Ralph H. Hansen / President and CEO
Ralph Hansen's experience in racing dates all the way back to 1967 when he first became friends with Anton "Tony" Hulman, the owner of The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Upon graduating from Indiana State University in 1970, Ralph went to work during the racing season at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as an assistant to Tony Hulman. From 1970 to 1978, Ralph got to know many of the race team owners and drivers. He became aware of the fact that they needed help in acquiring and managing corporate sponsors, as there were little or no professional sports marketing operations at the time.
In 1985 Ralph was introduced to the highly respected IndyCar team owner, Carl Haas, by his good friend Jack Safro. During the first year of Ralph's involvement with Carl Haas and Paul Newman, he conceived of what is now the most successful sponsorship acquisition concept today. Still referred to by many as the "Kmart concept", it was the idea of a major retailer working with it's vendors to support a major sponsorship program, and it had never been tried before its introduction by Ralph and Pegasus Marketing Group.
Many years later, and with over 400 hundred million dollars in sponsorship raised, the concept is still valid and in use today around the world. Ralph has innovated other major creative programs for prominent companies like Eli Lilly and Company, McDonald's Corporation, as well as many others. Believing in and following "The Golden Rule" has been the standard that Ralph and his firm continue to live and do business by today.
William McEssy / Partner
William McEssy began his distinguished business career as an attorney in 1964. He actively practiced law until 1980 and still serves on the Marquette Law School Board of Directors. In 1980, he began his career as an owner/operator of McDonald's restaurants. He currently operates 42 of McDonald's top producing restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin. He assisted Ralph Hansen in creating the business relationship with Newman's Own salad dressing and McDonald's Corporation. This alliance has produced tens of millions of dollars for charity. Mr. McEssy is Chairman and CEO of McEssy Investment, Inc, the owner of Eagle Oil and Gas Enterprises LLC, and is also a major stockholder in the Andretti Winery in Napa Valley, California. Mr. McEssy, and McEssy Investment Inc, are the recipient of 232 various awards from McDonald's Corporation.
As an active philanthropist, both he and his wife Lois, through their private foundation, have benefited many religious based organizations. They endowed the McEssy Theological Center / Library at St. Mary of the Lake - Mundelein Seminary. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board of St. Mary of the Lake - Mundelein Seminary, the largest Catholic seminary in the United States.
Senior executive in the sports and entertainment marketing business and representing teams and companies in the NFL, NHL, Indy Car, and NASCAR Cup Series. Rick joined Pegasus Marketing in 1994 to run operations, sales and marketing for Carl Haas and Travis Carter's Kmart Racing 2 car Sprint Cup team. Created and executed one of the most successful retail NASCAR promotions which continues to be used as a baseline for many sports partnerships today. Secured millions of dollars in sponsorship and partnership programs for Kmart Racing, Walgreen Racing, and Rexall Racing Indy car program. His career also included directing special projects for Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and responsible for securing Ford Motor Co as an official partner and helped the company solidify their presence as the number one selling truck in the southwest. He also created very unique programs with the US Air Force Chief of Staff, Radio Shack, Bank of America and CVS before joining John Elway and Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlan's joint venture as Chief Marketing Officer.
Philanthropic activities included working with URI officials to secure a 10 year multi-million dollar soft drink contract and creation of their marketing platform for the university’s athletic program resulting in a significant increase in contributions and sponsorships.
An example of companies he helped build brands and drive sales included, Gulfstream Aircraft, Bell Micro, RCA, Kodak, Textron, Nike, Titleist, Walgreen, Kmart, Ford Motor Company, Rexall Drug Canada, Edmonton Oilers, American Ski Company, CVS, Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, Fingerhut, MasterCard, Gillette, Miller Beer, Mars, Hinckley Yachts and BOA.
Michael R. Swearingen
Mike’s broad background in healthcare includes extensive management experience with increasing responsibilities at Eli Lilly & Co., and Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care. He is currently Managing Director of Blackbriar-LLC International Consulting.
Mike’s leadership and analytic ability have been demonstrated in strategic thinking across International healthcare advocacy, policy, and KOL identi cation-categorization. He has worked with key thought leaders, professional medical associations, grass roots organizations, elected o cials, and government agencies, to create major enduring initiatives such as “Diabetes Awareness Days,” numerous national and international medical education conferences, advisory boards, state and federal advocacy training workshops, and national sales and management meetings. His global experience includes North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Jim Lamie / Sponsorship Acquisition Consultant
Mr. Lamie was formerly Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at SMS Audio, a premiere headphone and accessories company founded by Curtis “50 Cent “ Jackson. In this role, Mr. Lamie was responsible for leading SMS Audio’s global brand building efforts and increasing brand equity.
Previously, Mr. Lamie founded JPL Consulting, a Boston based consumer products consulting practice from 2007 to 2012. The company provided strategic brand advisory services … new business development support … and capital raising assistance to global companies, emerging breakout brands, media companies and sports properties.
Prior to 2007, Mr. Lamie was at The Gillette Company for more that 25 years where he held positions of increasingly responsibility in sales, brand management, and sports & entertainment marketing. Prior to leaving The Gillette Company, Mr. Lamie held the position of Director, Global Corporate Marketing, and was responsible for corporate marketing initiatives that included the Gillette, Duracell, Braun, and Oral-B business units. In this role, reporting into Global Marketing Resources, Mr. Lamie had functional responsibility for industry leading global sports marketing programs, global e-marketing, strategic licensing, and multi-cultural marketing. During his tenure at Gillette, Mr. Lamie established global marketing best practices, actively contributed to marketing innovation, led the cross-functional integration of corporate scale programs, and insured program alignment with corporate strategies. On a strategic and operational level, these efforts improved Gillette’s global marketing effectiveness, and functional excellence.
Mr. Lamie was educated at The University of New Hampshire (B.S in Marketing & Finance) and Babson College (MBA).
William Hansen / Director of Sponsorship & Corporate Relations
William Hansen is often the face of Pegasus Marketing at the track. Dating back to 1997, he has a wide range of experience working with many different company's products, services, challenges and needs. William is passionate about creating and maintaining sponsorship programs that aid in taking care of personnel, encouraging corporate growth and advancing the company's culture. This strategy is executed through a close, personal relationship with a company's executives and employees.
Barry Chappel and Ralph Hansen have been a powerhouse team in the sponsorship industry ever since they first began working together with Paul Newman, Carl Haas, and Newman/Haas Racing in 1984. Barry’s list of accomplishments and achievements in the business world are many and varied. The contacts that he has established over his career are second to none. Barry has always been known in the marketing world as “The Deal Maker”. From having liquidated some of the largest companies that have gone out of business, to being the inventor, manufacturer, and distributor of literally millions upon millions of the original “Star Wars Light Saber” and much more. Barry and Ralph worked together on dozens of sponsorships over the years with a cumulative total in sponsorship raised exceeding $375 million dollars. Barry acquired the largest sponsorship in Trans Am history for Paul Newman and Bob Sharp at Newman/Sharp Racing. Barry worked with Ralph Hansen on iconic deals such as the original vendor based program now known as the "Kmart Model”, which has been copied in all over the world, in all forms of motorsports by firms like Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, Bass Pro Shops, and many more. Barry was also instrumental in deals with Texaco Havoline, Gillette, and a number of others. His expertise in the sponsorship sales industry is a huge advantage to all the firms working with Pegasus Marketing Group.