The Performance Motorsports Network takes the idea of “internet radio” to a whole new level. The first “Wireless Mobile” Motorsports radio entity of its kind, PMN offers a wide variety of racing content ranging from live race broadcasts to shows hosted by women (Heels on Wheels, Project Lips) to hard-hitting news and guest-driven shows that cover a wide variety of different types of racing.
PMN’s owner Bob Steele, who also owns a dozen more wireless mobile radio networks focusing on various musical genres, started PMN in order to give motorsports radio hosts a wider distribution platform for their content as compared to other internet racing radio entities.
Whereas in most cases, race fans would have to click on a specific livestream to get their internet radio fix, PMN affords numerous ways to get the content in real time worldwide.
PMN has their own free app which can be downloaded from either your Apple or Google device’s app store. They also broadcast on both the TuneIn app and the Aha Radio app (also free). You can get their content on Apple TV and iTunes. Or, if you’d like a livestream, you can punch up their sister website and click on the radio on the home page.
“I observed how a lot of the internet streaming racing networks were interacting with their show hosts,” Steele said. “Some of them want a lot of money every month just to live stream their shows though a singular platform. I thought we could do better, so I started PMN with the idea of giving fans multiple ways to get the content. We had some excellent shows early on with the network, and then Tom (Baker) and his staff brought their shows to us and have added even more professionalism and hard-hitting content to our mix.”
Baker was introduced to Steele through Andy Delay, who was broadcasting his Burning Rubber Radio show on PMN. Delay had called Baker to set up an interview with one of his driver clients, and the two got to chatting about the network and Steele’s forward-thinking approach.
“I was impressed with Bob’s passion for the sport right away,” Baker, a nearly thirty year motorsports media and promotions veteran. “But then his business model for PMN totally sold me. I had been building two shows out with some of our young staffers from Race Chaser Online, and we felt like we’d progressed to the point where we were ready for a bigger stage for them. PMN generates over a million and a half impressions per month through their various platforms and tie-ins, and the combination of their infrastructure and our approach and content has been a winner all the way around.”
The partnership between Steele and Baker produced a seismic shift for PMN in the summer of 2016 when Steele uprooted PMN from its’ birth home in Pennsylvania and set it up in downtown Mooresvile, North Carolina (known as Race City USA for the over 50 race teams based there), combining forces for an entire floor of office space with Baker.
“Tom had asked about setting up a backup studio there that could go on-air with us if needed,” Steele explained. “I was looking for something that could take PMN to the next level and I felt like putting it in the middle of NASCAR country was a pretty safe bet to do that. Tom and his staff have taken over the operations of the station and they’re doing a great job.”
Baker began by forming a partnership with the Carolina School of Broadcasting, believing that they could develop some production interns into future “team members”. So far, it’s working pretty well.
“We’ve had a few students go through already, and all of them have done well,” Baker said. “We’ve got two of them right now that we’re hoping to keep on long-term once their internships are up, and that’s perfect because they want to be in our industry.
This partnership goes along with Tom’s M.O. for developing young talent on all sides. He has a young staff of writers for Race Chaser Online, a few of whom have already added other media work to their resume. He has several young racers whom he is mentoring as they climb the steep motorsports ladder, and he is also working on expanding his sales and P.R. staff as well.
“It’s humbling and satisfying to watch them improve their craft and grow and take on new challenges, knowing you’ve had a hand in that and provided a platform and your knowledge for them. I don’t take that lightly. I want them to succeed and out of all of this has developed a company that is growing very quickly and reaching new heights. It’s been quite a journey, to say the least. PMN has just provided yet another way for us to do what we love to do, and turn a passion into a profession. I can’t thank Bob enough for his faith in us to manage the station. We’re all excited about what the future can bring.”