Action Track becomes a laboratory for Indiana State students

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
March 30, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Terre Haute Action Track will once again become a laboratory for Indiana State University students studying motorsports.

The partnership with Action Promotions LLC, now in its second year, allows Indiana State students to experience the business of motorsports first hand at the city's historic clay oval.

"We want to provide a real-world portal to future careers in motorsports," Guy Faulkner, director of Indiana State's motorsports initiative, said.

Last season, Team Sycamore Racing students prepared the track for events in addition to promoting Indiana State's motorsports program.

This year, Indiana State students will gather data for the Action Track related to audience demographics and preferences. Students enrolled in Joyce Young's Motorsports Marketing class will conduct research in how businesses utilize motorsports marketing.

"We are examining the reasons why a company chooses to sponsor the track, how a company activates and leverages the initial sponsorship dollars, and in the end, how do they measure the effectiveness of dollars spent," Young said.

The results of the research will provide Action Promotions insight into sponsorship decisions they can use when securing future/new sponsors.

The real-world research exercise provides students interested in marketing careers in motorsports with valuable experience and a new perspective.

"It will provide my students with knowledge from the "sponsor prospective" which typically would be considered by the customer in terms of the Action Track selling a sponsorship opportunity to a company," Young said. "A student who is hired by a series, team, or track might be expected to sell sponsorship packages, so it is an excellent way for them to learn about organizational buyer behavior."

Mike King of Action Promotions said, "The relationship with Indiana State is very important to us. We're thrilled that they will be collecting a lot of data for us to use in future planning."

The university will be front and center at the Action Track's first race of the season, The Republic Services Don Smith Classic Presented by Indiana State University on Saturday, May 2 featuring the Midwest Sprint Car Series.

University President Daniel J. Bradley is proud of the partnership with the Action Track and a Terre Haute racing icon.

"To be a part of the Action Track and Don Smith is an honor. Our motorsports program has dedicated faculty, students and staff who are accomplishing some really great things. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else," Bradley said.

Indiana State will also use events at the Action Track to inform future students of the opportunities for study in the motorsports field.

Action Promotions is comprised of King, the radio voice of the Indianapolis 500, former major league baseball player and Indiana State alumnus Brian Dorsett, open-wheel racer and Indy Lights car owner Davey Hamilton and Wabash Valley native and racing enthusiast Chris Novotney, who oversaw the reconstruction of the track surface last year.

Launched in 2006, Indiana State's motorsports program is multi-disciplinary, including students and faculty from the College of Business; College of Technology; and the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services. It has been designated a "Program of Promise" under a program funded in part by a gift from the Lilly Endowment intended to highlight the university's most distinctive programs.

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Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or paula.meyer@indstate.edu