Monday, November 16, 2009

DeVos in the Fast Lane

Hey everyone,

This is Kristin and I am a member of the DeVos Class of 2011. This past Tuesday our class took a much needed study break to visit the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. We had the chance to eat lunch in the sky suites and meet with the Diversity Affairs staff of NASCAR as well as members of the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and Daytona International Speedway. All of these entities are working together to expand their market base by instilling strong diversity initiatives and implementing programs that show the organization’s commitment to inclusion. By touring campuses across the country to encourage the awareness of NASCAR and providing scholarships to students along the way illustrates what NASCAR is doing to reach the community and simultaneously, to expand their fan base. The International Speedway Corporation spoke to us about how they conduct market research to incorporate the emerging markets of women, youth, the military and diversity into sponsors and naming rights, which will broaden NASCAR’s fan base and will led to the overall success of NASCAR . We also found out that Daytona International is the biggest sports complex on the eastern seaboard with a capacity of about 200,000 people! That’s crazy. Not only were the speakers great, but we got some NASCAR swag! That’s always a plus :)

After our session with the NASCAR, Daytona, and ISC staff, we went the Daytona 500 Experience. It’s an interactive museum about the history of track and racing. Some of the class took a tram tour of the track where legendary drivers have made history. A slow tram doesn’t compare to the speed of those stock cars but slow or not, I can truly say that I have gone around the track at Daytona Speedway. To think that drivers go over 180mph with a 30 degree banking on the track is crazy! After the tour, some of us even got the chance to test our own high speed driving skills in a NASCAR simulator.

Overall, it was a fun, informative experience that drove us through the different paths that NASCAR, the ISC and the Daytona International speedway are taking to expand its market base and become best sport organization in the world. Often, when we think about sports employment opportunities, we may think about the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or college sports; but to work at NASCAR would be a great opportunity. Yet again, the DeVos Program has opened yet another window of opportunity and has given us one more career choice to keep in mind.

Below are a few pictures from my very fun and informative day:

Me standing on top of the Sky Suites at Daytona Speedway, pretty cool huh?:

The awesome DeVos Class of 2011 in Victory Circle at Daytona Speedway:

Have a great week everyone!

- Kristin

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