Scott Borchetta’s fierce competitive nature is what made him a whopping success in the music industry business.
He built Big Machine Label Group into one of the most successful companies in the business by signing stars such as Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts and Florida Georgia Line to name a few.
It is that same competitiveness and drive that pushed Borchetta to make Big Machine the title sponsor for the IndyCar Music City Grand Prix.
“I found a way to be in the winner’s circle for every race — sponsor it,” Borchetta said with a grin. “It’s really exciting. You’ll have to smack the smile off my face.”
The inaugural race is Aug. 8 in downtown Nashville.
The grand prix will mix music with racing over three days with several concerts and other entertainment events scheduled leading up to the race. Justin Timberlakeand Borchetta are in the ownership group, while Kix Brooks and John Oates are on the advisory board.
Having music involved made the grand prix a good fit for Big Machine and a multi-year agreement, Borchetta said. He considered another sponsorship deal a few years ago, which initially seemed like a good idea, but reconsidered after giving it further thought.
“The first time we really took a somewhat serious look at doing anything like this was several years ago before Bridgestone came on board for the Nashville Arena,” Borchetta said. “For a moment we thought, ‘How cool would it be if the CMA Awards were from the Big Machine Arena? Then we realized every other label would hate it, and we decided that’s not a good fit.”
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Not only does Borchetta have a background in racing, but he also still competes on the track. He is one of the top drivers in theSeries.
Borchetta’s racing career began at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, where he started racing Legends cars in the 1990s before moving up to the NASCAR SuperTrucks series in 1999.
He won the SuperTrucks series three consecutive years (2003-05) and was inducted into the Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Hall of Fame in November.
Borchetta also formed a NASCAR Xfinity team, which is competing this year.
Borchetta has been part of the group pushing to bring a grand prix to town since the idea first came up several years ago.
“There’s been a couple of different entities that have wanted to have Indy cars race through downtown, and I’ve been in conversations with each one of them,” Borchetta said. “Matt Crews was the guy that finally pulled us all together and get the blessing from IndyCar and has done a fantastic job making it happen. We’ve been talking about being the title sponsor from very early on.”
Crews, a Lawrenceburg native, is founder and CEO of the Music City Grand Prix.
“Our vision from day one is this is really the first event to show Nashville to the world,” Crews said. “Nashville, at our core, is about hospitality and music, and to partner with one of the game-changing record labels over the last two decades helps us tell the story. There’s not really another brand that can help us tell the Nashville story or the Nashville experience like that.”
Kenny Cooper transferring to TSU
Former Franklin Road Academy point guard Kenny Cooper, who began his college career at Lipscomb and spent the past two seasons at Western Kentucky, is transferring to Tennessee State.
Cooper announced his decision on Twitter.
Cooper, the son of former East Nashville star Jubal Cooper, helped lead Lipscomb to the 2018-19 NIT championship game as a starting point guard, averaging 9.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists.
He sat out the 2019-20 season at Western Kentucky and then was a part-time starter this past season, averaging 2.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
Bucky Dent speaking at Old Timers banquet
Longtime New York Yankee Bucky Dent will be the guest speaker at the 83rd annual Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association banquet May 16 at Sonesta Nashville Airport, formerly the Marriott.
Dent spent 12 years in the majors, most notably with the Yankees. He was a three-time All-Star.
He was the MVP of the 1978 World Series when he batted .417 and drove in seven runs against the Dodgers.
He later became a manager in the Yankees organization with Fort Lauderdale and Columbus and was named New York manager for the last 40 games of the 1989 season before being fired by owner George Steinbrenner after 49 games of the 1990 season.
The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. COVID-19 restrictions will be in place, including limited seating.
Tickets are $75 and available ator by calling Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association president Carter Brown at 615-476-0271.
Bobby Bones joins effort to bring major league baseball to town
Syndicated media personality Bobby Bones has joined the Music City Baseball advisory board.
Bones moved his popular “The Bobby Bones Show” to Nashville in 2012. In 2020, he became host of “Opry on Circle,” a TV program featuring highlights from the Grand Ole Opry stage each week.
“I’m thrilled to join the initiative to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville,” Bones said. “Nashville is second to none in uniting sports and music, making it the perfect destination for a Major League team. I look forward to joining Music City Baseball’s efforts to honor the incredible history of the Nashville Stars, as well as pave the way for the future of MLB in Nashville.”
Austin Peay tied at No. 25 in top 25 football poll
After claiming back-to-back wins over nationally ranked opponents, Austin Peay’s football team moved into a tie with Duquesne at No. 25 in thethis week.
The Governors (4-5, 4-2 OVC) beat then-No. 7 Jacksonville State 13-10 on March 28 and then-No. 13 Murray State 34-31 on April 3.
Austin Peay wraps up the regular season at Eastern Illinois on Sunday. The Governors are in third place in the OVC behind Murray State (5-1) and Jacksonville State (5-1), which are tied for first.
The Governors cannot win the conference title or receive the automatic bid to the FCS playoffs as Murray State and Jacksonville play Sunday with the title on the line.
Antonio Zita now eighth on TSU scoring list
TSU kicker Antonio Zita, a junior from Lincoln County, moved to eighth on the Tigers’ career scoring list last week after scoring four points (51-yard field goal, one extra point) in a 24-10 loss at Tennessee Tech.
Zita now has 200 career points. He moved ahead of Larry Watkins (1978-81) on TSU’s list. Zita is second (40 points) this season in scoring in the OVC.
BGA’s Sam Folks is the OVC pitcher of the week
Former Battle Ground Academy star Sam Folks, now a senior at UT Martin, was the OVC pitcher of the week.
Folks combined with two other UT Martin pitchers for a shutout in a 2-0 win at Nicholls. He threw 7.0 innings, allowing just two hits while not issuing a walk and recording a season-best seven strikeouts.
After allowing a two-out hit in the first inning, Folks did not allow another base runner until two outs in the fourth inning.
It was the team’s first shutout since March 31, 2019.
Lipscomb’s Will Ness named athletic trainer of the year
In what has been a particularly difficult year for athletic trainers having to deal with the COVID-19 virus, Lipscomb head trainer Will Ness was named the Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society’s College Athletic Trainer of the Year.
“The last year has been filled with much uncertainty for everyone working in college athletics,” Ness said. “I know that every other college athletic trainer in the state and in this country has experienced the same levels of stress and frustration on a daily basis and all of them would be deserving of this same award.”
Ness is in his 17th season at Lipscomb, where he works directly with the men’s basketball and golf programs.
Rachel Heck finishes third in Augusta National
Rachel Heck from Memphis finished third in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last week. Heck, now a freshman at Stanford, shot 73-73-72 218.
Vanderbilt junior Austin Kim tied for 25th (72-72-83 227).
Three-time Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays champion Ashley Gilliam from Manchester, now a sophomore at Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt senior Abbey Carlson missed the cut.
If you have an item for Midstate Chatter, contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.