VOL. 119 | NO. 10 | Friday, January 14, 2005
Rovak Revs Up for New Fast-Paced
The Daily News
It wasnt countless boyhood hours spent daydreaming about
being the next Mario Andretti or Stirling
Moss that brought Don Rovak to the Memphis Motorsports Park. Rovak, who
recently joined the park as director of ticket sales and operations, attended
Indiana University and majored in marketing.
Adrenaline rush. But while he entertained no
fantasies of speeding around the raceway, defying death, Rovak
said when he stepped into the park for the first time,
he was impressed by the excitement and felt a rush of energy that he wanted to
be a part of.
It was energizing, he said. You could see and sense the
excitement that comes from attending the races here.
Rovak, originally from St. Louis,
moved to Memphis after graduating from college in 1997. He joined the Memphis
Redbirds as a sales intern in 1998.
While with the Redbirds, he moved from the intern role into
various other positions, eventually serving as director of stadium operations.
He also oversaw the Redbirds internship program.
An unexpected move. After
Dover Motorsports Inc., which owns and operates
Memphis Motorsports Park, contacted Rovak a few months ago, he wondered if he was doing the
right thing in making the move from the Redbirds to the motorsports park.
I had been with the Redbirds for so long and wasnt looking
to move, he said.
As a matter of fact, he was second-guessing himself as he
and his wife drove up U.S. Highway 51 on their way to Dover, Del.
But once he made the move, he was instantly hooked.
To be a part of the bigger events (at the park) was
enticing to me and something that caught my attention, he said.
Rovak took over as director of
ticket sales and operations at the beginning of the year. Being unfamiliar with
the industry, he has spent the past few weeks learning all that he can.
Customer communication. The
first item on Rovaks agenda is getting information out
to the public about the big events taking place at the Memphis Motorsports Park, such as the NHRA
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the Sams Town 250 NASCAR Busch Series.
I think a lot of people in Memphis think we just run events
every weekend, he said. We want to break away from that and highlight these
To do that, Rovak plans to talk to
customers who frequent the park and people who have never been there to find
out their perceptions of the park.
on experience. His time with
the Redbirds will benefit him, Rovak said, because as
he tackles his new responsibilities, he will be able to incorporate the ticket
sales philosophies of other sports, such as baseball, and apply them to the motorsports world.
Among those ideas is rewarding the most loyal customers with
the best seats and servicing customers beyond their expectations.
Rovak said he looks forward to his
future at the park.
They have a lot of trust in me and I have an understanding
of what theyre trying to achieve, he said.
Name: Don Rovak
Position: Director of ticket sales and operations
Company: Memphis Motorsports
Basics: Rovaks first goal
in his new position is to tell the public what the park has to offer and
highlight its major events.