Safina Makes Marlin Sponsorship Work

Safina Makes Marlin Sponsorship Work

10.04.2008: Safina Makes Marlin Sponsorship Work

That's usually the case on a race weekend, especially one like the recent event at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 shared the bill with the newly unified IndyCar Series.

Once you get through writing about David Donohue winning the pole, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas capturing the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami and Cristiano da Matta's return to race as a full-time Rolex Series driver, along with the stuff about the IndyCar Series unification, about all that's left is a crammed notebook column - which may not even run due to space constraints.

Often, deserving stories are overlooked, buried deep in the copy or unfortunately even ignored.

Such a deserving story was the efforts of Joe Safina Racing with Mitchum Motorsports at Homestead, and the 17th-place finish of Joe Safina, Derek Skea and Anthony Lazzaro in the No. 74 Florida Marlins Porsche GT3.

The team landed sponsorship from the Marlins for the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami. While it was originally a one-race package, the team treated it with all the trappings of a major sponsorship.

Safina not only had his Porsche painted up in the Marlins' teal and black colors, the team members had Marlins' shirts and the drivers wore the team's uniform tops. On race day, the Marlins' cheerleaders on hand to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

"I wasn't a baseball fan until recently," Safina said. "Now, I'm a big fan.

"The Marlins have been very good to us. They've been very supportive of Safina racing. We loved having them and they've been real good to us. They loved the show we put on."

The Marlins will be back with the team for the next two years, and have already asked Safina to bring the car to a ballgame next season.

That's a good example of how a sponsorship benefits both parties, and the potential of a team like Safina Racing with Mitchum Motorsports to land a major package.

But, checking Safina's resume, his attention to detail comes as no surprise. Whether it's racing or business, he doesn't do anything half-fast.

A native of Brooklyn, Safina started in business at age 12, manufacturing political buttons. He started his own cellular phone company at 17, and then got into the classic automobile restoration business. His next job was as a stockbroker - he made his first million before he turned 21 - formed Safina Investments Inc in 1991, and joined follow stockbrokers David Nichols and Jon Lerner in 1993 in a firm that had 200 employees and participated in more than a billion dollars in financing. He was included in The Winner's Circle II by R.J. Shook, a book about how 10 stockbrokers became the best in the business.

Safina sold NSL in 1996 and moved to South Florida, where he planned on taking up racing Ferraris, BMWs, Fords, Lamborghinis, Lolas, Porsches and other exciting cars. However, another business venture intervened - the music business. Before long, Safina was CEO of Pure records, Pure Games, battle, and later, On the latter, a prospective rapper can download a background track for 99 cents, record their own song, upload it back. The winner gets $100,000 and a record deal.

Smoking Sessions carried an interview with Safina, in which he talked about an impromptu interview between himself, music legend Steve Rifkind (his partner at and rapper Dre:

"I met with them cold, meaning I had no prior relationship with them or any sort of contact. Basically, I walked in, introduced myself, and laid out for them what I was looking to do. After a few minutes, Dre stared me right in the face and he said, ‘Joe, you're like the caveman that discovered fire. This is the best idea I've ever heard and I'm shocked that no one has thought of it.'"

Later in that Smoking Sessions interview, Safina talked about his racing:

"I started racing cars when I was young. At 26, I wanted to do it again, and everyone said, ‘no, no, no, you can't do it, you've been out too long, you have too much on your plate, too many people depending on you.' Within six months, I was driving the 24 Hour race at Daytona International Speedway for a factory team and finished in the Top 10 three years in a row. Another thing - I've always been interested in aviation. People said, ‘no you don't' have time, it's expensive, it's dangerous,' etcetera and so forth. Now I'm jet rated and have more hours than most pilots. DO NOT tell me what I can't do because I'm going to go and do it! Now, keep in mind, that doesn't come without a challenge. I was recently at a race in Sebring, and I burned 13 percent of my body. But you'd damn well better believe I'll be in a car next week!"

While the Safina Racing with Mitchum Motorsports Porsche GT3 will not be on track in Mexico City, the team will be in action at Virginia International Raceway, Lime Rock Park, Watkins Glen International, Miller Motorsports Park and other upcoming events in 2008.

