Monthly Archives: February 2013
Formed in 1959 by Bill Simpson, the Simpson Performance Products we know today was bought by Carousel Capital in 1998. Since then, Carousel has purchased Safety Solutions (2011) and more recently HANS.
The company has 200 employees over five locations; Mooresville, N.C., New Braunfels, Texas, Harbor City, Calif., and Brownsburg, Ind. HANS is still represented in Atlanta.
VP Marketing Debbie Bishop showed me around the Mooresville location and when asked if Simpson has an average customer, replied, “Male. Every age group.” Simpson services the youth market all the way up to professional teams. Most of its customers are Saturday-night grass-roots motorsports participants.
Simpson has more than 300 distributors on the United States and a global distribution network with growing sales in Europe. The company has been working on FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) certified products and has the 8860 and VUDU helmets to show for it. The 8860 is made here in the United States, the first FIA certified helmet to own that distinction.
Simpson’s sales force is found on the phone, on the internet, and at the track. It services teams in NASCAR’s top three series; NHRA, where it is dominant; dirt track racers, and road racers too. Simpson’s contingency programs give back to the motorsports community in a variety of series.
Simpson’s engineering team is constantly working in new and improved products, often with input from customers. Three new suits have been introduced this year, and a number of different designs and color combinations are available. Simpson has a partnership with DuPont and Simpson reps often travel overseas to see the latest technologies and trends in all products.
The longevity of this company and its proven track record earn it an honored spot on the motorsports world. Yet it doesn’t rest on its laurels. The Simpson folks are constantly striving to better the product line and are proud of the relationships they have formed with their customers. To see the entire Simpson product line, visit here.
Back in 1897, Otto Jostens set up a little watch repair shop in Owatonna, Minnesota. Now, 115 years later, Jostens is a worldwide concern with more than 5,000 employees across 12 or so locations with independent sales representatives everywhere.
The Jostens name is synonymous with class rings. Yet in the course of its growth, it has expanded, partnering with schools on caps and gowns, diplomas, yearbooks and of course, athletic and other trophies.
Jostens also has a large presence in sports, including the NCAA and the Heisman Trophy, and manufactures 95 percent of the collegiate bowl game trophies every year.
Jostens has always been in professional motorsports, with an expansion in 2000. It works with IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, IHRA, ARCA, World Karting Ass’n, ARCA, World of Outlaws, Supercross and Arenacross, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
When Daytona International Speedway was repaved in 2010, the folks at Jostens came up with a unique collectible. After moving 750,000 pounds of asphalt that took 15 tractor-trailers loads to its facility near Oklahoma City, Okla., keepsakes were made from the previous racing surface in a variety of designs and prices. To see them, visit the Jostens website here. Similar items were made with track surfaces from Phoenix, Michigan and Pocono.
For the NCMA, Jostens generously provides the Industry Awards and the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award (see photo with Humpy Wheeler). Vice President Motorsports Division Curt Bruns says Jostens is “honored to be a part of the NCMA and to provide the awards.”
It’s only a part of Josten’s involvement in giving back to the industries that support its product line. It contributes to foundations and is, in the case of motorsports, a contingency sponsor on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, among other sponsorships.
Bruns says that even though the company is more than 100 years old, the employees strive every day to conduct themselves as an industry leader and to always be innovative. Its product line supports that claim. Visit Jostens here.