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VOL. 119 | NO. 10 | Friday, January 14, 2005

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Rovak Revs Up for New Fast-Paced Role


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 major events.

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.

Drawing 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 Park

Basics: Rovaks first goal in his new position is to tell the public what the park has to offer and highlight its major events.


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