Tag Archives: Bryan Sperber

SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500

Gov. Brewer will start race at PIR

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has been selected as the Honorary Starter for the AdvoCare 500, Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today. As the Honorary Starter, Governor Brewer will wave the green flag to start the AdvoCare 500, as well as greet the drivers during pre-race ceremonies on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.

“We are delighted to welcome Governor Brewer to serve as the Honorary Starter of the AdvoCare 500,” Sperber said. “Governor Brewer has long recognized the positive economic impact to the State that NASCAR events at PIR have had. Her participation underscores that the race is more than a championship sporting event, it’s also an economic engine for Arizona.”

Named Arizona’s 22nd Governor on January 20, 2009, Brewer was elected Arizona’s Secretary of State in 2002. Brewer’s career in politics began in 1982 when she was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives where she served until 1987. Following that, she ran for and was elected to the Arizona State Senate, where she served until 1996, including a four-year period as Majority Whip. In 1996 she was elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors where she served two terms with the county before being elected Arizona Secretary of State.

“Phoenix International Raceway and NASCAR are premier attractions for the City of Phoenix and State of Arizona,” said Governor Brewer. “Like tens of thousands of Arizona racing fans, I’m excited for the AdvoCare 500 and thrilled to have the opportunity to participate as the Honorary Starter. I would like to thank PIR and NASCAR for their continued collaboration on this successful event.”

Tickets for the November 11 AdvoCare 500 Semi-Final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and other events throughout the November race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are available at www.phoenixraceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223).

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PIR lands AdvoCare as race sponsor

Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that AdvoCare International (AdvoCare) has been named title sponsor for the track’s November 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event: The AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

“We are thrilled to be working with AdvoCare for NASCAR’s semi-final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup here in Phoenix,” Sperber said. “AdvoCare’s products and emphasis on performance line up perfectly with our mission to deliver a superior racing and event weekend experience for our fans each November.”

The AdvoCare 500, the Semi-Final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will be the feature event for PIR’s November race weekend. With the Sprint Cup Series Championship on the line, the green flag will drop on the AdvoCare 500 at 1 p.m. MST.

“We are excited to bring the AdvoCare 500 to Phoenix to share the AdvoCare products and business opportunity with race fans in the West,” said Richard Wright, AdvoCare President and CEO. “Our focus on health and wellness, personal growth, financial freedom and strong values is a great fit for the NASCAR community and race fans in the Phoenix area.”

AdvoCare is a health and wellness company that offers world-class nutrition, weight loss, energy and sports performance products. No stranger to NASCAR fans, AdvoCare is also the primary sponsor of rising star Austin Dillon and the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for legendary owner Richard Childress Motorsports.

Tickets for the November 11 AdvoCare 500 Semi-Final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, as well as all other events throughout the November race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are available at www.phoenixraceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223)

Photography by Cassandra Tomei

Cover Story – High Octane

High Octane

With two major NASCAR races and a huge impact on the region, Bryan Sperber and Phoenix International Raceway add plenty of fuel to the Arizona economy

 

Activity in the West Valley has hit an all time high as new hotels and mixed-use developments suddenly appear in what used to be stark dirt fields, but they are not for the upcoming Super Bowl XLII. The take-off of economic development is almost as fast as the blur of engine-revving cars circling at Phoenix International Raceway.

High OctanePIR pumps $473 million into Arizona’s economy annually, according to a recently released study on Phoenix International Raceway conducted by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. A staggering amount equal to what the Super Bowl is prospected to bring to the Valley. “The Super Bowl is predicted to generate $400 to $500 million,” says Julie Frisoni, marketing and communications director for the city of Glendale. “However, PIR happens every year.”

PIR’s economic impact figure is based on two NASCAR events, the second of which was added after heavy statewide lobbying in 2005.

The Study
Timothy Hogan, Ph.D., professor emeritus of ASU’s Department of Economics, directed the 2005 study. The new study updates the 2001 original study of PIR’s economic impact, but adjusts for inflation and increase in races and fans.

The raceway’s overall economic impact of $473 million takes into account visitor, organizational and induced expenditures, such as purchases by out-of-state visitors and business activities at PIR. The updated study identifies several other areas of growth including state and local tax revenues, as well as income generated directly and indirectly from PIR, which covers PIR employees’ wages and salaries and Arizona household additional income as a result of visitor spending, PIR operations and spending by PIR employees.

