NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and his wife Amy visited with patients at Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone on April 26.
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- During a keynote presentation Friday at Transitions West 2016, a family business conference held in Phoenix, Arizona, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France shared stories of advice provided to him by his grandfather William H.G. France and father Bill France Jr. -- and how he now is doing the same with his nephew Ben Kennedy , a driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. "I sat (Kennedy) down a while back and I told him, 'You better figure out where is your value going to come in the business,' " said France . "He's going to get an opportunity. He deserves an opportunity. He's a great guy, a great student and he deserves every opportunity you'd want any other family member to get. "But on the other hand, I want him to really think long and hard about coming into the business where he can add value. That's harder and harder to do when businesses are more mature." Each generation of the France family passed down that specific piece of advice, Brian France said Friday, and NASCAR's current leader said he took it to heart. France saw his value in ushering NASCAR into the 21st Century, making bold decisions while using the constantly growing technology space to help bring the sport closer to fans.
LAS VEGAS -- NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France took the stage Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show to discuss how the sanctioning body is using technology to enhance the fan experience and engage with the next generation of fans. France was on the Sports Business Innovation panel with National Hockey League (NHL) Commissioner Gary Bettman and United States Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Scott Blackmun. Here are the high points France delivered: On how diversity and globalization are critical to success: "We have a unique challenge because kids don't play our sport in the playground," France said. "We are the only ones in auto racing investing millions of dollars on combines for diversity drivers. These programs take time, but we just saw the benefit. We just had a Mexican driver, Daniel Suarez , win our second largest national series and that would not have happened without our diversity program. We don't do this because it is socially smart, which it is, but because that is where you find the best talent, and we want everybody to be a NASCAR fan." On how the Monster Energy partnership will help NASCAR reach new fans: "In our case aligning with the right sponsor is important. They help us tell our story and we count on their activation to take us to places and channels we would not normally be in. I am very happy about our new entitlement partner Monster Energy, they have incredible reach with Millennial customers and fans, auto racing is in their DNA and they have a smart digital approach." On fans' consumption habits: "The ways in which fans consume their favorite sports has changed in an unprecedented way, and that is the great challenge and opportunity that all leagues face," France said. "We want to be smart about how we attract (the younger generation) and balance that with our core fans and connect with all of them in ways that we have never seen before." On how technology can improve competition, safety and fan engagement: "We want to use technology and innovation to make our core product better," France said. "We all want to make our sport safer, and our games and races better. We are using technology to drive our sport in ways that we could not have even imagined only 10 years ago." On how technology, developed at the 61,000-square-foot NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, has helped: "The combination of innovation and technology can solve almost all problems," France said. "One of the challenges of outdoor sports is rain delays. We developed the Air Titan, which cut the time to dry the track. This was a huge thing for us to be able to retain our TV audience." On the introduction of the digital dash, which uses 16 customizable screens to monitor and record 24 different elements such as RPM, oil temperature and lap times: "This is the new frontier," France said. "We have an enormous amount of telemetry at our races between the drivers, crew chiefs and their strategy, and we are in the early stages of looking to deliver that data to fans in their seat, at home or through streaming."
Learn about the emergence of NASCAR and how Brian France , along with his family, took his grandfathers dream and created a sport enjoyed by race fans worldwide.
Following a historic NASCAR Championship weekend, which saw the best drivers in the world fight for championships, Amy France and NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France switched gears last night to continue their fight against cancer. The Frances lent their support to Gabrielle's Angel Foundation and its annual Angel Ball which has raised $27 million for blood cancer research since 1996. After the Frances were honorees at last year's event, Amy France took a larger role this year, assuming the position of co-chair helping to plan the annual benefit and maximize its impact. As part of their support this year, the Frances gave a personal donation and also donated behind-the-scenes race packages that will be sure to put smiles on the faces of children with cancer at NASCAR races in 2017. In addition, the Frances agreed to match any money raised by families affiliated with Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation who are involved in their own fundraising efforts. The Frances began personally hosting child cancer survivors at races in 2015. The Angel Ball took place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City and honored the work of Carl H. June, M.D., Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania, the late Robert Kardashian and Heloise Pratt AM, Chair of The Pratt Foundation. The event featured live performances from Earth, Wind & Fire, Dave Stewart, Vanessa Amorosi, Jon Stevens and CeeLo Green. This is the latest effort from the Frances who founded the Luke and Meadow Foundation -- named after their 5-year old twins -- in 2011. The Foundation’s mission is to drive progress on issues that threaten the health and wellness of children. The Frances partner with dozens of world-class charitable organizations, devote significant time and make multimillion dollar donations to combat a wide-range of issues related to disease, poverty, abuse and education. The Luke and Meadow Foundation, which is a personal passion of the Frances, complements NASCAR's long history of social responsibility. As NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Brian is championing meaningful changes within the industry through the NASCAR Foundation , NASCAR Green and a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
