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Key moments in France family history
RELATED: NASCAR is France family business MORE: Daytona Days: A France family affair December 1947: Bill France Sr. organizes a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., to discuss the future of stock car racing. NASCAR is incorporated. 1971: RJ Reynolds is introduced as the entitlement sponsor of NASCAR's premier series, creating a sponsorship structure that still exists today and introducing the "modern era" of NASCAR. 1972: The founder of NASCAR, Bill France Sr., hands over the reins of leadership to his son Bill France Jr., who becomes the second president in NASCAR's history. 1996: Lesa France Kennedy’s leadership launches Daytona USA (known later as the Daytona 500 Experience) at Daytona International Speedway , opening the destination’s first year-round motorsports attraction and museum. 1999: Brian France , Bill Jr.'s son, leads effort to consolidate the television package. NASCAR announces multi-year partnerships with FOX, NBC and Turner Sports. 2000: Bill France Jr. announced that he would serve as chairman of a newly formed five-member board of directors for NASCAR that consisted of him, Jim France , Brian France , Lesa France Kennedy and Mike Helton with responsibility for developing policy and vision for the sport. 2002: Kennedy led two development projects, creating Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway , and expanding ISC’s portfolio into two major Midwest markets. 2003: As a result of Brian France ’s major successes consolidating the television rights, increasing sponsorship and various other areas, he is named NASCAR Chairman and CEO. NASCAR also opens the 61,000-square foot NASCAR Research and Development Center. This has led to the safest era in NASCAR history and the unveiling of cutting-edge technology including the Air Titan, Pit Road Technology and the Digital Dashboard. 2004: Brian France announces the formation of The Chase, a playoff format for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also creates NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program dedicated to bringing more minority and female drivers into the sport. 2013: Brian France negotiates the largest television deals in NASCAR history, with 10-year agreements with FOX and NBC reported to be worth $8.2 billion. 2014: Brian France enhances the Chase format, introducing the first-ever elimination style playoff format in motorsports. 2016: Kennedy opens the World’s First Motorsports Stadium, a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway , for the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona and DAYTONA 500. Brian France leads the industry in forming a Charter business model for the teams. At the end of the season, he announces that Monster Energy will be the new premier series partner of NASCAR. 2017: Brian France leads the industry in the introduction of a new three-stage format of racing across all three national series racing. On the eve of Daytona Speedweeks, Kennedy unveils a flagship tenant, Bass Pro Shops, at ISC’s ONE DAYTONA, a 300,000-square foot premier mixed-use and entertainment destination across the street from Daytona International Speedway .
Daytona Days: A France family affair
RELATED : Key moments in family history " NASCAR is France family business It's been one year since a red ribbon was cut to signal the official opening of DAYTONA Rising, a $400-million overhaul of NASCAR's iconic venue—the Daytona International Speedway (DIS). It was an exciting time for Brian France , Chairman and CEO of NASCAR, and his sister, Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and Vice Chairperson of the NASCAR and ISC Board of Directors. This year brings similar excitement as they gather for Daytona’s three NASCAR national series races, highlighted by Sunday's 59th running of the DAYTONA 500. There are a number of reasons why. A green-and-white checkered flag will wave twice during each race, followed by the traditional black-and-white checkered flag at the finish. More than just colorful flags, they will usher in a dynamic format in which races will be contested in three stages designed to deliver more dramatic moments over an entire race, where every lap matters and every moment can have a massive impact on a season. While Kennedy’s ISC projects include a modernization of Phoenix Raceway and construction of ONE DAYTONA, the premier mixed-use retail and entertainment destination sprouting across the street from DIS, France looks to continue to build on the collaboration that has impacted the NASCAR industry over the past several years. MORE: France talks key to running family business “ Brian has such diverse talents,” says Kennedy. “He has a great feel for the racing side of the sport, yet he’s also great at marketing, a true visionary. He doesn't always get the credit he deserves for running this sport, but he was there early thinking ‘big’ alongside my father (Bill France Jr.), and he’s still thinking big today, not only with our family but also now with the entire industry.” "I am so proud of what Lesa has done here, from DAYTONA Rising to ONE DAYTONA -- and that's only in the last few years,” says France . “She's done it with passion and persistence, two of her biggest attributes. Lesa is without a doubt the best developer in the family. We are ushering in the next era of motorsports entertainment facilities, something this industry needs as our sport continues to focus on modernizing itself for the next 10, 20 and 30 years.” IN-DEPTH: Daytona rises even higher
NASCAR is the France family business
RELATED: Key moments in family history MORE: Daytona Days: A France family affair • Bill France Sr.: Founder and President from 1947 – 1972 • Anne Bledsoe France : Secretary and Treasurer of NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation (ISC) from 1959 – 1992 • Bill France Jr.: President from 1972 – 2003 • Betty Jane France : Chairwoman/Chairwoman Emeritus of The NASCAR Foundation from 2006 to 2016 • Jim France : Vice Chairman of NASCAR and Chairman of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) • Brian France : Chairman and CEO of NASCAR from 2003 – present (Son of Bill France Jr.) • Lesa France Kennedy: CEO and Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors for ISC. She also serves as a Vice Chairperson of NASCAR. (Daughter of Bill France Jr.) • Ben Kennedy : NASCAR XFINITY Series driver (Son of Lesa France Kennedy)
Brian France : 'We want everybody to be a NASCAR fan'
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."
