Chime Communications acquires JMI, one of racing’s best sponsor agencies

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Big, big business of racing news went down today with the news Zak Brown’s Just Marketing International, JMI for short, has been acquired by London’s Chime Communications PLC. Brown and Lord Coe, Executive Chairman of CSM Sport & Entertainment, announced the deal.

For Chime, it marks its first entry into the U.S. market. JMI will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chime. No financial details were identified in the official JMI release, but a report out of the U.K. by Sky News estimates that Chime will be paying around £50m for JMI in a deal that will involve placing roughly £25m of new shares with leading City investors.

Brown will still stay head of JMI, head of its new motorsport division and has been named Global Head of Business Development within CSM Sport & Entertainment.

A video explaining the deal is linked here, via the JMI website. Some of JMI’s clients include Farmers Insurance and Verizon; they had got Diageo and its brands into racing as well, and Brown is considered one of racing’s top business movers and shakers.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).