DAYTONA BEACH, FL – NASCAR announced today the promotions of four senior executives across the company. Ed Bennett has been promoted to senior vice president, with Jim Cassidy, Zane Stoddard and Kim Brink promoted to vice president.
Bennett also retains his roles of NASCAR chief administrative officer and president/chief executive officer of GRAND-AM Road Racing. Cassidy, Stoddard and Brink lead key areas of racing operations, entertainment marketing and NASCAR's brand marketing initiatives with integral roles in the implementation of NASCAR's Five-Year Industry Action Plan (IAP).
"These dynamic, forward-thinking leaders all have made significant contributions to NASCAR," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer. "As NASCAR's CAO, Ed has demonstrated an ability to look strategically across the enterprise for areas of opportunity and development, as evidenced by the critical role he played in the merger of sports car racing's two marquee sanctioning bodies – GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Kim, Jim and Zane are shaping how we go to market with key initiatives designed to assist in reaching new audiences and enhancing our on-track product."
Bennett continues to head up corporate administration, and this year, became both the president and chief executive officer of GRAND-AM – which recently completed its merger with the ALMS, in addition to assuming operation of Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway. He joined NASCAR in 1998 to lead key initiatives such as the Japan/International project and pivotal negotiations for sponsorship and licensing. Bennett was promoted to vice president in November 2000 and to vice president and chief administrative officer in January 2008.
During his tenure at NASCAR, Bennett was charged with finalizing Toyota entering NASCAR as a national series manufacturer; led the acquisition of CASCAR which was simultaneously rebranded the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series; was instrumental in the development of the NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series; and played the lead role in designing and constructing the NASCAR R&D Center and created the development concept for the NASCAR Plaza building; along with all other company office facilities. Bennett was also responsible for corporate administration; corporate events; human resources; information technology; and other corporate departments; and served as appellate administrator of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel.
Cassidy, formerly managing director of NASCAR Racing Operations, joined NASCAR in 2000. In addition to overseeing several core areas of Racing Operations, he is playing a substantial role in the Product Relevance plank of the IAP. With motorsports experience spanning 20 years, Cassidy began at NASCAR at the grassroots levels, before being promoted to roles in NASCAR's national series as senior manager, business operations and then director, events and operations. He transitioned to overseeing the day-to-day business and strategic direction of the three national series, including ownership development, event scheduling, and the expansion of the sport to Mexico and Canada.
Cassidy helped implement the shift in identity in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, leading to the roll-out of new car models and the 'pick-a-series' format. He also was instrumental in developing the new point system, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and implementing enhancements along the way, including adding the successful "Wild Card" element to the Chase in 2011.
Stoddard, formerly managing director of entertainment marketing, joined NASCAR in 2010. He currently oversees NASCAR's Los Angeles office and its entertainment marketing division, and is responsible for leading the Youth plank of the IAP and company content strategy.
At NASCAR, Stoddard has overseen the placement of NASCAR driver and storyline integration into more than 85 television shows; procurement of major artists for NASCAR events including Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Blake Shelton, Colbie Caillet and Zac Brown Band; and has several original projects in development at major studios and networks. He also established a partnership with the USO, which includes NASCAR drivers visiting troops overseas. Prior to NASCAR, Stoddard launched the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles office and managed it for nearly a decade.
Brink, formerly managing director, joined NASCAR in 2011. In addition to her oversight of brand, consumer and series marketing, she is leading the Gen Y and Multicultural planks of the IAP. Earlier this year, she set in motion a re-energized "Everything Else is Just a Game" brand campaign that launched at the 2012 Daytona 500.
Brink also led a comprehensive review to secure a class-leading, full-service advertising agency, which attracted more than 100 agencies of all sizes and expertise and resulted in NASCAR's retention of Ogilvy. She joined NASCAR from General Motors Corporation, where she helped lead the transformation of a pair of iconic global brands – Chevrolet and Cadillac. During Brink's tenure at GM, she helped conceive and launch multiple, award-winning creative platforms and developed powerful branded entertainment and sponsorship alliances.