Brown’s motorsports marketing company for sale

The motorsports marketing company founded by the top candidate

to become the next CEO of IndyCar is for sale.

Zak Brown informed the staff of Just Marketing Inc. by letter

this weekend that Spire Capital Partners is trying to sell its 60

percent stake in the company. A copy of the letter, obtained Sunday

by The Associated Press, told employees a potential sale is

”completely unrelated” to IndyCar’s courting of Brown.

”The fact Spire is actively exploring options for the sale of

its investment in JMI is not a surprise to any of us, as we have

always acknowledged this is Spire’s ultimate intention and purpose

as a private equity firm,” Brown wrote.

Spire purchased 60 percent of Zionsville, Ind.-based JMI in

2008. Brown, the founder and CEO, and still owns 20 percent, as

does advertising agency WPP.

Brown told employees Spire is only in the ”exploratory

process” and it’s business as usual at JMI.

”There is no immediate timeline in place for a transaction to

occur and no guarantee that one will occur in the near future,”

Brown wrote. ”JMI’s leadership and employees continue to be

focused on providing excellent service to our clients and continue

to grow our business.”

Mark Miles, the new head of IndyCar parent company Hulman &

Co., acknowledged during last weekend’s season-opener at St. Pete

that Brown is a candidate to replace Randy Bernard as CEO of the

open-wheel series. He said discussions with Brown are the most

serious of all candidates, but Brown has to decide if he’s

interested in the position or wants to concentrate on JMI.

”He’s got a complicated life that he’s got to sort out, and

we’ve also got to do our due diligence,” Miles said. ”We continue

to learn about each other and how we think, and he can speak for

himself – he’s got other interests, and this isn’t a part-time gig.

So we’ve got to see.”

Brown did not immediately reply to a request for comment


JMI does a large share of its business in Formula One, and Brown

is often in Europe overseeing those deals. He was recently

considering a full-time move to London to concentrate on his F1

clients, but said last week he was in discussions with Miles.

”I have a lot of passion for IndyCar and I’m getting to know

Mark,” Brown told AP. ”We are exploring to see if there’s a way

to work together. It’s a great product and I’m positive I could

contribute to its growth and success.”