"We're going to miss a couple of races, but we're going to run most of the remaining season in the car," Safina said. Sponsors for upcoming events include the Haimov Watch Company and Strutt Grill.

"We want to show the sponsors that we are able to perform on track and off track, and getting people interested in watching us perform," Safina said. "Our Marlins car was probably one of the most photographed cars at Homestead. It was amazing. We're going to have something exciting at every race."

Safina is using this season in preparation for a full-time assault in 2009.

"Now that the music business is kind of running on its own and everything's going great, I'm using it as an opportunity to focus on racing," Safina said. "Next year is going to be our big year. This year, we're working the kinks out and we're doing a lot of exciting promotional stuff right now.

"We really love Grand-Am racing," Safina said. "Grand-Am is the series. It's the place to be."


By J.J. O'Malley - photo grandam-


10.04.2008 / MaP

More News

Racers Edge, Jameson Riley Team Up For Next Two Rolex Races
Racers Edge Motorsports and Northeast racing veteran Jameson Riley will team together for the next two Grand-Am Rolex Sports more >>
Haywood: Joining the Brumos Team
I am often asked how I got started with Brumos and how my relationship with them developed over the years. Basically, it began one day over 40 years ago, when I was competing in an autocross in Jacksonville, Fla., driving a Corvette. Peter Gregg was also in that event, testing a race car, and I beat him. more >>
Ron Fellows To Drive Pontiac GXP.R In Mexico City
Le Mans Winner to Partner Leighton Reese Ron Fellows will drive the No. 06 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R in Mexico City. Ron Fellows will partner Leighton Reese in the No. 06 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R in round three of the Grand-Am more >>
Toller Einstand von Jan Seyffarth mit Pontiac bei Grand Am in Miami
Nur durch technische Probleme wurde der Querfurter Jan Seyffarth beim ersten Rennwochenende der US-amerikanischen Grand Am auf dem Homestead Miami Speedway zurück geworfen. Nachdem er lange auf Platz 1 lag, gab es am Ende Probleme mit dem Benzindruck. Schon bei den Freien Trainingssitzungen konn more >>
Ganassi Domination!
Short and sweet! Take a look at the best moments from the 2008 GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami. WATCH VIDEO Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas extended their Grand-Am Rolex Sports more >>
Mark's Take: Homestead, Florida, Near Cuba
Follow Mark Patterson through his pre-race activities at the 2008 GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami. WATCH VIDEO It may just be me, but with the recent regime change a more >>
Wilkins and Frisselle bring the AIM Autosport #61 home P8
Nine Full Course Cautions and late-race contact play havoc with team's strategy. AIM Autosport Exchange Traded Gold #61 Riley-Ford at 2008 Gainsco Grand Prix of Miami Starting from the second row for the Gainsco Grand Prix of Miami, the AIM Autosport Exchange Traded more >>
Homestead: An Engine failure forces Matteo Bobbi to the retirement...
... A FEW LAPS BEFORE THE CHEQUERED FLAG Championship: Grand-Am Circuit: Homestead-Miami Speedway Place: Homestead Session: Race 1 The GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami seemed to get Matteo Bobbi the first points of the 2008 season, after the r more >>
Banner Pontiac GXP.R Wins GT At Homestead
Riley-Matthews Top Pontiac in DP Kelly Collins, Paul Edwards, Leighton Reese and Jan Magnussen celebrate victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Banner Engineering No. 07 more >>
Homestead - GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Official Race Results
March 27 - 29, 2008 GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Homestead Miami Speedway 1 01 DP 1 Pruett / Rojas Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates / Lexus Riley 99 59:59.999 0 82.246 TELMEX 2 23 DP 2 Auberlen / Hand Alex Job Racing / Porsche Crawford 99 1:14.551 98 82.232 Ruby Tuesday 3 60 DP 3 Negri / Patterson Michael Shank Racing / Ford Riley 99 59:59.999 0 82. more >>
Scott Pruett Leads Final Rolex Series Practice
Scott Pruett and his No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley topped the charts for the final practice session for the Grand-Am Rolex more >>