RELATED: France talks business, family at conference HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France reaffirmed his endorsement of stock-car racing's postseason format Sunday, saying he "wouldn't change a thing" about the spirited competition created by the elimination system. France's remarks came Sunday in his annual "State of the Sport" question-and-answer session at Homestead-Miami Speedway , site of the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) that will determine the champion of its premier series. NASCAR adopted the 10-race Chase playoff system for its top division in 2004. After 10 seasons of determining a series champion by cumulative points in the postseason, NASCAR competition officials introduced the current format with three rounds of eliminations and a four-driver championship shootout in the season finale. That format was adopted this year by NASCAR's other two national tours, a move that France said produced worthy champions this weekend in Daniel Suarez ( XFINITY Series) and Johnny Sauter ( Camping World Truck Series). "That's a big deal for auto racing. We're bold enough to do that," France said. "Anywhere in the world, that doesn't always happen. Our drivers have been great because it requires a different mindset to compete at this level. They're up to it. They may have had some reservations early on, but they're up to it, so it's great." France also addressed potential enhancements to the postseason structure, including the notion of greater incentives or rewards for regular-season performance. "I think that's a fair thing for us to consider, to make sure that the regular season is as important as it is," France said. "So I don't know exactly how we'll do that, but we'll look at that." MORE: Suarez makes history " Sauter claims Truck Series title
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and his wife Amy were front and center at Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone on April 26, visiting with patients and taking in a race of a different kind -- the pinewood derby variety. Yes, racing runs deep in the France family roots. So does charity. Wednesday's visit illustrates a deep relationship with helping children. Last year, The NASCAR Foundation announced plans to donate $1 million to Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone as part of a multi-year partnership to enhance the delivery of medical care to children. Since that time, The NASCAR Foundation has supported the Child Life Program to minimize the emotional stress on children when enduring illness, injury and medical treatments. "When you come to this kind of treatment center and hospital and see the good work they're doing, it moves you. It just does," Brian France said. "We met this entire group of people last fall at a (NASCAR) Foundation event. We committed at that time to be a part of their treatment center for children going forward, and here we are getting the tour and meeting the kids. We're happy to be here." It's The NASCAR Foundation's first multi-year partnership with NYU Langone Medical Center and marks its commitment to reach more kids nationally. NASCAR's charitable arm has donated more than $30 million and impacted more than one million children since its inception in 2006. " Learn more about The NASCAR Foundation's Speediatrics Children's Fund Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Tifft joined the Frances, rolling up his sleeves and pitching in on building an entry into the pinewood derby -- No. 19, of course, to match his entry for Joe Gibbs Racing. The event perhaps had special meaning for the 20-year-old Tifft, a member of the 2016-17 NASCAR Next class. Last year Tifft put his racing career -- and life -- on hold after doctors discovered a tumor on his brain. Successful surgery on July 1 removed the brain tumor, which was benign, as Tifft learned first-hand the importance of world-class care. The Frances and The NASCAR Foundation also were honored at the KiDS of NYU Langone Springfling Gala on April 27 for their tireless commitment in improving the lives of children. Brian France and Amy France represented The NASCAR Foundation at the gala. Together, they are continuing the legacy of Betty Jane France , Brian's mother, who created the vision for the Speediatrics Children's Fund, a program of The NASCAR Foundation to enhance the delivery of high-quality medical care to needy children across the country. Further carrying on the tradition of the France family's legacy of giving back, Brian and Amy France spend much of their personal time driving progress on issues that threaten the health and wellness of children. The Frances personally partner with dozens of world-class charitable organization, have been honored for their contributions to pediatric cancer and work tirelessly to combat a wide-range of issues related to disease, poverty, abuse and education. "You feel a stronger pull toward helping these children and doing something small to put some cheer into their life by supporting a world-class facility such as NYU Langone," said Amy France during the visit. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
RELATED: France family makes special hospital visit RICHMOND, Va. -- NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said Sunday that NASCAR is in a state of transition within its deep, talented driver pool, drumming up support for incoming young talent in NASCAR's national ranks. France's remarks came during an impromptu media session at Richmond International Raceway about an hour before Sunday's Toyota Owners 400. France acknowledged the new wave of drivers' growing connection to the sport's fans will not be an overnight process, but that being steadfast when it comes to on-track performance should help their names resonate. "The good news is, and you guys have seen it in the talent pool that's coming, and it is deep, so we're excited about that," France said, mentioning the moments enjoyed already by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader Kyle Larson, age 24. "I think the big thing is -- and I always tell them this -- they've got to compete at a high level. They can't be humble about that. They can't be humble as they race out there with veteran stars who they looked up to. They can't be humble to say 'I'm happy to be here.' They're here for a reason. They're very, very good." France's Q&A came five days after Dale Earnhardt Jr., the sport's Most Popular Driver, announced that the 2017 season would be his last in the Monster Energy Series . France paid tribute to Earnhardt in his opening remarks, saluting both his driving career and his efforts to improve the sport with his collaborative spirit. PHOTOS: Dale Jr. through the years "He's meant a lot to this sport in many ways, on and off the track -- not just his popularity, but carrying on the Earnhardt name in such a good way," France said. "He was always competitive on the track, always raced at a high level, and always worked with NASCAR to make the sport better, just like his father did." France also discussed the impact of Monster Energy as the premier series' entitlement sponsor, a partnership announced five months ago. Since the two sides joined forces, France said Monster Energy has played a key role in trying to introduce the sport to a new, younger demographic. "I'd say in one word -- great," France said. "I think that they are bringing what we hoped they would bring, that sort of youthful, kind of edgy … they do it in entertainment, if you were out in California, with a massive crowd interacting with our fan base. And then digitally, socially, they're one of the leading companies in the country in how to manage that new frontier."
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about NASCAR's new stage racing format.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about the on and off track altercation between Joey Logano and Kyle Busch.