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Sports Career Spotlight


We've been featuring executives from the sports industry since 2001. Naturally, some of these executives have moved onward and upward in their sports careers. We believe these profiles remain relevant and valuable because they highlight the hard work, dedication, brilliant successes, and lessons learned in a variety of career paths through the sports industry.

Ruth Crowley

Ruth Crowley, President


Motorsports Authentics

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Former Harley-Davidson exec maintains speed at Motorsports Authentics

Ruth Crowley was recently named president of International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s joint venture, Motorsports Authentics. She comes from Harley-Davidson, where she was a vice president. Crowley will direct and oversee the acquisition and development of intellectual property licenses, coordinating with teams, drivers, sanctioning bodies, promoters and sponsors. She will also work closely with suppliers, retailers and promoters.

Age: 46
New title: President, Motorsports Authentics
Previous job title: Vice President, General Merchandise, Harley-Davidson Inc.
First job: Sister
Resides: Charlotte
Grew up: Dublin, Ireland
Executive most admired: Bill Gates
Brands most admired: Harley-Davidson, NASCAR and Ritz-Carlton
Favorite vacation spots: Ireland, Africa
Last books read: “Ireland,” by Frank Delaney, and “The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence From Anywhere in the Organization,” by John C. Maxwell
Last movie seen: “Inside Man”
Favorite movies: “Sense and Sensibility” and “The Color Purple”
Favorite musicians: U2 and Stevie Wonder

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?

Restructuring the organization by combining three companies and four cultures into one that can develop into a sustainable growth model.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

Being professional! By being honest without compromise and developing people and products in a collaborative form to grow business in an excellent way.

What is your biggest professional disappointment?

I always want to do more than I did, to be better. I am naturally never satisfied. My biggest disappointments, which was probably during my time with Harley-Davidson, provided great insights and learnings. It all balances out if you strive to see through them clearly.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?

My advice would be to be prepared to work hard, have a plan, listen carefully, learn continuously, be curious, be tenacious, deliver on promises, respect people and have fun.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?

The stories, like life, change without the season, which makes it great. It ranges from watching George Mason and their Final Four run to Tiger beating the odds again, to the changing leaderboards in a race series, to drugs and steroid use in professional sports. However, the tragedy is that some of these stories get more print space than “real” issues that we should be focused on.

This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.


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