NASCAR Media Conference
Juan Pablo Montoya
May 19, 2012
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us. We are joined by NASCAR CEO, Brian France. Brian's family has obviously been very instrumental in the development of the NASCAR Foundation, and we are grateful to have Brian here today.
Brian is joined on the far left by Steve Phelps, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. We are also very proud to have our five‑time series champion, Jimmie driver, driver of the No. 48 Loew's Patriotic Chevrolet and Juan Montoya, who is the driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet.
On behalf of NASCAR, I can tell you that we are all very proud of the work that's done by the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, and Juan's Formula Smiles Foundation. These great champions are here today representing all of the drivers and the great works that are done by our drivers.
Finally it's my pleasure to introduce Nick Keller, a new friend of NASCAR and the founder of Beyond Sport. He's here at the Sprint All‑Star Race, his first NASCAR race, all the way from London, England. Before Nick makes the announcement, I'll ask you to turn your attention to the monitors for a short video.
NICK KELLER: I am Nick Keller, founder of Beyond Sport, and very honored to be here today with all of you.
First of all, I would like to thank Brian and his family for welcoming us here and giving us such a reception. Of course the drivers on the panel, as well. I would also like to thank the press for taking time out to be here. I know you're quite busy today so delighted that you are here to cover this.
When we set out to create Beyond Sport four years ago, it was with a very simple notion, and more bringing together all sports, sharing best practices and talking about it there, from all walks of life really. And the simple notion that sports is a special commodity; one, that if used correctly, can change communities, can change society, and can up lift people, improve their lives, whether it be health, education, social inclusion issues, crime, conflict resolution. And with that in mind, we set off on a journey that brings me here sitting in this seat amongst all of you.
And the intention was always to unite people, bring people together, whether it be the teams and leagues that traditionally compete against each other; whether it be the corporates, the sponsors, the brands that use sport so comfortably to sell their products; and whether it be those grass roots leaders that do so much in their communities to change the circumstance of others using sports. And the idea is to bring them together, blend them together and see what could be achieved as a group of people. See if we can take that fantastic energy and serration of passion that you can see all around you when you walk out of this room and within this room, and the impact it has.
And so it is sitting here that I am not surprised that I've found my way here in a way, because NASCAR's values of community and NASCAR's values of integrating itself, not just into the sport, but outside the sport, fit so very well with what we do.
You don't have to dig very deep to see that there's some real credibility for the rest of the sports world to learn; whether it be through the NASCAR Foundation that has such a long track record of philanthropy and volunteering, whether it be NASCAR Green, which is a standard bearer within sports in a way because it's the largest sport in America, we are hugely honored to invite NASCAR to join that family, and it's within that context that they join the other major leagues that you can see behind us there.
Now, it was interesting when we did the Beyond Sport United at the Yankee Stadium last year back in September, when we did our review with all of the major leagues, with the commissioners, the one resounding bit of feedback we had is there is a piece of the jigsaw missing, and that piece was NASCAR. And what it brings to us, is that it reaches out to a different audience. It adds this wonderful credibility around sustainability that we have and are going to sort of share with others, share that best practice.
So we are hugely honored and having met Brian earlier and spoken with a lot of his fantastic team, it is clear that Brian's values and his personal investment in this; he will be coming to London just before the Olympics, we are holding our Summit Awards in London with some fantastic people involved. There will be over 1,000 people attending and we will be honored to have you there speaking on behalf of NASCAR; and again, with the other commissioners at Beyond Sport United at the Yankees in November, as well, where we will welcome every single team within the professional league who will join together, who will work together to share best practice to find out how we can take sport into our communities and how we can improve on what we do and how we can search out how to replicate that worldwide.
So those values that you have run very deep through your organization, we are very honored to invite you to take part and we are hugely grateful for your support so far.
BRIAN FRANCE: Thank you very much, Nick, and thank you all for being here to cover this. We are obviously very honored to be a part of what is going on at Beyond Sport.
I think Nick said it; the video captured it. The idea is is that leagues, teams, athletes, come together to share best practices in what they are doing, puts us on a big stage which we are excited about, because of what all of the teams and individual drivers are doing.
Frankly, it matches perfectly with directionally where we are going. We are investing a lot with kids as you know, and we are certainly focused on the environment and giving back to different communities. So, we are excited. I'm on my way as Nick said to London in July and I look forward to participating with the other commissioners in the U.S. and others around the world that make up this organization.
We are thrilled, and thanks so much, Nick, for inviting us, and I'll end with that. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Steve, can you talk a little about the dialogue and why becoming part of Beyond Sport makes sense for NASCAR and how you expect it to benefit the entire industry?
STEVE PHELPS: Sure. If you look around our sport and you consider all that our drivers do, teams, the tracks, and our sponsors, collectively, the impact that they make in giving back to their communities is really amazing.
Beyond Sport will give us an opportunity to show best practices, network with other leagues and brands around the world, and most importantly, to have us be able to share what we are doing in these areas.
I know the folks at the NASCAR Foundation, NASCAR Green, NASCAR Diversity are thrilled at the opportunity to work with Beyond Sport folks, and I'm sure that the sport as a whole and the broader industry, NASCAR community, will benefit from this new relationship.
THE MODERATOR: Jimmie, obviously you do a lot of work in the community through your foundation; can you talk about our sport making this step and your responsibility as an athlete to give back?
JIMMIE JOHNSON: Just proud of our sport and proud of the association. Just back up a second and say how proud I am of our sport and the drivers involved and NASCAR and their foundation and what they have done.
As we all know in the room, pretty much every driver has a foundation or does something to support other charities and other drivers' foundations. This is a perfect fit and very proud of the effort and the work that the Jimmie Johnson Foundation has done, and look forward to sharing our best practices and learning more and just trying to give back. There's a huge void out there, and if it wasn't for the non‑profit world and the people involved in non‑profit there would be even a larger gap. Proud of our sport and proud to be a part of it.
THE MODERATOR: You've been part of the global sports landscape for a long time; can you talk about what it means to be a part of the bigger community and to yourself personally?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: When we created our foundation, the most important thing was the kids, because for me the kids were the future and to be honest with you, as you know, we actually have been paying a little bit of attention to what Beyond Sport did. We talked to them before and everything, so for NASCAR to be involved in it is huge. We in Colombia look after about 5,000 kids already and growing, and it's tough.
But you know, the kids‑‑ for me, the kid are our future, and if you can take them off the streets, teach them something about how to be a team player and how to be a better person, I think is really important. I think this is going to be huge for the communities.
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