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An IndyCar on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Photo courtesy of IndyCar
An IndyCar on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

News, Sports, Racing

IndyCar Opens Santa Monica Office

Sarah Nettinga
Photo courtesy of IndyCar
Sarah Nettinga

Posted Jan. 20, 2011, 1:26 am

Slav Kandyba

The operator of Indianapolis Motor Speedway has opened a Santa Monica office to help the company better integrate its brand in the entertainment industry.

IndyCar has tapped veteran movie and television producer Sarah Nettinga to head up the office. The company was finalizing a lease on a location in the vicinity of Cloverfield and 20th Street, Nettinga told the Mirror.

“I've already hired staff and there will be four or five us and an intern,” she said.

Nettinga, a Calabasas resident, said Santa Monica was chosen as the location of the office because of its business landscape. “Our brand is clearly an edgier, youth-oriented and all of the companies are in this space,” she said.

Nettinga was a producer of the Will Ferrell-starring comedy hit “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” one of the projects that went a long way in extending auto racing into the mainstream. As senior vice president, entertainment and media, in the new office, Nettinga's work will continue to revolve around TV and film projects, she said, but “emerging media” will also be a focus. “Emerging media is social media,” Nettinga said. “Content is going to be king – and we have content. We are focused on all the programming around the sport.”

Prior to joining auto racing, Nettinga was a production executive at Warner Bros. International Television Production. She also has worked for Columbia Tristar Television, CBS, Petry Television, Westinghouse International and Sony International Television in roles that involved development, sales, production, branding and marketing in the entertainment industry. Her return to the sport of auto racing came at the beckoning of IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Jeff Belskus.

"If we want to grow the sport, we need to be fully vested in relationships with the entertainment community that can tell the storylines of our sport," Bernard said in a statement.

IndyCar is rapidly growing with 14 new sponsors, including Verizon, Sunoco and Philips, signing on last year.

"Having an IndyCar office in Los Angeles [area] will provide our sport and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a strong presence in an important global community," Belkus said.

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Jan. 20, 2011, 10:12:33 am

Parker Hall said...

If Indy Car really wants to grow and expand the sport, they need to do more with the cars themselves. I went to my first Indy 500 in 1975. Yes, I had my favorite drivers, but what got me was the cool looking cars. Unlike today where there is 1 chassis, each team constructed their own cars (Penske, Gurney's Eagles, Patrick's Wildcats, McLaren etc) and there was more than 1 engine (Offenhauser, Cosworth, Stock Block,etc.)Drivers could come and go but what kept me in the sport and what lost me was that every car is exactly the same/different colors. It's an IROC race, if any of you remember IROC (International Race Of Champions) It's what's happened to NASCAR as well. All the same car w/ a different nose on the front. Always remember, people want to see the cars and they want cool looking cars. Actually, Danika Patrick has said basically the same thing. She likes the advantages/disadvantages of different chassis/engines. Makes for better races. Why do you think Formula 1 has made it all these years? Ferrari makes a Ferrari, McLaren makes a Mclaren etc. It allows the fans to cheer for a Ferrari, Mclaren roots for a McLaren etc. not some generic chassis that doesn't have any identity. I love the sport of auto racing and always will. I have moved away from watching North American racing (Nascar/Indy Car) for this very reason. I like European series GP1 and the Sports car series put on by Austrailian, German, British, and other European automakers. It's just like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. When a car says Ford GT or Chevy Corvette on the side of a car in the winners circle the average man can go out and actually buy one of those cars, the CAR, not the driver won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Take a look at the winning car sales after a 24 hours of Le Mans, speaks for itself. I root for the Ford Cosworth that now runs in Formula 1. Again, not necessaarily the driver but the team that runs the FORD COSWORTH. As a kid I would save my money and get every single model/die cast race car I could. Now (for Indy Car

Jan. 21, 2011, 5:44:46 am

wolflen said...

i find it a bit ironic...the epitome of auto racing having an office in a city that want everyone out of cars and on bikes...the city council, planning commission etc think this is a very "progressive" and will produce an "european flavor"..but the way they are going about it feels more like china..

Feb. 3, 2011, 5:23:31 am

Kirby Vaughn said...

What is the new IndyCar Santa Monica address?

SM Mirror TV