Since New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) opened in 2008, the one-of-a-kind entertainment
destination has been providing the region and motorsports enthusiasts alike with something for everyone at its 500-acre, multipurpose grounds.
It’s not just high-octane good times on the park’s two world-class Thunderbolt and Lightning
road courses, or getting behind the wheel yourself for some go-karting on one of the country’s
top outdoor complexes. The park also hosts comedy performances, food festivals, 5K obstacle
runs, monster truck nights, biking and hiking on the park’s motorless nights, axe-throwing and
plenty of other community-minded events that attract roughly 600,000 visitors a year from 48
states, Canada and seven other countries—an especially remarkable feat considering the park’s seasonal operations.
“We’re almost an alternative business,” says Brad Scott, NJMP’s president and CEO, who
joined the organization a year after its opening. “There are challenges in the seasonality of year- round employment, but we’ve always made arrangements in our relationships that allow for the softer cash flow in the offseason.”
Unique operational challenges mean that NJMP benefits from teaming up with esources who both understand what an unconventional business needs and bring some necessary professional creativity and outside-the-box thinking to the table—a flexibility its first “unfriendly” financial advisor noticeably lacked.
“At that point, our mortgage was being held by a hedge fund out of Connecticut. … They weren’t very interested in us—we were just a number to them,” Scott recalls. That sense of
disengagement grew until it was apparent that NJMP needed a better financial institution.
“We interviewed 10 to 15 different banking organizations, and one of the very last ones we
spoke to was a TD Bank group with Tom [Kalick], Greg [Carlisle] and Rob Curley.”
TD’s team was a breath of fresh air from their very first meeting in 2015.
“We found that the TD group really embraced the property, the business, loved what we were doing, our direction, our vision, and they shared our core values,” says Scott.
That auspicious introduction impressed the TD team, too, who all saw the passion behind and
potential awaiting not only NJMP but also the community it serves. Deepening their mutual
respect has facilitated the kind of open exchange both sides of the relationship need to flourish.
“Just being able to have those free conversations, the good and the bad, means we know
what’s going on and what [NJMP’s] needs are,” says Tom Kalick, VP, Senior Relationship
Manager, at TD Bank.
Working closely together with an organization not only allows TD’s banking experts to better understand its unique needs and trajectory, but also foster a friendly personal relationship that a strong foundation of trust needs for mutual long-term success.
“The conversations we’ve had have grown a professional relationship into a personal one, and
we’ve got to keep building on that relationship to be there for them, for their future growth,”
Kalick affirms. “We talk multiple times a year, not just those annual or quarterly meetings, so we can see what’s going on. Since [NJMP] is a seasonal business, we try to get ahead of that
during their down time so we can anticipate their needs before they have them.”
And Scott—who can rattle off countless examples of when TD went above and beyond to make him and his company feel above-and-beyond supported—couldn’t agree more.
“My relationship with TD Bank on a personal level goes back to the early 2000s, and they’ve
always been super friendly, super focused on customer service,” notes Scott. “I probably talk to Tom once a week, and it’s not always about the business. He’s always interested in hearing
about what’s going on, always been very supportive, always willing to listen to our projects and our funding requests.”
After all, a proactive, attentive relationship helps a company manage its growth to mindfully
expand today with an eye toward the future. As NJMP moves ahead with a few steadily
progressing projects, like private garage condominiums currently in their sixth and seventh
phases and a Thunderbolt raceway repaving project beginning this month, it also continues to
grow its community events, like food truck festivals, the Code Blue bookbag donation drive,
fundraisers benefiting the Millville Airport Museum and, most recently, a celebrity bartender
fundraiser that generated more than $20,000 for Make-a-Wish NJ.
“We also have a marketing relationship with TD Bank, so they’ve supported some of our larger
community events that we have here,” Scott says. “We’ve found them to be the perfect
collaborator that understands and appreciates what we’re trying to do and is working with us to be successful together.”
Working together for the good of each organization, as well as the neighbors they share, has
always been a hallmark of the relationship between NJMP and TD.
“Since we started this relationship, it was definitely a priority to be involved in any of the eventsthat they host that we can participate in,” says Kalick. “It helps build their brand, it helps build our brand and it gets the community coming to the track so they can be a part of all these great things over the years.”
Tom Kalick, VP, Senior Relationship Manager
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Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 13, Issue 10 (October 2023).
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