NASCAR announced today that David Higdon has been named managing director within the sanctioning body’s newly formed Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) department. Higdon will begin his duties with NASCAR on June 20, 2011.
Higdon joins NASCAR from the LPGA Tour where since 2009 he has overseen corporate communications; stakeholder and media relations; player promotion; TV and digital media content; and served on the World Golf Hall of Fame Advisory Board. Prior to his stint at the LPGA Tour, Higdon worked in open-wheel racing, professional tennis and basketball, and served in writing and editing roles for The New York Times, ESPN The Magazine and other media outlets.
“David’s broad and diverse sports communications experience and strong media background make him an excellent fit for what we have set out to accomplish at NASCAR,” said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer. “Adding a leader with significant experience building and leading integrated teams in a sports setting has been a priority for the development of this department and David fits that description very well. We couldn’t be more excited to have him join NASCAR.”
At NASCAR, Higdon will play a key leadership role in the development of communications strategy and in overseeing and integrating communications initiatives across the company, with particular emphasis on competition. He also will be responsible for crisis communications, public affairs initiatives and providing on-going counsel to executive leadership across NASCAR’s various departments.
Prior to joining the LPGA, Higdon served as executive vice president of strategic development & communications at Champ Car (formerly CART) from 2007-08. He joined Champ Car after nearly a decade at the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) from 1998-2007, where he was a senior vice president and managed a communications team of more than two dozen staffers, multiple consultants and agencies across several continents. Before joining the ATP, Higdon served as editor-in-chief for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers magazine and, as associate producer, helped develop a television program based on the publication.
From 1991 through 1998, Higdon was a Pacific Northwest-based freelance reporter for The New York Times sports department, covering all professional sports in the region, and also wrote for other outlets including Sports Illustrated for Kids and InStyle. His journalism career also included various editorial roles at Tennis Magazine, American Health, The Runner and The Indianapolis Star. He is a 1983 graduate of Kalamazoo College and serves as executive in residence at the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.