Magic to co-chair effort to diversify fans, drivers
DAYTONA BEACH -- Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson will serve as co-chairman to NASCAR's newly created Executive Steering Committee for Diversity, NASCAR announced Thursday.
Johnson will be active in a number of areas related to diversifying NASCAR's fan base, participants and work force.
"Over the last few years, NASCAR has been working with industry leaders to provide meaningful opportunities for everyone to be a part of the NASCAR community," NASCAR chief operating officer George Pyne said. "Today, we take another step in welcoming Magic Johnson to the NASCAR family.
"Magic will help NASCAR achieve its goals to better educate new audiences and facilitate greater participation among the industry and communities of color."
Best known for leading the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA titles, Johnson has redefined himself as a successful businessman. The Magic Johnson brand has become one of the most expansive and successful business networks in the country.
Johnson will assist NASCAR with creating grassroots programs, such as Drive for Diversity, that identify and develop African American, Hispanic and women drivers and crew members and help develop marketing programs to increase the sport's visibility in urban communities.
"As a child, I spent countless hours attending race events with my father, and my strong interest in motorsports is still connected to those fond memories," Johnson said. "I plan to build on the existing initiatives and develop an urban marketing strategy. This will give real opportunities for all people to participate in the sport as fans, drivers, crew members and many other positions."
The Drive for Diversity program seeks to identify and select minority and women drivers and crew members to compete in NASCAR-sanctioned races. Already, Drive for Diversity has five drivers and six crew members competing in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
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