CORNELIUS, N.C. – (November 9, 2023) – Sometimes, in the world of professional sports, there comes a moment in time where a transaction takes place – a personnel or roster move is announced – and all feels right with the world. The general sentiment is one of satisfaction. This is how it’s supposed to be.
For nearly 10 years, Spire Sports + Entertainment has championed IndyCar veteran and fan favorite James Hinchcliffe. Affectionately referred to as the Mayor of Hinchtown, or simply Hinch, the Ontario, Canada native has always carried himself as a driver you just can’t help getting behind. His magnetic personality and racing acumen buoy him in both the paddock and as a television personality. Simply stated, Hinchcliffe has “it.” Whatever “it” is, he’s got it.
In 2024, “it” translates into a three-race ride aboard Pfaff Motorsports’ No. 9 McLaren at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring (Fla.) and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta where Hinchcliffe will return to the cockpit following a suboptimal two-year absence.
Rewind to the end of the 2021 IndyCar season, where the business side of racing stalled Hinchcliffe’s run for another checkered flag. To the chagrin of the Canadian faithful and the industry as a whole, “it” wasn’t enough for Hinch to keep his seat during his second stint with Andretti Autosport and by year’s end, he announced his departure from the American-based IndyCar Series icon.
Alas, the business of motorsports left Hinch with some unfinished business.
Like many of his contemporaries, Hinchcliffe transitioned from the cockpit to the broadcast booth where his personality and nose for racing were welcome additions to NBC’s IndyCar Series coverage. Still, the desire to race remained while his competitive fire still burned deep.
Despite his role outside the cockpit, Hinchcliffe remained one of the most visible personalities in the sport, continuing to build relationships in the paddock and the boardroom.
Meanwhile, Spire Sports + Entertainment, a small shop that delivers big agency results, continued to work behind the scenes on Hinchcliffe’s behalf to help the six-time IndyCar Series race winner satisfy his competitive hunger.
With a well-respected history of working with Fortune 500 brands, marquis properties, blue-chip teams and athletes, SS+E continues to seek out opportunities to connect the dots and provide value to all its stakeholders.
“We partnered with James beginning in 2014 and we’ve been proud to champion him as an athlete and a brand ambassador ever since,” explained Spire Holdings president Todd Mackin. “Spire has negotiated on James’ behalf and helped position him to be competitive. We’re proud to have helped him build a portfolio of supporting partners and see him race his way back to Victory Lane.
“SS+E was there when he returned to Andretti Autosport. Our team took a Direct Message on Instagram and turned it into more than two years worth of sponsorship for James and his team. We supported his transition to the broadcast booth and capitalized on his star power to land relationships that evolved into both traditional and digital brand campaigns.”
Those continuing efforts on Hinchcliffe’s behalf will pay dividends as he races with his Pfaff Motorsports’ countrymen.
“One of the best things about all this coming to together, is the persistence that Spire Sports + Entertainment shows on my behalf,” said Hinchcliffe. “I’ve always appreciated that when they go after something, they have great understanding of the value I will bring to a program. They believe in me and what they are selling. It has been so important over the last decade. Whether this was starting back in 2014 for things have come to fruition in just this last year, to the opportunity with Pfaff Motorsports coming up in 2024. Some of the best laid plans just take time. They have always understood – and very much appreciated – my goals from driving, to TV, to partnerships and now wanting to drive again. We have had a very successful relationship. I look forward to many more on and off-track wins with Spire Sports + Entertainment as I dive into the IMSA Sports Car Series in 2024.”
SS+E began its own partnership with Pfaff Motorsports in 2022 and has since assisted the team in structuring one of the most successful commercial platforms across the IMSA paddock. In 2024, Pfaff will transition from its storied history with Porsche to campaign the No. 9 McLaren in the IMSA Weathertech Sports Car Series.
Over the past decade, Pfaff Motorsports has been one of the most successful sportscar teams in North America. The Pfaff name has been synonymous with Canadian motorsport since the company was founded in 1964.
The team has earned championship honors on eight occasions, amassing 40 race wins and while leading over 5,000 laps.
“Pfaff Motorsports is a destination team on the global road-racing landscape,” continued Mackin. “We started working with Pfaff in 2022 and watched them move up a class and win a championship. That team is making a huge change by switching manufacturers and we’re thrilled to continue supporting those efforts. We’ve played a key supporting role by helping structure a fantastic commercial platform that’s one of the best in IMSA. James continues to have the desire to compete, so we’re thrilled to see two of our key partners come together and collaborate in three of the world’s most iconic endurance races.”
The 62nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona will take the green flag Saturday, January 27. Check local listings for broadcast information.