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Could Garfinkel be next President of Hulman Motorsports Properties? UPDATE #2
Tom Garfinkel
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today.  The Dolphins today named former Padres President & CEO Tom Garfinkel to the same position for the team and Sun Life Stadium. Garfinkel was selected following a search led by RSE Ventures President & CEO Matt Higgins and Turnkey Sports & Entertainment. He will be responsible for all business operations, including budget responsibility. He previously worked for the D-Backs and Chip Ganassi Racing.

07/15/13 “We have a half a dozen excellent candidates, and I’m very optimistic in fairly short order, we’ll have our person,” Miles said. “I certainly want to have that role filled by the end of this season.”

Former San Diego Padres President and CEO Tom Garfinkel has become a frontrunner to become president of IndyCar’s commercial side, said motorsports industry sources.

Garfinkel, who resigned his position with the Padres on July 9, has had multiple conversations with Miles, sources said.

Before joining the Padres in 2009, Garfinkel, 44, was an executive with Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks for three years. Before that, he spent five years as executive vice president of Chip Ganassi Racing. IBJ.com

07/11/13 Former San Diego Padres President and CEO Tom Garfinkel could be returning to IndyCar.

Within minutes of Garfinkel’s resignation from the Padres Tuesday morning, speculation spun out of Indianapolis that Garfinkel could be filling the presidential vacancy at Hulman Motorsports Properties.

The position would seem to be a perfect fit for the 44-year-old Garfinkel.

And Garfinkel might be the perfect person for the job.

Derrick Walker was recently named the president of IndyCar. He is perfectly suited to control the competition, and manage the rules, in the series. But Walker is no marketing man. His background is on the technical side of racing. There is no mention of business, sales or marketing in his job description.

The president of Hulman Motorsports Properties will be in charge of all business and public relations aspects for both the IndyCar series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – including promotion, marketing and sales.

This is an area where IndyCar has been sadly lacking.

While the on-track competition in IndyCar has never been better, the marketing of the series is a joke. That end of the sport is still reeling from the absolutely disastrous CART-Indy Racing League war for control of the sport.

Although IndyCar now has a united front, few would-be fans are aware of the competitive balance and excitement level of the racing. Why? IndyCar has done a terrible job marking a very good product.

The television package is terrible. The national driver awareness is weak. Viewers will tune into the Indianapolis 500 and then not see another race – partially because most IndyCar races are lost in the backwaters of the television channels.

Garfinkel could be the perfect person to address the woes of IndyCar – were IndyCar to give him control to make dynamic decisions. And there’s the potential major rub. IndyCar has been its own worst enemy when it comes to marketing.

IndyCar has long been a sport run by the individual teams rather than a central authority. The stronger the car owner, the more cache he had in the boardroom. NASCAR has always been a benevolent dictatorship. IndyCar has been a factionalized democracy.

Were IndyCar to give Garfinkel autonomy, it would be interesting to see where he might take the sport.

As the leader of the Padres, Garfinkel negotiated a 20-year, $1 billion television contract with Fox. He knows the in-and-outs and importance of television. Advancing IndyCar to a single-digit station would become a priority.

Other Garfinkel strengths include developing strong relationships with sponsors and strengthening relationships with the core fan while expanding the overall market. Again, these are areas where IndyCar is sadly lacking.

Everyone knows that Sprint is the title sponsor of NASCAR’s premier series. Do you know the title sponsor of IndyCar racing? Izod.

Plus, Garfinkel has a strong background in racing management.

For five years before first coming to baseball, Garfinkel served as the executive vice president with Chip Ganassi Racing, overseeing the business operations of an organization of a team that fielded cars in the two upper divisions of NASCAR as well as IndyCar and sports car racing. Garfinkel negotiated sponsorship and driver contracts that represented a 280 percent increase in revenue for the team. UTSandiego.com

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