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DATE News (chronologically)
12/01/10
racing news
Veteran Motorsports Professionals Partner to Form GRand Solutions LLC  Gene Cottingham, former CFO of Champ Car, and Ruthie Forbes, former director of Event Marketing for INDYCAR, have joined forces to create GRand Solutions LLC – a unique company dedicated to providing innovative, affordable and effective business solutions to the global sports community and beyond. 

GRand Solutions LLC unites the complementary skills and industry experience of Cottingham and Forbes.  The team is committed to exceeding client expectations in the traditional areas of sponsor and event activation, public relations, guest services and consumer marketing -- as well as financial and operational consulting, risk management and business process improvement.  They will focus on providing each client with creative and comprehensive solutions, tailored by specific individual need and crafted for affordability. 

Cottingham, best known for his key role in the merger of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League in 2008, cut his teeth in the motorsports industry in 2003 after 11 years in public accounting.  As Chief Financial Officer for Champ Car, Cottingham was immersed in dealings with teams, sponsors and event promoters, and developed a thorough understanding of business models and operations.  Leveraging his public accounting experience, Cottingham contributed to the success of multi-million dollar domestic and international business deals for Champ Car.

Since the merger with the Indy Racing League, Cottingham has consulted numerous motorsports properties such as the IZOD IndyCar Series, Atlantic Racing Series, Historic Motorsports Productions, KV Racing Technology and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach.  He will continue to work with sanctioning bodies, teams, events and other properties, utilizing his expertise to help clients increase revenue opportunities, reduce operating expenditures and decrease business risks.

“With the combination of our executive experience, solid relationships at the top level of many sports organizations and our strong client service skills, I really think we have a package of assets that few other solutions providers can offer,” said Cottingham.  “I am confident in our ability to help our clients achieve results with practical, cost-effective answers, being mindful of both their resources and their goals.”

Forbes, who recently left INDYCAR after 10 years, has amassed more than 18 years’ experience in motorsports through roles on the team level, agency level and ultimately as a key player in the development of the marketing division of a major sanctioning body.  She has managed marketing, advertising, promotions, driver and team public relations, hospitality and client service programs at various developmental levels.  Forbes has a strong history and focus on cause-related marketing, philanthropic efforts and community relations, which she plans to build into GRand Solution’s array of services.

At INDYCAR, Forbes pioneered the creation of two distinct divisions within the marketing department -- Event Marketing and Guest Services.  In both roles, she performed a variety of management functions, including all race event logistics, large-scale experiential marketing platforms, guest service program development and activation and execution for all major VIP events such as the sanctioning body’s Championship Celebration.

“Our objective is to help our clients manage their respective sports properties,” said Forbes.  “Athletes, teams, event promoters, sponsors and sanctioning bodies are examples of sports properties where we will offer up new and innovative solutions to help them achieve long-term, financially viable results.”

Cottingham’s primary roles within the organization are business development, strategic vision, and day-to-day operations.  He will serve as a financial and operational consultant to the owners and executive management of clients of GRand Solutions, helping them achieve their personal and professional financial goals.  More specifically, he will be available to provide clients assistance with CFO services, financial and operational analyses, business process improvement, financial management, litigation support, and event/project management.

While also assisting in the day-to-day operations, Forbes will be dedicated to activation and execution with a concentration on event, team and athlete management and public relations.  She also will focus on overall client and sponsor services packages, which include promotion, brand and consumer activation and hospitality solutions. 

GRand Solutions LLC is located in the Pyramids at College Park on the Northwest side of Indianapolis. For more information, visit www.grand-solutions.net.

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