Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 2, Page



By Jeff Burk

DRO sources have confirmed that an official announcement will be coming later today from the International Hot Rod Association that a huge publicly traded entertainment organization, eMax Holdings Corporation, will announce a three-year deal to be the sponsor of the IHRA’s professional drag racing series. The eMax holdings consist of three corporations and four divisions. The corporations are Spider Technologies Inc, Gold Rush Investments, Corp. and EntertainMax Worldwide, Inc. The divisions include eMax Music, eMax Studios, eMax TV Group and Freedom Entertainment. Live concerts, music and outdoor sports, special events and motorsports-related programs are listed in the companies online description.

Judging from the information available on the company's website, it is evident that eMax Holdings Corp. is at least similar in nature to the Clear Channel Entertainment group that was spun off to form Live Nation. Live Nation is now the parent company of the International Hot Rod Association.

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It wouldn’t be unreasonable to speculate that eMax would and could be much more aggressive in marketing the IHRA professional series and its “import” series (Hooters is now the sponsor of the Street Warriorz series) if the Live Nation Corp will allow it. You’d further have to assume that IHRA’s series could be destined for an improved production company and a better network possibly even on one of the major networks that are non-cable.

Interestingly, one of the eMax corporations EntertainMax worldwide has already stepped up to sponsor one of the IHRA Top Fuel team of Terry McMillen (shown above).

The main question that will need to be answered as far as the IHRA professional circuit is concerned is if the eMax deal with Live Nation will result in a serious push to promote the series with a points fund that rivals or equals the NHRA fund and better television exposure.

When IHRA was owned by Clear Channel it got almost none of the benefits and promotions that Clear Channel resources could have provided. It was basically ignored while Clear Channel poured money and promotion into its stadium cross motorcycle programs and monster truck series. Hopefully eMax and Live Nation will devote the resources necessary to give the IHRA a chance to be a major motorsports player.