Brian France talks family business, NASCAR at Phoenix conference
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.
Family affair: Brian France ’s NASCAR legacy
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.
Amy, Brian France continue their fight against cancer
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.
Brian France talks Chase success, diversity efforts
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
Betty Jane France named Myers Brothers Award Recipient
RELATED: Full schedule for Champion's Week DARLINGTON, S.C. (Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016) – Betty Jane France , whose philanthropic endeavors away from the race track rivaled those of the well-known family business of NASCAR, has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's prestigious Myers Brothers Award. France , who passed away Aug. 29, 2016, is the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy. She was the widow of former NASCAR Chairman and CEO William C. France . While auto racing has been the cornerstone of the family profession, Betty Jane France's reach far exceeded the boundaries of the track. Kind and compassionate, France was the guiding force behind the formation of the NASCAR Foundation, the charitable arm of the sanctioning body that seeks to improve the lives of children most in need. She served as chairwoman of the Foundation upon its inception more than a decade ago and was later named chairwoman emeritus. In 2011, the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, presented by Nationwide, was established in her honor. Each year, the award recognizes outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of NASCAR fans. Active in her Daytona Beach community as well as abroad, France also helped establish the Speediatrics children's care unit at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach as well as Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla. The Myers Brothers Award is named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers. Determined by a vote of the NMPA membership, it recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. It has been presented annually since 1958. Myers Brothers Award Winners 2016, Betty Jane France ; 2015, Darlington Raceway ; 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr .; 2013, Tony Stewart ; 2012, Jeff Gordon ; 2011, Drs. Joseph & Rose Mattioli; 2010, Jim Hunter; 2009, Barney Hall; 2008, T. Taylor Warren; 2007, Bill France Jr.; 2006, Benny Parsons; 2005, Rusty Wallace; 2004, Kyle and Patti Petty; 2003, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 2002, Mike Helton; 2001, Dale Earnhardt; 2000, Kyle Petty; 1999, Junie Donlavey; 1998, T. Wayne Robertson; 1997, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1996, Rick Hendrick; 1995, TNN: The Nashville Network; 1994, Brickyard 400/ Indianapolis Motor Speedway ; 1993, Goody's Manufacturing Co.; 1992, Richard and Lynda Petty; 1991, Harry Gant; 1990. Dick Beaty; 1989, Bill France Jr.; 1988 Richmond International Raceway ; 1987, ESPN; 1986, Hayride 500; 1985, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1984, Charlotte Motor Speedway ; 1983, CBS-TV; 1982, MRN; 1981, Junior Johnson; 1980, STP & Champion Spark Plug Co.; 1979, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1978, Busch Beer; 1977, First National City Travelers Checks; 1976, Junior Johnson; 1975, Bill France Sr.; 1974, H. Clay Earles; 1973, Wood Brothers; 1972, Winston Cigarettes; 1971, Richard Petty; 1970, Richard Howard; 1969, David Pearson; 1968, Wood Brothers; 1967, Richard Petty; 1966, Norris Friel; 1965, Ned Jarrett; 1964, Richard Petty; 1963, Marvin Panch; 1962, Hank Schoolfield; 1961, Ned Jarrett; 1960, Russ Catlin; 1959, Lee Petty; 1958, Bob Colvin. Here is the complete list of Thursday’s award winners from the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon : · NMPA Myers Brothers Award: Betty Jane France · Buddy Shuman Award: Jack Roush · NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Comcast XFINITY · Chevrolet Cross Flags Award: Tony Stewart · American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kevin Harvick · Coors Light Pole Award: Carl Edwards · Duralast Brakes "Brake in the Race" Award: Kyle Busch · Goodyear NASCAR Series Champion Award: Jimmie Johnson · Ingersoll Rand Power Move Award: Dave Rogers, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Crew Chief · MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Scott Vester, Hendrick Engines No. 4 team · Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team · Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award: Kyle Busch · MOOG Steering & Suspension Problem Solver of the Year Award: Alan Gustafson, crew chief No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team · Sherwin-Williams Fastest Lap Award: Kyle Busch · Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Jimmie Johnson · Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award: Chase Elliott · Champion Sponsor Award: Lowe's · Champion Crew Chief Award: Chad Knaus · Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide: Andy Hoffman &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
