|Miles will ride Alonso's popularity for all it's worth|
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles thinks that F1 driver Fernando Alonso driving in this year's Indianapolis 500 could produce a host of positive results for the event writes Adam Stern of Sports Business Daily.
Miles, who oversees Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Verizon IndyCar Series, said the move by F1 team McLaren to have Alonso race for Honda-backed Andretti Autosport in the 500 will “have an effect on all kinds of levels."
Miles also noted it was "busy" yesterday at IMS’s ticket-sales office after the announcement, which trended worldwide on Twitter and was splashed on the back pages of Spanish newspapers.
Miles: "One (effect) is ticket sales: I think there will be more Formula 1 fans in the States who want to come to the 500; I think there will be more international journalists here to cover it; I think there will be opportunities even for some streaming deals outside of our normal linear arrangements around the world to provide extra access to it; I’m sitting here right now thinking about whether we want to go over there and do a PR tour in some European countries."
Miles added that this move could re-start a trend of F1 drivers participating in the race. Miles: "I heard from somebody (in Europe) that Alonso had heard from another F1 star who said, ‘Hey, really cool — big balls; maybe I’ll do it.' So it causes drivers — whether it's other guys in NASCAR or in Formula One — to think (about it) and that can only be good." Adam Stern/Sports Business Daily