Carpenter Brings Marketing Talents to Motorsports Park

By Lane Gardner Camp

"Our facility is publicly owned with tremendous international resources at our disposal, yet we have the ability and intention to position ourselves as a contributing member of the Mid-South community."
- Dan Carpenter
Name: Dan Carpenter
Position: Director of business development
Company: Memphis Motorsports Park
Basics: Carpenter relocated to Memphis after working with sports organizations including the New York Mets, New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

One thing Dan Carpenter likes about his career is that he gets paid to be at sporting events most people have to pay admission to attend.

Even after 11 years in professional sports marketing and six in sports broadcasting, he still finds his work fun, with no complaints about the long hours. Former employers include the New York Mets, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Fla.

A new track. Carpenter is new to Memphis, having started work Labor Day weekend as the new director of business development for Memphis Motorsports Park, a 400-acre complex on Taylor Forge Drive between Raleigh-Millington Road and U.S. Highway 51. The park is home to more than 215 events between March and November and is owned by Dover Motorsports Inc.

In addition to a three-quarter mile paved tri-oval track that hosted the sold-out NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Town 250 this month and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly 200 in July, the park also has a National Hot Rod Association championship quarter-mile drag strip, a 1.77-mile championship road course and a quarter-mile dirt oval track.

Carpenter oversees all facility sponsorship, including but not limited to promotions, advertising, luxury suites, hospitality, vendor merchandising and exposition space.

Fan-friendly. Though Carpenter has worked with a range of professional sports, he noted that motorsports, and particularly NASCAR, are the most "sponsor-friendly."

"Motorsports sponsorship better promotes creativity to its partners, whereas my experience working the more traditional major leagues is that they seem hesitant to promote something not already on their menu," Carpenter said, adding that he believes motorsports fans "are the most understanding, responsive and loyal of all sports fans."

Enthusiastic about his new position with Memphis Motorsports Park, Carpenter described the complex as "an equal player in a great mid-sized sport town that is blessed with pro baseball, basketball, college athletics, bowl games, golf and auto racing."

He stressed the park is getting better every year, with record facility attendance this year.

"I hope that companies will be receptive to our story," Carpenter said.

As for success in a position like his, Carpenter said it mostly depends on ticket sales and overall fan experience. That is the way to provide value to corporate sponsors.

Strong organization. He said he's proud to be part of the Memphis Motorsports Parks operation.

"I believe that I work with the strongest ticket and customer service department ever in my decade-plus in professional sports," Carpenter said. "Our facility is publicly owned with tremendous international resources at our disposal, yet we have the ability and intention to position ourselves as a contributing member of the Mid-South community."

Carpenter said his experience in sports will be a great benefit in his new role.

"I'm a go-getter, and rarely get intimidated by a challenge," he said.

Born and raised in Long Island, N.Y., Carpenter has a bachelor's degree in communications from State University of New York at Geneseo, where he concentrated his studies in business management, journalism and public relations.