Paul Pfanner Reacquires RACER Magazine
Automotive media and marketing veterans Paul Pfanner and Bill Sparks have acquired RACER Magazine and Racer.com from Haymarket Media, Inc. RACER celebrates its 20th Anniversary in April with the release of the May 2012 issue. The purchase returns America's leading general interest motorsport magazine to its founding management team after 11years of majority ownership by Haymarket.
The acquisition also includes the company’s custom publishing arm, which produces SportsCar magazine for the Sports Car Club of America and the Racer Special Projects Division, which creates collateral, advertising materials, publications, websites, custom content and editorial management solutions.
Paul Pfanner, President and CEO of the new company, Racer Media & Marketing, Inc., called the acquisition, "An excellent strategic development, which renews our commitment to excellence in all forms of media and marketing. I am particularly delighted that RACER’s Editor-In-Chief, Laurence Foster, will continue with the company as we expand both RACER and the associated activities that so ideally complement our existing business, Pfanner Communications, Inc., which specializes in strategic consulting, brand development, content marketing and video programming."
Rob and Chris Dyson, whose original investment in Racer Communications, Inc., played a significant role in building RACER magazine, return as anchor investors in Racer Media & Marketing, Inc.
"We believe in the brand, we believe in the team and we believe in the sport," said Chris Dyson. "The evolving media landscape presents incredible new opportunities for racing to communicate and connect with its audience in the years ahead, so we’re excited to renew our links with the RACER brand and help drive it to the next level."
"Following discussions over the past several months, we are pleased to have finalized this deal," said Pfanner. "I thank Haymarket for their able stewardship of the business and I am grateful to [Haymarket Media, Inc., CEO] Lee Maniscalco and the Haymarket team for making it possible for the company to go forward under our leadership."
Added Maniscalco: "While the decision to sell the RACER business has been a difficult process to work through, I am convinced that these well-respected brands will continue to serve the needs of an enthusiastic audience. Furthermore, I’m certain the extremely well-qualified new owners will provide the time, energy, and expertise necessary to place these high-quality products at the center of their own growth strategies."
Pfanner called the transaction a major step in expanding this now-combined motorsport arsenal into an even more unique and compelling proposition.
"Our goal is to continue to produce market-leading magazines, websites and other media content that will be respected for their quality and informed, authoritative voice," stated Pfanner. "Joining us will be RACER’s co-founder and widely respected racer, photographer and film director, Jeff Zwart, who will lead RACER’s editorial advisory board.
"This is the best outcome for our readers, our customers, our employees and our shareholders," he added. "We have great expectations that Racer Media & Marketing, Inc. will realize the fullest potential of the RACER brand. We will also work with SCCA President and CEO Jeff Dahnert and his team to optimize SportsCar magazine for the 21st Century."
"SCCA is experiencing a great deal of change, and we celebrated this at our National Convention earlier this month," said Dahnert. "This is another exciting development for the Club. Paul Pfanner and his team were at the helm of SportsCar through SCCA’s greatest era of growth. SportsCar has an excellent editorial staff in Irvine and, with a motorsports-based management team back at the helm, we expect great developments with our publishing and communications efforts going forward."