After much anticipation, the new United SportsCar Racing brand was revealed today at the Sebring International Raceway. This new race series results from the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series. United SportsCar Racing will make its debut in 2014 with the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Travel Destinations staff were present to report live from the press conference where the new brand name and logo were unveiled in front of a large audience both in the room, on-line and live on television.
“The new name says it all,” said GRAND-AM President and CEO Ed Bennett. “In only six months since we announced the merger, GRAND-AM and the ALMS have taken huge strides to become one organization that will redefine sports car racing in North America. United SportsCar Racing reflects the fundamental spirit of how we are working together toward a common goal.”
Today’s announcement ends a four-month project that involved New York-based SME Branding, one of the nation’s leading agencies with a client list that includes the NFL, NHL, UFC, the New York Yankees, Kentucky Derby, Madison Square Garden and NASCAR. SME conducted stakeholder research as well as fan input to develop the series’ name, logo and brand identity.
The selection of United SportsCar Racing was derived from a submission by Cocoa, Fla.’s Louis Satterlee in GRAND-AM’s “Name The Future” fan contest. The logo, with its race helmet-like imagery, was developed to be an icon with a modern feel, representing a part of motorsports that is immediately recognizable.
Bennett, ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton and SME Senior Partner Ed O’Hara collectively introduced United SportsCar Racing today in the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Centre’s Le Mans Ballroom, adjacent to the famed Sebring Hairpin turn.
This Saturday will mark the 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida – the opening race of the 2013 and last ALMS season.
“When it came to the branding of our newly merged entities, we felt we had one chance to get it right – and now we believe we have done just that,” Atherton said. “We began the branding process by listening to everyone – manufacturers, corporate partners, drivers, teams, tracks – and of course, the fans. The input was invaluable and helped lead us to today’s milestone announcement.”
O’Hara said the goal of the new name and logo is “to be modern, aspirational, authentic, unique and obviously, exciting. We want fans and the sports car industry to feel like they ‘own’ this new brand. “We also want them to feel like that ownership is a long-term proposition. This new brand is made to order for the future, without a doubt.”
Also announced was the retaining of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) as the sanctioning body for United SportsCar Racing, with an updated version of the iconic IMSA logo unveiled.
In addition, the new competition class names for 2014 were announced: The lead Prototype (P) class, combining GRAND-AM’s Daytona Prototypes plus the ALMS’ P2 and DeltaWing cars; Prototype Challenge (PC), retained from the current ALMS class structure; GT Le Mans (GTLM), consisting of the ALMS’ current GT class; GT Daytona (GTD), consisting of GRAND-AM’s current GT class and the ALMS’ current GTC class; GX, coming over from the current GRAND-AM structure.
By keeping the “Le Mans” name in the class title, reinforces the hope that links to the ACO and the ultimate goal of the Le Mans 24 Hours will be maintained. Scott Atherton indicated that a further announcement on that subject is due in the near future.