// John Paul DeJoria
Just announced, John Paul DeJoria is supporting Circuit of The Americas as their newest investor. Best known for his international professional hair-care system, Paul Mitchell, Mr. DeJoria also owns one of the hippest and most popular spirit lines in the US - the Patrón Spirits Company, maker of Patrón Tequila (cue latest rap video sippin' Patrón). Most importantly, John Paul is a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist, particularly in Austin, his hometown.
What some do not know is that DeJoria is also a longtime motorsports enthusiast.
My wife, Eloise, and I attended our first Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1995 with our good friend, the entertainer Cher. We were in Monaco and Michael Schumacher won that year. I will never forget that experience, and I've been in love with Formula 1 ever since. When I learned about the chance to bring F1 to Texas through a facility like Circuit of The Americas, I couldn't wait to be involved.
His daughter, Alexis DeJoria, also has racing in her blood. She has been a competitive drag racer since 2005 and recently started her first full season in the professional nitro funny car division. Other past success includes racing for Tequila Patrón to become the fastest female driver in the alcohol-burning funny car division, as well as the second fastest driver ever at that level. She is also the first female to ever win a national event in this division in 30 years.
But there's more to this man than great looking hair and sipping tequila while watching a race. DeJoria started selling greeting cards at age 9 to help support his family and later served in the U.S. Navy with honors. He was homeless for a time before getting his break with TIME Magazine in an entry-level marketing position, then parlayed his marketing expertise into the hair-care industry. Joining his friend, Paul Mitchell, they launched John Paul Mitchell Systems and grew the business from a $750 loan in 1980 to annual salon retail sales of $900 million in 2011.
John Paul DeJoria's business and philanthropic interests include sustainability and green technology, and he has served as a guest speaker for the United Nations and the Wall Street Journal's Eco-Economics Summit. Environmental protection and awareness is a key component to all of DeJoria's business endeavors, and he was recently recognized for his ongoing efforts to develop clean technology in today's modern world by being named the 2009 Goodwill Ambassador by the Intergovernmental Renewable Organization. Given CoTA's commitment to sustainability in the construction and operation of its venue in southeast Travis County, becoming an investor in the project allowed DeJoria to align his personal and professional missions with a sports and entertainment franchise he's passionate about.
I am all for supporting a project that promotes not only F1, but all forms of racing and year-round family friendly entertainment and multi-purpose community use for Texans. Circuit of The Americas will benefit the region economically and help the community in the process, and to me, that's the definition of a great investment.
I just finished reading the story about John Paul and wife, Eloise, in last month's Austin Fit Magazine. Here is a full article for you to get to know them better.
// Back to the Tequila
DeJoria's motorsports connections spread into other types of racing as well. Tequila Patrón of the Patrón Spirits family is the title sponsor for the American Le Mans Series. COTA describes the series:
The Series gives fans non-stop action on the track and an open and friendly paddock, while providing manufacturers with a real-life laboratory to push the limits of automotive innovation and technology. Recent technology breakthroughs in the Series have focused on the environment, such as the development of biofuels, hybrid technology and tire compounds, all leading to more efficient automotive engineering
// American Le Mans Series to Austin?
This is the most obvious question, especially with the recent rumors about IndyCar and COTA partnering up. Your thoughts?
Enjoy this inspiring video, "John Paul DeJoria Unplugged"