Motorsports Business Association President Jesse Harris brings a wealth of experience from nearly every facet of the motorsports industry into his role with the MBA. The Louisville, KY native has spent his entire life in the racing business, with experience that covers multiple sanctioning bodies (NASCAR, INDYCAR), track promoters (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, International Speedway Corporation), race teams (Petty Enterprises, Harris Racing), agencies (Scoppechio) and a diverse array of job responsibilities, including promotion, corporate sales, customer relations, partner strategy, marketing, ticketing, community/government relations and digital/social media strategy.
Harris’ experience in the motorsports industry began during his childhood, where he traveled with his family’s stock car team. His father was a racer, and Jesse would follow in his footsteps – building his street stock team as a 15-year-old and earning a championship while competing throughout various levels of asphalt Super Late Model racing for the next decade. After hanging up his helmet, he relocated to North Carolina to work for NASCAR legend Richard Petty and Petty Enterprises, where Jesse managed sponsorships for the King and his son Kyle Petty’s No. 45 NASCAR Cup Series entry. After Petty Enterprises closed its doors in 2008, Harris stepped outside the world of motorsports to gain valuable ad agency experience at Scoppechio where he developed search engine, database and social media marketing campaigns for Yum! Brands, Proctor & Gamble and several major retail chains. His experience at Scoppechio led Harris to launch his agency, which managed digital strategy for clients in the healthcare and automotive industry. While this endeavor was successful, Harris longed to return to the racing industry, which he did in 2011 when he joined Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) as the company was preparing to host its inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event at Kentucky Speedway. Within less than two years he was promoted to Director of Business Development. The success he experienced with sales for the company led to a new position of Director of Partnership Sales with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) where Harris led the national sales team in new business by his second year with the company.
His accomplishments at both Kentucky Speedway and ISC opened many new doors but he opted to take a position as Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships for INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The chance to diversify his career in open-wheel racing and to represent the world’s most iconic racecourse was a valuable experience, but most importantly, it was where Harris had the epiphany in 2018 to launch the MBA. With nearly two decades of experience, he had seen both the uncertainty and the opportunity that existed in the industry. Harris was also well positioned with valuable industry insight, digital media experience and based in the Indianapolis – the racing capital of the world. He set his sights on emerging technology and the evolving auto industry.
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