Blog Archives

Can the Best New Female Racer Make It to Nascar? That’s the $15 Million Question

Bloomberg Businessweek
By Josh Dean

Julia Landauer is just what the sport needs, yet she’s still scrapping for sponsors.



As soon as she could see over the steering wheel, Julia Landauer switched to cars, and it was good. Up to that point, she had been racking up trophies as one of the country’s best young go-kart racers; at 13 she was finally able to see out a car’s windshield while also working its pedals, so off she went in 2005 to the famed Skip Barber Racing School. She took immediately to the upgraded complexity, and speed, of a vehicle that had a clutch and could do 120 miles per hour, and the next year, at 14, she became the first female champion in the 31-year history of the Skip Barber Series, a launchpad for professional racers.

As is the case with all child racers, Landauer’s expensive hobby was funded by her parents, a doctor and a lawyer who got all three of their kids into go-karts because, her father decided, racing was one of only three sports that allowed boys and girls to truly compete on equal footing (archery and sky diving being the others). “The goal was just to get them to take responsibility, to get used to functioning under a little bit of pressure, and to have fun,” says Steve Landauer (he’s the doctor). The Landauers also liked that racing taught their girls to “not succumb to a lot of the social norms about stepping out of the way,” adds Tracy, her mom.

But the Landauers had no idea how talented their oldest child would be until she started winning races—and then didn’t stop. Even before Julia won the Skip Barber Series, she had decided she was going to be a professional driver someday. “By the time I was 12, I was like, ‘I could do this forever,’ ” she says.

And that posed a problem: If Julia really did stick with it, becoming a pro racer was likely to take years and cost tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get to a point where she might start earning money. The Landauers were happy to support their daughter and would keep contributing to the best of their ability, but they weren’t about to go broke doing it. So they began an open dialogue that put some of the onus on her. If Julia wanted to keep racing, she’d eventually have to figure out a way to supplement the costs.

Read the full article.

The Meeting of the Future is Green and Looks like this

Associations Now

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People who are looking to leave a smaller carbon footprint like to associate with businesses and organizations that feel the same way. In fact, 84 percent of consumers worldwide say they seek out environmentally and socially responsible products whenever possible.

So, if your association can up the ante on its sustainable meeting practices, you might earn some genuine member kudos—in addition to doing Mother Earth a solid.

Here are four ways meeting planners go outside the normal avenues—recycling, printing on both sides, digital-only session handouts—to conduct a greener meeting.

1. Consider going zero waste.

This might sound really daunting, but don’t tune out yet.

First off, the definition of zero waste is actually 90 percent of waste diverted from landfills. And accomplishing that usually comes down to offering composting for uneaten food.

Jessica Davis, director of the Office of Sustainability at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), took her first stab at a zero-waste event when IUPUI’s natatorium hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic diving trials.

In planning the event, Davis found that “If you give [attendees] waste they will generate waste,” she said. So she worked with food services to create less waste and offer composting. For example, the venue switched from plastic to wood coffee stirrers (which can be composted) and offered condiment pumps instead of individual plastic packets.

“At the end of that planning meeting with food services, we were able to eliminate almost all of the trash we would be giving to people,” Davis said.

In the end, the event’s diversion rate was 93 percent, which earned it the “Green Sports Alliance Innovators of the Year” honor.

Read the full story here.

A Slam Dunk for Sustainability

By Dan Munn, DLR Group

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To close June on a sustainable note, I attended the Green Sports Alliance Summit 2017 in Sacramento, California, and joined the Make It Last: Sustainable Solutions for Existing Venues panel with leaders representing Key Arena, New York Mets’ Citi Field, and Wrigley Field. These sporting venues implemented sustainable, innovative solutions to modernize their iconic facilities. During our panel we shared challenges encountered during the design processes and how we overcame these barriers, ranging from budgeting to infrastructure. The final result of these American landmarks are energy efficient upgrades that reflect sustainable champions.

Solar Energy Brings the Heat
I spoke about DLR Group’s recent canopy design for NRG Energy at the Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena, which created a sustainable, marketable space to replace a formerly low-traffic area. Our design centers on a vibrant skylight canopy that generates environmentally-friendly solar energy. The canopy is composed of 14 solar skylights producing approximately 34,000 kW/hour of energy per year and powers flexible hospitality stations, LED screens, advertising, and WiFi connections. A color changing LED system creates an energetic atmosphere, drawing people to this space. This upgrade maximizes the triple bottom line of fan engagement, sustainable operations, and increased revenue.

Smart Business
There have been many questions as to whether solar energy is a cost effective energy solution. Aside from an industry compound annual growth rate of over 60 percent in solar energy, the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70 percent over the last 10 years.

Read the full story here.