Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lesa France Kennedy - One of the Most Powerful Women in Sports

Lesa France Kennedy - One of the Most Powerful Women in Sports

CEO, International Speedway Corp.; Vice Chair, ISC’s Board of Directors

Adweek went far afield for our second annual list of Powerful Women in Sports, selecting leaders from the burgeoning world of esports, the ascendant women’s soccer arena and a brand-new basketball league—plus the mar-tech and artificial-intelligence innovators serving the sports marketing ecosystem. Here, Adweek honors the 35 female executives and influencers who are winning over the next generation of fans and scoring new partnerships with brands.

For the second consecutive year Lesa France Kennedy has been named list of the “30 Most Powerful Women in Sports.”

There’s no resting on laurels for France Kennedy, even when a recent win includes a $400 million renovation of the Daytona International Speedway, making it what she calls “the world’s only motor sports stadium.” The executive, third-generation racing royalty whose grandfather founded Nascar in 1948, is now developing One Daytona, a 300,000-square-foot mixed-use complex near the reimagined Daytona Rising track. 

“We compete with stick-and-ball sports properties and entertainment venues,” she says, making it imperative to keep “the crown jewel of our sport polished.” Managing an additional dozen of the country’s biggest racetracks, she’s also overseeing the $178 million modernization of the Phoenix Raceway.

“We compete with stick-and-ball sports properties and entertainment venue,” making it imperative to keep “the crown jewel of our sport polished,” Kennedy told the magazine.

Two years ago, Kennedy was also chosen as the 2015 Most Powerful Woman in Sports in a survey conducted by Forbes Magazine.

From a New York Times Interview:

Question: Do you see their (Grandparent's) influence in your leadership style today?

Ms. Kennedy: You’re always looking to do new things with the business and think about what people really want, and that’s a lesson that all of our family members took away from my grandfather. My grandmother always kept things in check, and we have to remind ourselves to do that. The pace of change in the world of motor sports is so fast and furious that you have to make sure you’re headed in the right direction and at the right speed.

Question: Any particular challenges you faced as a woman working in NASCAR?

Ms. Kennedy: Early on, especially in the ’80s when I came back from college, it was about getting the invitation.

Meetings would occur, and you might not actually be invited, and you would think that you should be there or that you would like to contribute. I found the best way to get invited was to add value and find out what their challenges and their struggles were.

So I would visit with one of the senior managers and make myself invaluable to him or her. I’d go out and do all the work for them and let them take all the credit, and over time, they start accepting you. They would say, “Well, I guess it’s O.K. if she comes to this meeting.” So I would listen and figure out what their biggest challenges were, and I would try to help out from behind the scenes.

I had always been part of the “solve-it team,” and when you become C.E.O., people often come to you with the problem already solved. If you’re used to being in the middle of things, it takes time to step back a little bit and let them work it out and say to yourself that they will involve me when it makes sense, and you don’t feel like you have to be in the middle of everything.

Related Posts:

  1. By The Decades - Coke Zero 400
  2. RIP Michael Emil DeBello
  3. Harvick's Participation In the K&N Pro Series Race Helpful
  4. NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma
  5. Local Racer, Eric Sunness, Seeking Assistance via 'Go Fund Me' Page

No comments: