TOPEKA, Kan. (May 15, 2017) -- After an extensive and thoughtful search process, Sports Car Club of America® proudly announces Michael Cobb as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. An SCCA® member with more than 25 years of diverse experience transforming brands, companies and cultures, Cobb will officially embrace his new role June 1 with the Club.
The Dallas-area resident comes to the SCCA after serving as Chief Marketing Officer for Gold’s Gym, one of the most recognized names in fitness. During his tenure at Gold's Gym, Cobb leveraged his marketing, business development and operations leadership skills to help reposition the company, expand the brand's footprint and deliver new products that capitalize on emerging consumer trends.
Lee Hill, Chairman of SCCA’s 13-member Board of Directors, said Cobb emerged as an extremely strong candidate from the seven finalists considered for the position. After a 13-0 vote, Cobb was identified as the unanimous choice by Board members.
“There were three very strong candidates at the end of the interview process who all met the criteria being sought,” Hill noted. “Michael’s skill and experience in marketing and as a franchisor gave him an edge, and all 13 members of the Board believe he’s best for this position. Michael can come into this exciting opportunity knowing the Board is solidly invested in his hire, which will give him a strong foundation for future success.”
Prior to Gold’s Gym, Cobb established a strong track record developing and operating several different agency business units for Omnicom, one of the most dynamic marketing communication companies in the world. He has led marketing efforts for brands such as Pizza Hut, Burger King, Pepsi, Lipton, KFC, Dannon and Frito-Lay. He has shown a particular knack for “activating” brands and businesses with solutions that attract customers, inspire stakeholders, create community and drive growth.
Cobb graduated with a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Sam Houston State University, and went on to graduate from Omnicom's Global Senior Management Program and The STAGEN Integral Leadership Program. In his new position as SCCA President/CEO, Cobb is tasked with structuring, building, managing and leading effective staff and operational efforts. He will partner with the Board of Directors and staff to craft, update and forward the vision, mission and strategic goals of the organization. His role includes functioning as a leader, ambassador, spokesperson and representative, as well as becoming the “face of the SCCA.” The assignment requires collaboratively engaging with and supporting the Board of Directors to ensure highly effective governance, leadership and policy setting efforts. He will model and inspire a positive, cooperative, inclusive and fun Club culture and brand, as well as advance the highest safety and ethical standards on behalf of SCCA members, regions, participants, staff, spectators and other key stakeholders.
“At the highest level, this opportunity is about building relationships and stewardship,” Cobb said. “Strengthening relationships based on trust across the BoD, regions, staff, membership and our valued partners will continue to be job one. And with regard to stewardship, it is about doing all we can, collectively, to ensure we build a solid foundation that sets the SCCA up for much more success across the next 70 years.”
While Cobb arrives at the SCCA with fantastic professional credentials, he also brings with him a love of motorsport. He grew up in admiration of his father, an autocrosser who won local SCCA events with regularity. Racing firmly embedded in his DNA, Cobb established his competition “career” at an early age by winning a Texas Soap Box Derby event, and competed in the Nationals in Akron, Ohio. In 2007, he began participating in SCCA autocross with the Texas Region, claimed the Novice of the Year award in his first full season of competition, and competed in the Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals. Through such participation, Cobb discovered what keeps SCCA members returning year after year.
“Of course, the thrill of competition and having fun with cars is a big part of the SCCA lifestyle,” Cobb noted. “The camaraderie and ‘relationships’ built through Club activities are a huge part of the equation, too. I am just as passionate about building relationships based on trust, respect and integrity as I am about winning my class at the next autocross event.”
The search for a new President/CEO began late last year. Before applicants were sought, SCCA’s Board of Directors worked extensively with a consulting firm to outline attributes for an ideal candidate. Nearly 100 people applied for the position. The Board of Directors, after two anonymous votes, narrowed the field down to seven candidates for the interview phase. The finalists completed surveys that helped identify strengths and management styles in March 2017 before in-person interviews with the Board of Directors.
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.
Photo: New SCCA President and CEO Michael Cobb and the Chevrolet Camaro he autocrosses at SCCA events.
Photos Courtesy of YLK Photography and Lightspeed Images