Monday, November 23, 2009

IndyCar's Griffin takes own head

The Indy Racing League has lost another experienced, talented professional. It appears as if Public Relations Chief John Griffin decided to take his talents elsewhere.

Who can blame him, given that his boss effectively called Griffin out for failing to promote the IRL's roster of unwanted "stars". Never mind that Angstadt, Barnhart and Cotman gave Griffin Goulash and expected him to compete with cheeseburgers for sales to U.S. racing fans.

Public Relations can not make people like the food. And John Griffin did not forget how to do his job when he left NASCAR to work for the IRL.

I like and respect John Griffin. He did his job well. It is regrettable that his bosses did not and do not understand exactly what that job entails (and what it does not).

The not-so-widely released press release is below in blue.


For Immediate Release


INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 20, 2009) - Indy Racing League Vice President of Public Relations John Griffin has submitted his resignation, effective Dec. 18.

"John has been a valued part of our organization and he will be missed," said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League. "His creativity and passion for the sport brought publicity for the IZOD IndyCar Series to a whole new level. We wish him the best of luck."

Griffin joined the Indy Racing League as vice president in 2002, overseeing all aspects of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights public and media relations program as well as strategic communication. During his tenure, Griffin developed and implemented public relations strategies for several historic events including the unification of open-wheel racing, Danica Patrick's first win and the series IZOD entitlement announcement earlier this month.

"I appreciate my time here at the Indy Racing League where I have made many great friends and want to thank Terry (Angstadt) and Brian (Barnhart) for the opportunity," said Griffin. "I really think the time is right for me to entertain a new challenge, particularly something that would allow me more quality time with my kids."

Before joining the Indy Racing League, Griffin worked for NASCAR with his professional career also including stops with World Cup USA 1994 and the Major Indoor Soccer League.

A replacement for Griffin has not been selected.