France : 'Edgy, fun brand' drew NASCAR, Monster Energy together
RELATED: NASCAR, Monster Energy announce entitlement deal LAS VEGAS -- Mark Hall called it "a rare opportunity that doesn't come along every day." "If you would have asked me five years ago if I've ever contemplated something like this, the answer would be never in a million years," said Hall, Chief Marketing Officer for Monster Energy. Time flies. Contemplation became reality Thursday as NASCAR and officials with the energy drink brand announced a multi-year agreement that will see Monster become entitlement sponsor of the sanctioning body's premier series beginning in 2017. "It's a global brand that we took a long time to figure out," NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France said during a press conference at the Wynn Las Vegas. So why is Monster, headquartered in Corona, California, the right fit for auto racing's most popular series? "The reality for how impactful they are and what they can do differently is obviously they're an edgy brand," France said. "They're a fun brand. They get at a millennial audience in a different way clearly than we've ever been associated with, particularly at this level, and they know what they're doing." Monster will become just the third entitlement sponsor for NASCAR's top series, following Sprint, which departs after a 13-year run. Tobacco giant RJ Reynolds served as series sponsor from 1971 through 2003. RELATED: Drivers pumped for Monster deal France said the Monster project was "one of the few sales calls that I actually personally made because of how important it was to align ourselves with a dynamic brand that reaches different places and different audiences … they made us feel comfortable over time on a couple of things." Motorsports was the "DNA" of Monster, according to France . "When you walk through their lobby in California, you see that," France said. "You see the motorcycles and NASCAR memorabilia and all kinds of things, and that's who they are, so they understand motorsports. They understand NASCAR. They understand how to reach across and excite our core audience and help us deliver on a new audience, and that was very exciting for us." The company is or has been involved in Formula One, rally and motocross among its various motorsports endeavors. On the NASCAR side, the brand currently sponsors the No. 41 of Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kurt Busch ; NOS, a brand of drink also produced by the company, has an affiliation with 2015 NASCAR premier series champ Kyle Busch and provides sponsorship at the XFINITY Series level. According to officials, those relationships won't be impacted by the series' sponsorship. Their previous marketing efforts have been non-traditional -- you haven't see Monster Energy commercials airing during broadcasts of sporting events, for instance. "We do count on our athletes and our endorsers and to a certain extent our fans to do our marketing," Hall said. "… We have never created a commercial or an ad. We've done different things that we've been successful getting a lot of eyeballs on." The NASCAR sponsorship could change that approach somewhat. Then again, the previous NASCAR approach may also evolve under the new arrangement. The world of motorsports and how to market to its fans was new for the previous series sponsor. It took time to "get sorted out," France said. "But these guys are ready on day one. They have the activation tools, the plans and the people. They're a fun brand that's going to interact with our core fans in kind of a cool, neat way actually, and we've seen some of the plans, and they'll get bigger and more robust as we go along." So is Monster the right partner? France says officials are confident that’s the case. "We're in the fun business," he said. "We're racing cars. We're crowning champions. We're -- this is where people come to have fun … our speedways and (to) watch us on television. What better brand to have associated with us than the people who understand that?"