Rahal team hires Mike Welsh Rahal Letterman Racing still has one important race to go in the 2010 American Le Mans Series season, but today announced a hiring that will go a long way toward ensuring that the Hilliard, Ohio-based team will have many more seasons of racing at the front of the pack.
The 2004 winners of the Indianapolis 500 announced the appointment of long-time Miller Brewing sports marketing executive Mike Welsh as RLR’s new Vice-President of Commercial Development. Welsh will be tasked with identifying and securing potential commercial partners for all of the team’s racing endeavors, including the ALMS program with the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team as well future open-wheel racing plans.
Welsh and Rahal Letterman Racing have a long and storied history together as Welsh headed up the Miller program that served as the primary sponsor for Bobby Rahal’s championship-winning car in 1992, which was Rahal’s first year as an owner-driver. That partnership lasted 18 years and included the highly successful Rahal’s Last Ride campaign in the driver’s retirement season of 1998.
“I have known Mike for many years and have seen first-hand how well he manages a sponsorship program,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “In a way, a part of what are doing today has taken place because of his efforts through Miller Brewing when we were first getting started. I have every confidence that Mike will be able to have great success in his new position with us and help us reach even greater heights as a racing team.”
Welsh served with Miller Brewing Company for 25 years in numerous marketing and commercial aspects and was responsible for the company’s global sports marketing efforts. He not only oversaw Miller’s programs with Rahal Letterman Racing in Indy Car, but was involved in NASCAR and the NHRA as well. Leveraging the company’s prominent position in motorsports as well as with the NFL and NBA, Welsh’s responsibilities included developing successful programs that satisfied brand objectives worldwide.
“I have had the desire to become more involved in racing and the opportunity to do so with a quality team like Rahal Letterman Racing was very attractive to me,” Welsh said. “Getting a chance to resume my professional and personal relationship with a racing legend like Bobby makes this even more important to me. He has built a championship team over the last 20 years and I look forward to the opportunity to help the team grow.”
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