Originally Posted by Motorcyclist
Wow, that is shocking and sad. I think the cachet of the team was tied to Paul Newman, and I'm guessing his loss is finally catching up to them. That guy had something about him that attracted people and sponsors, and I guess it is what made him a star. He passed in late 2008, so any of the typical three year associate sponsor contracts are now finished.
This is a big loss for IndyCar in terms of on track competition, and an even bigger loss to the overall prestige of the series.
Years ago, Richard Childress was experimenting with the idea of taking his NASCAR team public and issuing stock. It never happened, and I don't know the exact reasons why (although I can guess a few), but this might be the time for IndyCar teams to consider that option. I'm sure a number of people would buy into a racing team just to say they are an "owner," and a bunch of $20 bills can add up to some real money.
I don't think that would be such a good idea. If you go public you either have to show growth or pay significant dividends/distributions. If you can't deliver that, the asset goes to nothing. Ducati tried to go public and failed. The Boston Celtics went public through an MLP for awhile, but that didn't work either. The Green Bay Packers are sort of publicly held, but you won't see shares trading anywhere and the few transactions that occur are closely held among townies. That might work, but IndyCar aint the Green Bay Packers!