Bannon Named Director of Marketing & Sponsorship

Richard Martinez Joins Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as Manager of Corporate Sales

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2016) – The Grand Prix Association of Long Beach announced today that Martin Bannon has been named Director of Marketing & Sponsorship for the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will run for the 43rd time next April 7-9.

In addition, Richard Martinez has joined the company as Manager of Corporate Sales, assuming Bannon’s previous position, and will oversee its hospitality and group sales functions.

Bannon takes over the marketing position from the recently retired Mike Clark, who led the department for the past 11 years. A Dublin, Ireland native, Bannon has run the Grand Prix corporate hospitality areas for the past 10 years, and before that oversaw the Lifestyle Expo and served various functions within the company since 1993.

“I’m very proud and excited about the opportunity to help continue the growth of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach,” said Bannon. “Our event is the perfect blend of racing excitement and family entertainment, and our sponsors have been major contributors to that. I’m looking forward to strengthening relationships with our current sponsors and working to bring new ones on board.

“I’m also pleased that Richard has joined us as he has been indispensable as my right hand in hospitality for the past several years.”

Martinez is a graduate of the California State University, Long Beach sports management program, who first served as a marketing intern at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2008 and worked for the event seasonally from 2009-16, covering hospitality, Lifestyle Expo and group sales functions. Martinez has also worked in sales for premium sports orthopedic devices.

“We’re delighted to welcome both Martin and Richard to their new positions,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association. “They bring a wealth of knowledge about both our event as well as our organization and will be highly instrumental in growing the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the future.”

Ticket renewals for the 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach begin today and will run through Sept. 30. The event will feature the Verizon IndyCar Series, BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach with the cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Pirelli World Challenge, SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks and Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge, with another racing event to be announced soon.

Tickets will go on public sale Monday, Oct. 17. For more information, visit gplb.com or call the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333.

Fans can also follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, Twitter @ToyotaGPLB, Instagram at ToyotaGPLB and Snapchat at ToyotaGPLB.