Kasey Kahne (left), driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge, celebrates with team owner Ray Evernham after winning the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Samsung/RadioShack 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR
STATESVILLE, N.C. – Ray Evernham and George N. Gillett, Jr. today announced the creation of Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM), a partnership combining Evernham Motorsports and the Gillett family, where Evernham will remain a substantial owner and retain the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The strength of Evernham’s championship on-track performance and Gillett’s off-track sports business experience creates a high-performance, high-energy platform to establish GEM’s value and appeal to fans and sponsors, on and off the track.
Recognizing that the rate of change off-track has exceeded the change on-track in the past few years, Evernham forged a relationship with Gillett, whose diverse holdings offer unique business-to-business opportunities, sponsorship activation and fulfillment that will revolutionize what sponsors can expect from a NASCAR team.
Gillett is the owner of the Montreal Canadiens National Hockey League (NHL) team and a co-owner of the Liverpool Football Club in the English Premier League. Gillett’s other business interests include the Bell Centre, home of the
Montreal Canadiens and Gillett Entertainment Group (GEG), producers of some 700 sporting and entertainment events in numerous venues throughout Canada and the United States.
GEM will benefit from Gillett’s existing network of sports and entertainment properties, resorts, auto dealerships and auto franchises offering unique access to sponsors and partners and a powerful global connection that no other team can offer.
“It’s very exciting for me to deliver to sponsors and fans the opportunity to align with a worldwide sports leader,” said Evernham, CEO of GEM. “With the business acumen of the Gillett family and its sports brands, we’ve greatly expanded our reach. This will allow me to focus on our racing operations and team performance, while the Gillett family will focus on our business operations. It certainly allows us to capitalize on our strengths and position GEM for long-term success both on and off the track.”
“Racing is in my blood,” said Gillett, chairman of Booth Creek Management Corporation (BCMC). “It’s not often you get to partner with a leader with Ray’s reputation, talent and championship legacy.”
Evernham, whom motorsports media voted The Greatest Crew Chief of All Time in 2006, spearheaded Dodge’s re-entry into NASCAR in 2001 and earned a pole position in Dodge’s debut at the Daytona 500 with driver Bill Elliott. Prior to founding Evernham Motorsports, Evernham served as Jeff Gordon’s crew chief, earning three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championships and 47 wins in just 216 starts.
Gillett’s business interests include: Booth Creek Resort Properties, LLC, the owner of luxury ski and golf resorts in North America; Grand Targhee Ski Resort in Wyoming; WorldCast Holdings, a major fishing guide company in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Booth Creek’s automotive platform includes Summit Automotive Partners, LLC and Vista Automotive Group, owners of some 14 dealerships and 27 franchises in the United States. Other BCMC holdings are Coleman Natural Foods and Wheat Montana Farms & Bakery.
The transaction was initiated and negotiated by Matthew Doherty at McLaren Capital Partners in Los Angeles. Wachovia Securities advised BCMC. Additional announcements regarding the GEM partnership will be forthcoming.
About Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM): Gillett Evernham Motorsports is a leading team in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series. Founded by CEO Ray Evernham in 1999, the team is in its seventh season of competition at the highest level of NASCAR racing with drivers Kasey Kahne in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, Scott Riggs in the No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger, and Elliott Sadler in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. GEM also fields the No. 9 Ultimate Chargers Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Busch Series, driven by the three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers, Boris Said and Chase Miller. The team is campaigning Dodge Chargers driven by Erin Crocker in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
For more information on GEM, visit www.evernhammotorsports.com