SEL director leaves V8 Supercars community
Geoff Jones has left his position as Sports Entertainment Limited partner and director, and will move on to the role of managing director of Nine Entertainment Co’s events division.
Jones had joined SEL, the sports and entertainment company that owns 25% of V8 Supercars Australia, in April of this year, and spent time on the V8 Supercars board in place of a holidaying Tony Cochrane.
Jones’s inclusion as a partner came after spending eight years in senior executive positions with the Fosters Group and Ticketek, and signaled the first major change in SEL’s makeup in its 13 year history.
The remaining directors are Cochrane, James Erskine, David Coe and Basil Scaffidi.
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Jones told Speedcafe.com.au that the offer from the rebranded PBL Media, which will include managing Ticketek, Insights JV and Acer Arena, was simply too good to refuse.
“It came out of the blue, I wasn’t looking for it, it came to me and it was an opportunity that was too hard to refuse,” said Jones of his new position.
“I have absolutely loved my best part of a season associated with V8 Supercars, having been on the board and worked with the business.
“I was very happy where I was, but sometimes in life you’ve got to seize these types of opportunities when they come your way.”
Jones acted as Chief Executive Officer of the Gold Coast Indy carnival between 1998 and 2002, before returning to the event’s management team this year.
With the 2009 A1GP fiasco having harmed the event’s reputation, Jones said he was proud of the way the ‘international driver’ format rolled out.
“It’s fantastic what the V8 Supercar teams did there, restoring the fate of the event,” he said of the Armor All Gold Coast 600.
“It was a quality show – a tremendous effort. The event will only go from strength to strength.
“The international driver component, in terms of the quality of drivers, was far and away superior to what we ever had when I was running the event with IndyCars.
“And the race on Sunday afternoon that we had between Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen was probably the best race we’ve ever had at the circuit.”
Jones, whose business acumen will be missed by SEL and the V8 Supercars community, believes that the growth of the sport over the last decade has been extraordinary.
“I was largely out of it for eight years, and the business has just come on fantastically in that time,” he said.
“The teams and the quality of their presentation, the events, every aspect of the business has come along in leaps and bounds.
“It is without doubt one of the best championships in the world, and I think clearly the best touring car championship in the world.”