Homestead GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami - Saturday combined practice results
Homestead Miami Speedway March 27 - 29, 2008 1 01 DP 1 Pruett / Rojas Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates / Lexus Riley 1:13.338 112.901 TELMEX 2 2 DP 2 Dalziel / Zogaib SAMAX / BMW Riley 1:13.396 112.812 Miami Garage, Cigarette Racing 3 60 DP 3 Negri / Patterson Michael Shank Racing / Ford Riley 1:13.867 112.093 4 99 DP 4 Fogarty / Gurney B more >>
Donohue Records Pole For Saturday's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami
David Donohue of Malvern, Pa., turned the fastest lap in the No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley on the pole during Friday's Grand-Am Rolex more >>
Farnbacher Loles Racing - Homestead qualifying
Farnbacher Loles Racing notched a top-three start position for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Dominik Farnbacher of Ansbach, Germany, qualified the No. 87 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in one minute 19.856 seconds on the 2.3-mile infield road course at an average speed of 103.687 mph, good for third on the GT-class grid of 26 cars. Farnbacher wil more >>
All Pontiac GXP.R Front Row At Homestead
SunTrust qualifies second in DP with new Dallara Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R on GT pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Banner Engineering No. 07 Pontiac GXP.R will start from pole with the Stevenson Motorsports GXP.R starting right alongside for tomorrow more >>
Homestead -GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Qualifying results
GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Results March 27 - 29, 2008 Homestead Miami Speedway Homestead, FL GT/Daytona Prototypes (3/28/2008) Practice - Combined/Trueman & Akin (3/28/2008) Practice - GT/Combined/Daytona Prototype (3/27/2008)   1 58 DP 1 Donohue / Law Brumos Racing / Porsche Riley 1:13.022 113.390 Brumos Porsche 2 10 DP 2 A more >>
Pontiac Powers New DP Cars At Homestead
New Cars from Cheever, Lola, Dallara and Riley Cheever Racing Coyote, Krohn Racing Lola, SunTrust Dallara and the GAINSCO Riley. Pontiac power is motivating four new more >>
Rojas Fastest Again in Friday’s Morning Practice
Memo Rojas continued to show maximum speed in Friday's practice session for the Grand-Am Rolex more >>
Homestead- Gainsco Grand-Prix of Miami Morning Practice results
GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Homestead Miami Speedway Homestead, FL March 27 - 29, 2008 Practice - Combined/Trueman & Akin (3/28/2008) Practice - GT/Combined/Daytona Prototype (3/27/2008) 01 DP 1 Pruett / Rojas Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates / Lexus Riley 1:12.757 113.803 TELMEX 2 60 DP 2 Negri / Patterson Michael Shank more >>
Matteo Bobbi : Aerodynamics improvements before Homestead
Championship: Grand-Am Circuit: Homestead-Miami Speedway Place: Homestead Matteo Bobbi After the long pause following the 24h of Daytona, the Grand-Am championship is back on stage this week at Homestead for the second round of the season. Before moving to Florida, in the past few days, Matteo Bobbi and the Cheever Racing Team tr more >>
Rojas Leads Opening Day of Practice for Grand-Am Rolex Series GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami
The last five minutes of the Thursday afternoon's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 practice session shook up the leaderboard, and as the dust settled all five different engine manufacturers sat in the top-seven slots on the time sheets. Memo Rojas tur more >>
Liddell Tops Rolex Series GT Practice at Homestead
Robin Liddell turned a fast lap of 1:19.430 (104.243 mph) to top the GT practice charts on the opening day of the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Thursday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, leading a field of 26 GT machines around the 2.3-mile, 11-turn infield road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway. more >>
Homestead - GAINSCO Grand-Prix of Miami - Practice
- GT/Combined/Daytona Prototype (3/27/2008) March 27 - 29, 2008 GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami Homestead Miami Speedway 1 01 DP 1 Pruett / Rojas Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates / Lexus Riley 1:12.824 113.698 TELMEX 2 58 DP 2 Donohue / Law Brumos Racing / Porsche Riley 1:13.350 112.883 Brumos Porsche 3 60 DP 3 Negri / Patterson Michael Shank more >>
