INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Motor Speedway has named Dallas Mavericks Owner and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Mark Cuban as the honorary starter of the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25.
Cuban will wave the green flag to start the field of 33 drivers in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” which begins at noon (E.T.) and will be televised live on ABC.
“Whether it’s winning an NBA championship or the honor of waving the green flag to start the Indianapolis 500, there are certain sporting events that are monumental for any true sports fan,” said Cuban. “I am excited to come back to Indiana, not just to attend, but actually participate in this historic race.”
“Mark Cuban brings Indiana ties, a passion for sporting events, and a diverse following of fans around the globe to the flag stand at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “His successes and personality are well known in the business and entertainment world and we look forward to watching him wave the green flag to start the 98th Indianapolis 500.”
Since the age of 12, Cuban has been a natural businessman. Selling garbage bags door to door, the seed was planted early on for what would eventually become long-term success. After graduating from Indiana University – where he briefly owned the most popular bar in town – Cuban moved to Dallas. After a dispute with an employer who wanted him to clean instead of closing an important sale, Cuban created MicroSolutions, a computer consulting service. He went on to later sell MicroSolutions in 1990 to CompuServe.
In 1995, Cuban and long-time friend Todd Wagner came up with an internet based solution to not being able to listen to Hoosiers Basketball games out in Texas. That solution was Broadcast.com – streaming audio over the internet. In just four short years, Broadcast.com (then Audionet) would be sold to Yahoo for $5.6 billion dollars.
Since his acquisition of the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, he has overseen the Mavs competing in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2006 – and becoming NBA World Champions in 2011. They are currently listed as one of Forbes’ most valuable franchises in sports. He shares his wealth of experience and business savvy in his first published book “How To Win At The Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.” On top of his business adventures, the 55-year-old is also a “shark” investor on the popular ABC television series “Shark Tank,” which he joined in 2010.