Love of Motorsports Leads Student to Choose PR Track

Michael Barrow '11

March 22, 2016

The proverbial fence. Fences act as a barrier, establishing a clear "no-go" area to keep one group away from another. From a young age, Michael Barrows '11 was determined to hop the fence.

A lifelong fan of auto racing since watching his first race on television, Barrows dreamed of becoming part of the industry, in whatever way he could. And he did. Barrows works for the marketing company Team Epic managing the Sunoco account. There, he is charged with extending the reach of Sunoco's messaging to fans from the racetrack to the gas pump.

"NASCAR, and all auto racing, was like nothing I had ever seen before-the speed, the action and being at the racetrack was something very different than what you get from a stick-and-ball sport," he said. "There is nothing better than being out there, seeing the sights and experiencing the smells of a race day."

He knew a crew position was out of the question because he didn't have the mechanical knowledge. But after years of traveling to race tracks, his interactions with the public relations side of racing helped him focus his career.

"There was literally a fence at Dover International Speedway where fans wait for driver autographs," Barrows said. "All through college, I was on the side of the fence where the fans would stand, and I made the determination that my sole focus was a career that got me on the other side of the fence."

So he changed his major from music performance to communications with a concentration in public relations.

"The education I received at Susquehanna was exactly what I needed to jump into the fast-paced world of motorsports immediately out of college," Barrows said. "About four months after graduating from SU, I was interning with a team when I took a trip with them back up to Dover, and I found myself on the other side of that fence for the first time."

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