Richmond Raceway has announced a new partnership with Virginia State University that will allow students from the University’s Department of Sports Management program to work with and manage the day-to-day operations of Richmond Raceway’s eSports team.
Virginia State University, founded in 1882, is one of a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For NASCAR, the announcement makes strides on two fronts as the series works to grow its eSports presence and increase its diversity.
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“We’re ambitious that this pilot program can become a tool to connect with HBCUs across the country, as well as cultivate diverse talent,” said Brandon Thompson, vice president of diversity and inclusion, NASCAR. “As NASCAR continues to strengthen its diversity and inclusion platform, partnerships with schools like Virginia State University will exemplify our creative approach to reach the next generation of sports leaders.”
Richmond Raceway will also involve students in the University’s Sport’s Marketing department to assist in social media marketing and live event coordination.
“We are proud to partner with Virginia State University on the evolution of Richmond Raceway eSports fueled by Sunoco to become a program that will educate and grow the future leaders of the sport on and off the track,” said Richmond Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier. “Our eSports program continues to resonate with a new generation of race fans, so we look forward to Virginia State University leading the program to new heights in the future.”
Super excited to have @VSU_1882 on board tonight @RichmondRaceway! Always a fun time coming back to my home track away from home. Thanks so much to VSU for coming along for the ride, let’s go!
📽️ @JustinLisonbee@RReSports x @SunocoRacing pic.twitter.com/CL8fD9Dpyq
— Zack Novak (@znovak15) April 13, 2021
In addition to the program itself, Richmond Raceway eSports driver Zack Novak will race a Virginia State University-sponsored Toyota Camry in the eNASCAR iRacing Coca-Cola Series. The command to start engines at Tuesday’s eNASCAR iRacing Coca-Cola Series race from Richmond will be given by VSU President Makola Abdullah.
“VSU is dedicated to using a holistic approach to academic excellence and student success and engagement,” says VSU President Dr. Makola M. Abdullah. “This partnership will help to meet our goals of providing our students with leadership and professional development skills and experiential learning to further prepare them to be globally competitive.”