Saturday, May 26, 2007

Nextel All Star Challenge

The Nextel All Star Challenge is somewhat of a homecoming for many of the NASCAR drivers and it is a "permanent" all-star game "race" which is held every year of Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, just outside of Charlotte.

The top Nascar drivers in the world compete for a $1 million dollar prize. It is an exciting night usually filled with some tight racing and wrecks as there are three segments of 20 laps each, so it is more like a sprint to win.

The week here in Charlotte in the Spring that includes the Nextel Cup and the Coca Cola 600 is called Speed Week. We have a "Speed Street" in downtown Charlotte that includes most of the major sponsors of NASCAR and three stages of musci.

This year, I was working at the race handling the suites for NASCAR, Speed Channel/Fox Sports, Purina, CarQuest, and others. The suites were along turn 4 which is the last turn before the finish line. It is an exciting place to be sitting. The suites are glass enclosed with seating for about 50 people and come with their own bartenders and buffet.

Being a concierge is about a 10 hour day. This job is part host, part security, and part maintenance. In addition to playing host, things go on in the suites from fixing the air conditioning systems to painting and putting up logos and artwork, to setting up the televisions (and handling the remote controls) for each suite.

I had a chance to meet and mingle within most of these suites this week and got to meet some of the event planners and sports marketing people who are responsibile for making sure their company's clients are having a great experience.

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