SEMA News—May 2012



Chris Kersting-SEMA President and CEO, Automotive Aftermarket Research, Automotive Accessories Research, Rapid Prototype
Since its beginning 24 years ago, the PRI Trade Show has become a key asset to race teams, engine builders, track owners, fabricators and retailers in every form of motorsports. Last year, more than 1,100 companies came to the PRI Trade Show to exhibit, and nearly 40,000 motorsports professionals attended. PRI has its own unique constituency and culture, and it has a history of helping build businesses through face-to-face meetings between exhibitors and attendees.

Likewise, the Performance Racing Industry publication has enjoyed a circulation of 25,500 and is viewed as providing the hard-core racing segment with outstanding editorial content. In terms of providing great value to PRI’s customers, there really hasn’t been much missing!

That’s why SEMA was eager to take the hand-off from Steve Lewis as he prepared the transition of these two great industry institutions. Now that the acquisition has been formalized, we can say that we are very pleased to carry forward the spirit and culture of PRI so that it can continue to flourish. Our goals in this acquisition are simple:

  1. Provide PRI with resources and support so that the show and magazine can continue to be leaders in returning great value to the hard- core racing segment.
  2. Build the association’s relationship with the businesses in the PRI segment so that more companies will tap into the great services and benefits SEMA provides.
  3. Establish a collaborative relationship between the talented folks in SEMA and PRI to innovate and improve the key offerings of each.

The current team at PRI will continue to serve its customers and produce the PRI Trade Show—only now with the resources of SEMA to boost its capabilities. John Kilroy, a 20-year veteran of Laguna Coast Publishing, has been promoted to the role of Vice President/General Manager and will oversee day-to-day operations.

Likewise, the SEMA Show will continue in its quest to return value through its unique gathering of all aspects of the automotive specialty-equipment market. The SEMA Show will be the SEMA Show, and the PRI Show will be the PRI Show—with the unique and distinct nature of each event. Of course, we wouldn’t have pursued the acquisition unless we believed that this would also create an opportunity to better serve the businesses that make up the industry. SEMA has always had strong support from the performance racing market, and this gives us a chance to deepen and improve our relationships.

Many previous and current SEMA board members have been instrumental in helping to build PRI. They appreciate the legacy of the brand, so we can expect to receive good guidance as we move forward, with every opportunity to make both shows and publications the best they can be long into the future.

Earlier this month, it was announced that SEMA has acquired the highly successful PRI Trade Show and Performance Racing Industry magazine. I’d like to share with SEMA News readers some of the thinking behind this move and highlight the benefits and value it will provide for the industry.

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