NHRA President Tom Compton will stop by the 3 West Club June 19, the day before the pros first qualifying session at the NHRA Lucas Oil SuperNationals in Englishtown, to provide IMPA members and guests with a state of NHRA drag racing, America’s second-most-popular motorsport.
The program, which will also featuer some of the NHRA POWERade drivers, begins with a noon reception, lunch Compton’s presentation and a question-and-answer session. Tickets are $35 for members, $45 for others. The venue: 3 West Club, 3 West 51st Street, New York, NY.
The NHRA biography of Tom Compton:
Tom Compton was named president of NHRA on Jan. 1, 2000, becoming only the third president since the organization was founded in 1951. He also serves on the NHRA’s Board of Directors.
Under his leadership, the NHRA POWERade Series has elevated its presence within the sports industry as one of the top motorsports enterprises in the country, a position that was further solidified in 2007 by the introduction of the NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship, a playoff-style points format that energized the NHRA fan base.
Compton’s leadership plan for NHRA began on the first day of his tenure, from which point he set forth to engineer a dramatic change in the way NHRA conducts its business.
Compton first announced new rule changes for Top Fuel and Funny Car that have made the categories safer and more fan-friendly. He was the driving force behind the efforts to secure the best television package in NHRA history, a now 10-year partnership with ESPN and ESPN2 that began in 2001. The landmark agreement features hundreds of hours of coverage on the world’s foremost sports programming network. Compton also was instrumental in securing a new series sponsor, Coca-Cola’s POWERade sports drink, only the second series sponsor in the sport’s 50-plus year history. POWERade extended its title sponsorship of NHRA through the 2011 season during an announcement at the Coca-Cola Headquarters in May 2005.
Compton, 50, joined NHRA in 1993 as vice president-chief financial officer and brought with him a wealth of knowledge in business administration and finance. He was promoted to senior vice president in 1996 and a year later promoted to executive vice president and general manager. During the three years in that position, Compton was responsible for NHRA’s race operations group, publications, NHRA-owned and operated race tracks, facilities development, national event business, human resources, and all administrative and fiscal functions.
Compton spearheaded NHRA’s strategic plan, which has exceeded expectations and continues to lead the sport and organization into the next millennium. As a result of his leadership, NHRA was ranked among the top sports properties in the country in terms of sponsor service-oriented categories in Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal’s 2003 League Report Card. NHRA placed first among all sports, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NASCAR in offering good value for the money.
Prior to joining NHRA, Compton worked for four years at Mars, Inc. and spent more than five years at Media Home Entertainment. He held numerous planning-related positions at Mars, Inc. including operations, business, marketing and sales planning. At Media Home Entertainment, he served as business manager for the sports programming and children’s video divisions before being named director of planning and analysis and then vice president-controller.
For his achievements since taking his position as president of NHRA, Compton was selected as Car Craft’s 2001 Person of the Year, an honor awarded to an individual who has had the most dramatic and positive impact on the sport of drag racing during the previous year. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Novi, Mich.
A Northern California native, Compton received his bachelor’s degree in economics from University of California, Los Angeles and holds a master’s of business administration in international finance from the University of Southern California.
Compton and his wife, Kathy, have two children.