Specialty Equipment Marketing Association Buys Performance Racing Industry Show, Magazine

March 22, 2012

The Specialty Equipment Marketing Association, which owns the massive SEMA Show for the automotive specialty products sector, bought Performance Racing Industry, producers of the motorsports business magazine and PRI Trade Show.

The transaction is set to close in late March.

John Kilroy, who has 20-plus years of publishing and management experience at PRI, will serve as vice president/general manager of PRI and assume day-to-day operations for the group.

"Steve Lewis launched the PRI concept a quarter-of-a-century ago, as an organization totally dedicated solely to the racing industry," Kilroy said.

He added, "It was Steve’s dream that PRI continue to serve the racing community and to ‘nest’ PRI with an organization that clearly understands PRI’s heritage and the role we play in how the racing industry conducts business. We are pleased to have found that strategic partner in SEMA."

Lewis, founder and current CEO of PRI, now will be able to dedicate his time to other passions,  including management of his Nine Racing midget team and supporting the racing career of his son Michael, 2011 Formula 3 Italia Rookie of the Year.

“We carefully considered all our options, and SEMA was the obvious choice to carry on the legacy of the PRI brand," Lewis said.

He added, "SEMA is financially sound and has an experienced management team. They bring a long-term outlook to the table, as well as exceptional insight into the trade show business overall. I have no doubt that the PRI brand will continue to deliver value to the racing community, and I know John Kilroy and the current management group will keep the basic business themes that have been established as they continue to work out of the current location here in Laguna Beach that has housed the PRI family for all these years.”

There already is a longstanding synergy between SEMA and PRI, with several SEMA board of director members being involved with PRI through the years as exhibitors and advertisers.

“We’re very excited about the continuation of the great business offerings for the performance and racing community from this acquisition,” said Scooter Brothers, SEMA Chairman of the Board.

He added, “Having worked with the folks from PRI for many years, I know the show and magazine are appreciated and used by the racing industry to further their marketing efforts, and that racing entrepreneurs look upon the PRI Trade Show as a unique event and a valuable voice. The transition will preserve and protect that voice, and the show’s unique character and authenticity. We look forward to the PRI team carrying on the legacy and traditions of Steve Lewis.”

The SEMA Show regularly draws 100,000 attendees to the Las Vegas Convention Center and is scheduled Oct. 30- Nov. 2.

The PRI Show is on tap Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and will feature 3,100 booths on a 700,000 square foot showfloor with 38,000 buyers.

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