It’s not often that NASCAR comes to the inner city, and that kind of happened last Wednesday in TRiBECA, when EPIX and The Players Tribune hosted a special q and a with racing star/entrepreneur Danica Patrick, veteran media member and movie producer Hannah Storm and about 50 teens from New York’s Business of Sports (BOSS School). However the late afternoon gathering was less about turns and rides and was all about the life, and life lessons, of one of the most popular, famous and engaging personalities in media today; a life which will be brought to the screen when “Danica” debuts on EPIX on Wednesday.
What do these young people have in common with Patrick? When you heard the discussion you realized there was a great deal. After all, the film, which was the brainchild of Storm, one of the most engaging and thoughtful personalities on ESPN, is about how the NASCAR star manages her life, and her business interests, and how she is able to cope with and deal with all that comes along; a real rare insider’s look into all the complex aspects of an elite athlete today.
Patrick, who has an active role as an editor at Players Tribune and makes frequent business trips to New York, kept the young audience, many of whom knew little about NASCAR before the day began watching the film as part of a project, engaged and enthralled with her messages of hard work, passion, and desire to succeed in whatever chosen field. She talked about the challenges of academia and not finishing high school to go and start a driving career.
“I wasn’t great in school and I missed out on things like the prom, but I got to travel the world and learn at a very young age,” she said, and what it is like to deal with disappointment but to still be dogged in her pursuit of success. “You really have to make a commitment to be successful, even when people are telling you you can’t be; belief in one’s self and being comfortable with oneself is so important in whatever you do,” she added.
Now while it’s doubtful that many of the kids at BOSS, which is on the west side of Manhattan and draws students from across the city to learn with a sports business theme, will be champion race car drivers, they had a clear takeaway from the 90 minute experience; it is not about the vehicle you use, it is about making sure that whatever your chosen road, you work hard, enjoy the ride and do best you can to finish the race, be it academia or the business world.
For those looking to learn more about Patrick, EPIX is offering a free trial for when the show airs this coming week, just by signing up at EPIX.com. You will see what the students, and millions of fans, are all excited about.