As part of the IZOD IndyCar Series Media Lunchon in Toronto, Honda Canada Vice President Jerry Chenkin was on hand to discuss Honda’s involvement and his thoughts on Randy Bernard so far during Bernard’s 16 months of being the CEO of the IZOD IndyCar Series. Here is the full statement from Chenkin at the luncheon:
In just a little more than one year behind the IndyCar wheel, Randy Bernard has already initiated some fantastic things for the series making more interesting, I think you will all agree, and more fan friendly, with a new focus on a younger age bracket.
At Honda Canada, we know and share similar challenges that Randy has tackled. First, our organizations are both proud leaders in increasingly competitive markets that are undergoing dramatic changes, which require a more proactive approach with more brand recognition than ever before. Second, we both faced with battling two complete different groups with unique needs – those that are loyal to our brands through consistency and familiar value and those within the younger demographic, seeking things that are new and unique to them.
Three years ago, Honda Canada met with Kevin Savoree and his partners at that time – Michael Andretti was involved – and saw an opportunity to address both of these challenges by aligning ourselves with the premiere event in Canada, the Honda Indy. Now as sure as you all know, Honda’s racing and engine heritage speaks for itself so when the opportunity came to support IndyCar racing and remind our customers that Honda is not just any car company, we felt it was too good to ignore. After all, its fierce competition continues to drive our organization not only to create not only the best engines in the world, but the best cars, trucks, motorcycles, marine and power equipment as well.
Today, we are exceptionally proud to see our name on the event that has the world’s best engines, fastest cars and the greatest drivers to drive.
We’re also excited to see what Randy has in store for the IZOD IndyCar Series. In his previous role, Randy managed to take the brand of professional bull riders business from just $2000 to more than $20 million in just 10 years. In February of last year, Randy was named the CEO of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
We presented him with a new set of challenges in a new arena, so to speak. He was drawn to the opportunity after recognizing the sport’s raw potential, a potential driven to its great competition and entertainment value that it provides for its fan. Since climbing behind the wheel for IndyCar, Randy has taken steps to set IndyCar apart from its competitors and reunite it with its heritage, with its IndyCar name and statistics dating back to its first Indy 500 in 1911.