WEEHAWKEN, N.J., Jan. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Formula One Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, the organization that is bringing Formula One racing to the streets of New Jersey for the first time next year, today named a pair of senior leaders with significant experience in racing and sporting events in the New Jersey/New York region.
Tom Cotter, a 30-year motorsports veteran, will be President of the organization, and former New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority CEO and President Dennis Robinson will serve as Chief Operations Officer.
"Only a world-class opportunity like this could divert me from my bucket list," said Cotter, who has spent much of the past decade authoring automotive bestsellers, teaching motorsports marketing at the college level and collecting vintage cars. "The chance to make racing history doesn't come along often."
From 1989 to 2001, Cotter built The Cotter Group, one of the most successful motorsports marketing communications agencies in the world, with a client list that included NASCAR, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Dodge, Lowe's, McDonald's, General Foods, UPS and FedEx. Cotter Group was sold to Clear Channel Communications in 2001. Prior to having his own firm, Cotter served as director of public relations at Charlotte Motor Speedway from 1985 to 1989.
"With the Formula One Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial joining events like the 2014 Super Bowl, the State of New Jersey is becoming a major hub for the sports industry and a great economic success, and I am thrilled to be a part of it," said Robinson. "The Governors, Mayors, and other elected officials in our region have been tremendously supportive of this effort, and we are committed to developing a race that guarantees them, our communities, and fans from around the globe one of the most exciting sports in the world."
Robinson was previously the President and CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) since 1998, where he managed the operations for major sports arenas including the Meadowlands Sports Complex, the Monmouth Park Racetrack and the Atlantic City Convention Centers. Robinson oversaw five professional sports franchises – the Giants, Jets, Devils, Nets and Metrostars – and oversaw events that attracted eight million people annually. During his tenure at NJSEA, he negotiated contracts that led to the NJSEA providing services to Metlife Stadium, and was also part of the successful campaign to bring the Super Bowl to the Meadowlands, in 2014. Prior to working at the NJSEA, he served as Assistant Commissioner of the Southwest Athletic Conference, following stints at the University of Houston and the National Football League. For eight years, Robinson served as Senior Vice President, Business and League Operations, of the National Basketball Association.
"The Formula Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial came together as partnership among Formula One, the State of New Jersey, and the towns of Weehawken, West New York and Port Imperial," said Leo Hindery, Jr., the race's Promoter and Director. "It is vital that we have a leadership team that is highly respected in motorsports, and in running major sporting events in the region, and that understands and respects our overriding responsibilities to the fans, the people of New York and New Jersey, the teams and the drivers. Tom Cotter and Dennis Robinson are the best possible choices to fill these roles."
"There is no better person to have behind the wheel of this production than Tom Cotter," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, former president of Charlotte Motor Speedway who is serving as Racing Advisor and a Director of this major annual auto racing event. "Tom's leadership skills, motorsports savvy and unflappable temperament are the right combination for this enormous undertaking."
Formula One Grand Prix of America plans its inaugural race for June 2013, and has a 10-year agreement for races thereafter. The race will receive no subsidies from either local or state government and will bring millions in spending to New Jersey and New York each year. It is anticipated that the race will also generate hundreds of millions in economic development over its life.
The 3.2-mile race will be run on existing streets in Port Imperial, Weehawken and West New York, along the Hudson River and at the top of the Palisades, with the New York City skyline as the backdrop. Upwards of 100,000 people are expected to attend each race, starting with practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday, and racing on Sunday. Fans will arrive through a combination of NJ Transit, PATH and New York Waterway ferries.
Formula One currently hosts 20 races annually in 19 countries.
Formula One Grand Prix of America headquarters are shared between Port Imperial and Manhattan. Effective immediately, Cotter will divide his time between New Jersey and New York and his home in Davidson, NC. Robinson will continue to reside in New Jersey.
SOURCE Formula One Grand Prix of America