty° event space in Manhattan "a huge honor," said she shared a bond with her fellow inductees at the annual summit.
"We all came from sports and had different perspectives," Kennedy told NASCAR.com, "but the common theme with everyone in the discussion in the room today was about fans and the fan experience."
A large component of Kennedy's plan for enhancements debuted this season at Daytona International Speedway's Speedweeks, when the Daytona Rising vision came to life. The $400 million project, which broke ground in July 2013, reshaped ISC's flagship facility with state-of-the-art amenities.
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"It took a look at the fan experience in a very different way with the first true motorsports stadium, but I think the most important thing to point out is that the fans really will tell you what they want if you're listening to them," Kennedy said. "If you're able to take those ideas and deliver on it, it goes a long way."
"It's really exciting not only to be here, but to see the event done in the fashion that it was," he said. "… Just really proud of her and proud of all her accomplishments."
Forbes magazine named Kennedy the Most Powerful Woman in Sports last December, marking the second time she had been selected for the business magazine's award.