Influential N.C. sports execs: Steve O’Donnell
executive vice president, NASCAR
As the executive face of NASCAR, Steve O’Donnell is working to turn around a sport facing declining TV ratings and race attendance. He’s instituted a variety of rules changes and new marketing efforts. He’s worked for the France family-owned racing circuit for 22 years after stints at the Florida Citrus Bowl and a minor league baseball team. He oversees day-to-day operations at NASCAR’s headquarters in Charlotte, receiving praise for his leadership style, listening skills and devotion to the sport. O’Donnell is active on social media, interacting with news outlets, fans and drivers. He grew up in Massachusetts and Egypt, then earned a bachelor’s degree at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.