Less than a week after announcing it would ban the Confederate flag from all its events, NASCAR has created a new position of vice president of diversity and inclusion, to be filled by league executive Brandon Thompson. In the new position, Thompson will oversee the league’s strategy for diversity and inclusion, as well as programs and initiatives designed to champion and enhance diversity across the NASCAR industry.
Thompson most recently served as managing director of the NASCAR Touring Series since 2016. For his new position, he will be based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will report to Jill Gregory, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief marketing and content officer.
“Brandon is an established and well-respected leader in our sport who will help NASCAR realize its vision in creating a more diverse industry,” said Gregory. “This new position and Brandon’s appointment reinforces our steadfast commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for our fans, industry and employees.”
NASCAR already employs staff members that are responsible for multicultural programs and initiatives including the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which Thompson will now oversee. The league also maintains strategic alliances with the Institute for Sport and Social Justice and the Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium.
The diversity team includes Dawn Harris, who has been promoted to managing director of diversity and inclusion.
“NASCAR has made significant progress in the areas of diversity and inclusion and we now have an opportunity to build on our momentum – both as a company and industry,” said Thompson. “It is with great passion and energy that we will champion our sport as accepting and welcoming of all individuals interested in being part of the NASCAR family.”
A Nashville native, Thompson’s motorsports career began in 2003 as an intern at Nashville Superspeedway, a position he applied for through the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program.