According to the study, visitors from out-of-state who attend PIR events spend $160 million annually on goods and services directly and indirectly associated with the raceway including dining, entertainment, lodging, recreation and shopping throughout the Valley. However, out-of-state monetary flow will shift away from dispersing over the entire Valley and become more concentrated in the West Valley as economic development increases in the area. “Over the years, with the University of Phoenix stadium and more hotels being built in Glendale, more activity will occur over in the West Valley,” Hogan says.

PIR President Bryan Sperber says the organization is working with ASU’s sports business program to conduct a complete study update, which should be finished by spring 2008. “It’s a pretty comprehensive program,” says Sperber. “The original study covered one NASCAR race, but the Valley has evolved and changed, and the landscape of the sport has changed.”

Preparing for the Rush
In preparation for out-of-state visitors, Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers says the city has two new Hilton hotels that are already sold out for the next three years during race times, and several mixed-use developments opening in time for Subway’s Fresh Fit 500 weekend in April. PIR holds two races a year bringing in a total of 375,000 race fans to the Valley. “I remember when we first started [PIR] 17 years ago, looking forward and dreaming of what NASCAR could be,” says Sperber. “I think we’ve reached or even surpassed that dream.”

Feeding the Economic Giant
Sperber says PIR’s success is due to two key pieces of legislation that propelled the growth of NASCAR racing in the Valley.

First, the creation of the bridge over Gila River. Second, the $5 million spent in widening access roads coming from the west, where most race car fans travel from to get to PIR. A little known fact about these public improvements is that racing fans paid for them. “The public enjoys wider roads and a bridge year round, while PIR uses it a couple days a year,” says Sperber.

In addition to public improvements and huge economic impact, PIR is a privately owned entity. “Most professional sports venues are owned by the public,” says Sperber. “New changes to [PIR] are all funded privately by us. That’s well over $150 million given to the economy in addition to the races.” Which is great news for the booming West Valley.

“The more the races grow, the more PIR puts into capital investments, which will make the experience better,” says Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of Westmarc. “As the experience gets better, there is more money spent that directly affects our communities.”

Capitalizing Success
Dina Serin, economic development specialist for the city of Avondale, says PIR was a vital component of their 2007 marketing plan, which introduces a new message point and brand awareness that uses PIR’s success to help promote the city.

Marketing materials for Avondale’s Economic Development Department display the city’s slogan: Avondale is on the move… And you are in the driver’s seat.Keeping with the theme, calls to action sprinkle fliers and brochures: Rev up your RPMs at local shopping and dining destinations; shift into low gear by relaxing at one of the Hilton hotels; and take the wheel and experience Avondale for yourself.

“[PIR] is a great asset to our community and we plan on continuing to work with them,” says Avondale’s Development Director Claudia Whitehead.

Statewide Impact
AZ Business Magazine April May 2007Jacki Mieler, director of media relations for the state’s Office of Tourism, says PIR attracts people who might consider doing business or relocating businesses to Arizona. “NASCAR has a lot of high-profile sponsors who will travel to come see the races,” says Mieler.

Lunsford says the hope is that those high profile sponsors will see the growth and development happening and create new jobs that will further propel the Valley’s economy.

As PIR races into another exciting season, the economy fuels up on visitors experiencing all the Valley of the Sun has to offer.

www.phoenixraceway.com

Evolution of PIR

PIR was founded in 1964 by a group of professional sports car racers that had a dream of building a racing facility. PIR was carved out of the foothills of the Estrella Mountains in the West Valley and was intended to be a new crown jewel of American open wheel racing. At that time the tourism industry in Phoenix was just starting to grow.

It wasn’t until 1988, when NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing came to PIR, that auto racing in Phoenix really became a major sporting attraction for the area. The Checker Auto Parts 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race in November is said to be the largest one-day sporting event in Arizona. A study by Arizona State University proves PIR’s economic impact to be among the top in the state, and demonstrated PIR’s tremendous growth over just a few years.

PIR President Bryan Sperber has a few exciting changes for upcoming events that will further propel PIR’s growth. “With every event, we attempt to introduce and try new things. We live in an entertainment world where the lines are becoming more blurry in terms of live entertainment, music and sports,” says Sperber. “We have to keep [PIR] fresh, fun and exciting.”

AZ Business Magazine April May ’07 |  Next: The Road to Success