PEYTON, Colo. – As Podium eSports prepares for its January 2nd launch, the team behind the company has been diligently working in advance of the first race.
The Podium eSports team carries experience from both real-world racing and sim racing into the new company. Members of the Podium eSports team have previously worked in series direction, broadcast production, marketing and graphic design, journalism, public relations and communications.
Directing Podium eSports’ series will be Chief Competition Director Kyle Barnes. Barnes comes to Podium eSports after a successful run as competition director for the Championship eSports Association (CEA). With CEA, Barnes oversaw the successful launch of the CARS eSport Tour, the eSports companion to the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour. Barnes was also responsible for directing the American Pool Supply Truck Series. Barnes also competes as a late model driver in real life, running many of the local short tracks near his southwestern Virginia home.
Leading the production of broadcasts for the Podium eSports Network will be Chief Operating Officer Francisco Scaramuzza. Scaramuzza is already one of the most experienced producers in sim racing, having been involved with nearly every major series in iRacing. He has spent the last four years as the lead producer at Live Sim Racing TV, and has also worked on various broadcasts with RaceSpot, including the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series, the Socks Out Racing V8 SuperTruck Championship and iRacing’s VLN Endurance Series. He is a producer for Pit Row TV, which produces the broadcasts of the real-life CARS Tour broadcasts found on CARSTour.tv, and contributes to broadcasts for the athletics department at Butler University and the Big East Digital Network.
“As a producer, this is a perfect working environment,” Scaramuzza said. “Since we control the competition and the broadcasts, we can do much more to highlight the drivers and work on pre-and post-production assets because we are focusing on one group of drivers, not several. We will also be working with a new platform that should enhance the viewer experience, and at Podium we have the recipe for something truly unique within sim racing and esports.”
James Pike will serve as Chief Broadcasting Officer and be the lead announcer for the Podium eSports Network. In the past, Pike has led broadcasts on LSRTV and RaceSpot. He has worked with the RSR Full Throttle Cup Series, the Socks Out Racing V8 SuperTruck Championship, and the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series. Pike has covered motorsports on both sides of the Atlantic. In previous seasons, he has been an analyst on Race Chaser Online’s two radio shows, Motorsports Madness and the Stock Car Show. He has also written articles for RCO’s website. In Europe, Pike covered Formula One for Sports Gazette, the official publication of the Sports Journalism MA at St. Mary’s University in the London borough of Twickenham.
“I am excited to get back behind the microphone for more sim racing broadcasts,” Pike said. “To come on board with Podium is a fantastic opportunity, and I look forward to being the voice of the Podium eSports Network. I think Podium can transform sim racing in the world of eSports and I can’t wait to help contribute to their mission.”
Gary Sexton, Jr. will serve as Podium eSports’ Chief Creative Officer. Sexton joins Podium with over a decade of experience in creative advertising. Currently, he is the owner of Lefty Productions and Dirty Air Studios, where he is a professional filmmaker and editor specializing in motion graphics and video. He was formerly the Creative Director at AdPro 360. Sexton also comes into Podium with experience in sim racing administration, as he rebranded and ran the Simulation Stock Car Association (SSCA) in 2018.
“As a racing enthusiast and creative advertising professional, I look forward to creating campaigns that bring sim racing to the forefront of the esports community,” Sexton said. “Our ability to create top-level creative marketing materials will make Podium eSports an immediately recognizable brand and a household name in the esports and sim racing communities.”
James Krahula will be Podium eSports’ Chief Innovation Officer. Krahula’s experience with sim racing comes as both a league owner and driver, as he was the owner of the former Premier Racing League and is currently a competitor in the Lionheart INDYCAR Series. In real-life, his primary adminstrative experience comes from heading up the organization of the Mean Green Triathlon at the University of North Texas. As CIO, Krahula will be the team member responsible for the external development of Podium eSports, searching for new ways to promote competitors and new avenues to showcase Podium’s series.
“There is so much opportunity there for sim racing to grow in the esports community,” Krahula said. “Drivers such as William Byron and Lando Norris credit sim racing for helping them get to the top. Racing series and governing bodies like the CARS Tour and the Deutscher Motor Sport Bund are getting involved with sim racing. It makes sense for them to get involved with eSports, the fastest-growing sport in the world. I want to help take sim racing to its full potential, and at Podium eSports we have the team to do it.”
“I’m extremely excited for our future as a group at Podium eSports,” said Chief Competition Officer Kyle Barnes. “The entire team we have here at Podium eSports will all contribute tremendously to the product we put out to the public. With Francisco Scaramuzza producing, James Pike leading our broadcasts, Gary Sexton heading up marketing and graphics, and James Krahula directing our drive for innovation, I truly believe this can become a top organization within the iRacing community.”
About Podium eSports
Podium eSports, the home of the best competition in sim racing, is scheduled to launch in 2019. As one of the only companies in sim racing to combine its competition and broadcast divisions within the same company, Podium is uniquely positioned to transform sim racing in the world of esports and help sim racing realize its full commercial potential. All Podium eSports races are broadcast live on the Podium eSports Network, which can be found primarily on Twitch. For more information, visit www.podiumesports.com.