NASCAR’s Leading Racing Graphics Manufacturer Acquired by Vomela Specialty Company

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NASCAR's leading supplier of racecar graphics, Motorports Designs of High Point, North Carolina, is acquired by Minnesota-based Vomela Specialty Co. Vomela, a $62-million graphics firm and the leading graphics supplier to the RV industry, has acquired six graphics-related firms in the last ten years, to grow from $9-million in sales in 1996 to a projected $70-million in 2006.

Motorsports Designs Holding, Inc. of High Point, North Carolina, which supplies more than 60% of NASCAR teams with their racing graphics, has been acquired by an affiliate of Vomela Specialty Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, effective today.

Motorsports Designs was founded in 1981 by John McKenzie. In 1982 McKenzie experimented with flexible vinyl as an alternative to painting logos and numbers on NASCAR race cars. He then perfected printing and application methods to create a bolder look that race team sponsors quickly adopted, in place of paint, for race cars and transporters. Sponsors believed that vinyl graphics, which are now the standard in the industry, appeared crisper and more colorful at the track and on television.

Motorsports Designs will continue to service customers from its facilities in High Point. John McKenzie will be Chairman and CEO of Motorsports Designs and will continue to be heavily involved in the daily operations of the business. He will also integrate Vomela’s added capabilities into Motorsports Designs offerings. Kip Johnson, a 10-year veteran of the company, will be President.

Vomela Specialty Company, with projected 2006 revenue in excess of $70 million, is one of the largest producers of screen-printed and digitally-printed vinyl graphics in the U.S. Founded in 1947, privately-held Vomela is the leading supplier of vinyl graphics to the recreational vehicle industry. Vomela also supplies fleet graphics for commercial vehicles, visual merchandising systems for retailers, and large-format murals and banners for architectural, retail and public spaces.

NASCAR, Indy and other racing-related graphics account for approximately 70% of Motorsports Designs $10 million in sales, with 30% coming from fleet and commercial accounts.

“This is a very positive, forward move for us and our customers,” says John McKenzie. “Vomela’s expertise and resources will allow us to offer even more products and services to the racing community and its sponsors, as well as to our commercial customers.”

Vomela has acquired five firms in the past ten years, all related to fleet, commercial or retail graphics. Vomela has six manufacturing facilities in St. Paul, Benton Harbor, Michigan, Southern California, and Elkhart, Indiana with several sales and design offices across the U.S.

Tom Auth, Vomela’s owner since 1990 said, “This is a natural fit for us because of Motorsports Designs' leading position and reputation in NASCAR, along with the common values of our companies. John McKenzie created an entire industry with innovation and service as his cornerstones, and our goal is to continue John’s legacy by building on that foundation and capitalizing on several new mutual opportunities.”

The acquisition of Motorsports Designs by Vomela is a natural transition for both companies. Vomela is on a path of planned growth in the specialty graphics industry, and John McKenzie’s personal goal is to offer more services not only to race teams, but also to racing’s sponsors. According to McKenzie, “When Richard Childress’ race car hit the track in February 1982 with our vinyl decals, and the response was ‘Wow’, we knew we had something. I’m telling my people and my customers that ‘the leader just got better’ with this agreement with Vomela.”

For more information, contact:

Randy Hines, Vomela, (651) 523-9503


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