Home Sweet Home(stead)
It's one of the largest cultural centers in the United States. Not just Miami, but the entire South Florida area. It's home to some of the world's most famous beaches, night clubs, celebrities, sexiest people, and sexiest cars. Of course, no one can forget the area is also known for cars. Ferraris, Porsches, BMWs - they're a dime a dozen. This weekend, the cars fielded in more >>
Start von Jan Seyffarth mit Pontiac bei Grand Am in Miami
Jan Seyffarth wird am kommenden Wochenende, 27.-29. März 2008, beim ersten Rennen der US-amerikanischen Grand AM Series auf dem Homestead Miami Speedway in einem Pontiac starten. Im werksunterstützten Team von Matt Connolly Motorsports wird der Querfurter im 420 PS starken Pontiac GTO.R b more >>
Patrick Barrett to Run Pontiac GXP.R in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series with PR1 Motorsports
Team USA Scholarship winner and 2007 Pacific F2000 Champion Patrick Barrett will break into the professional more >>
Bill Lester: An Easter Reflection
While sitting in Easter church service with my family, at times I found myself reflecting on how fortunate I am. I mean, in addition to being blessed with a loving wife and kids, I get to do exactly what it is I want to do with my life - drive race more >>
Hurley Haywood: Helping a Good Cause
Being a race more >>
Tremblay, SpeedSource Continue Daytona Celebration Heading to Homestead
SpeedSource team owner Sylvain Tremblay and his No. 70 Mazdaspeed/ Castrol Syntec GT RX-8 team continue their celebration of the class win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Tremblay, Nick Ham, David Haskell and Raphael Matos scored an historic seven-lap victory at Daytona over their TRG counterparts to keep Por more >>
da Matta Returns to Track in GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Test
After being out of a race more >>
Pontiac Grand-Am Teams Ready For Homestead-Miami Challenge
GAINSCO Second in DP Points, New Cars, Strong GT Contingent Number 06 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R. Pontiac powered Grand-Am teams are ready to take on the Homestead-Miami Speedway and round two of the Grand-Am Rolex more >>
Grand-Am Meets Manhattan
Over the course of the next 10 days, the New York International Auto Show will boast a public attendance that is greater than any other auto show in the United States. It is estimated that over 1.2 million people will pass through the Javits Center in New York City to gaze upon the millions of dollars in st more >>
Once A Hockey All-American, Toby Grahovec Now A KONI Challenge Driver
Toby Grahovec had all the aspirations to someday become a hockey player. But eventually, he gained aspirations toward something else that, even to this day, he's chasing and living. When he was a year-and-a-half, Grahovec showed interest to his brother's youth hockey games, and wanted to play himself. more >>
Q and A With Spencer Pumpelly
Like most Grand-Am Rolex more >>
Cap Chat: Justin Bell
What used to be a simple, elegant design of his helmet has intensified into a flamboyant sea of orange and blue across Justin Bell's helmet. And, like the launch of Bell's new company, a representation of a new, fresh start, later this month. The British-born Bell, who emulated his l more >>
Q and A With Team Sahlen's Joe Sahlen
The following is an interview between Team Sahlen's driver and owner Joe Sahlen, who owns the Nos. 41, 42 and 43 Corvettes in the Grand-Am Rolex more >>
Lester: Is It Time to Go Racing Yet?
I can't begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to racing again. It seems like the Rolex 24 was decades ago. It feels like I'm still in the offseason and I've essentially been bouncing off the walls because I'm not used to not racing. I can hardly wait for the season to get into full swing. With more >>
O'Malley: Doubleheader to Provide Exciting Racing at Homestead
Weekend afternoon doubleheaders were a summer Major League Baseball tradition back in the days when Ernie Banks was performing his magic for the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, the "two for one" package has gone by the wayside. Now, it seems the only doubleheaders are additions to the schedule necessitated by bad more >>
Grand-Am Cars to be Displayed at New York Auto Show
Two Grand American Road Racing more >>


2001-2023 full copyright