DBusiness Daily Update: Detroit Grand Prix TV Viewership and Media Coverage Up Over 2019, Comerica Donates $50K to MANA Scholarship to Honor Monica L. Martinez, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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a car rounds a corner at the 2021 Detroit Grand Prix
Television viewership and media coverage of the 2020 Detroit Grand Prix surpassed that of the 2019 race. // Photo by Tim Keenan

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Detroit Grand Prix TV Viewership and Media Coverage Up Over 2019

Television viewership and media coverage, both social and traditional, were up for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear in 2020, compared to figures from 2019, the last time the race was run.

Both NTT IndyCar Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race broadcasts attracted larger viewing audiences than the 2019 races, which also aired on NBC. The 2020 races were cancelled due to the pandemic. According to NBC’s overnight ratings, the Saturday, June 12 race broadcast drew a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 845,000 viewers, a 10 percent increase over 2019. The Sunday, June 13 Dual in Detroit registered an average TAD of 1.383 million viewers, a 26 percent increase over the 2019 Sunday race.

The Grand Prix also experienced growth across its social media channels during the race weekend. The event surpassed its totals in metrics including reach, impressions, and mentions from the 2019 race weekend. Total impressions generated during the weekend produced an increase of more 18 percent from the Grand Prix’s 2019 race results. The social media metrics showed an increase of more than 21 percent in total reach and nearly 5 percent in total mentions over the course of the weekend compared to 2019.

The NTT IndyCar Series reported that weekend results on its social media channels were the highest of the season outside of the Indianapolis 500. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship saw a nearly 60 percent increase in social media video views and engagements versus its 2019 Detroit Grand Prix appearance.

For traditional media coverage, the Grand Prix generated $140.6 million in advertising value equivalency for earned media, according to IndyCar, which makes it the top event total in 2021 behind only the Indy 500.

Adding to the totals for the weekend was the money raised for improvements to Belle Isle. The June 10 PwC Grand Prixmiere presented by Chevrolet generated more than $620,000 for the Belle Isle Conservancy and its continued work to preserve, restore and enhance Belle Isle Park.

“We are very happy with the results from race weekend and we are proud that the numbers demonstrate a great return for our more than 60 partners and tremendous engagement with our fans,” says Bud Denker, chairman of the Detroit Grand Prix. “When you combine the results with the smiles we saw on everyone’s faces over the course of the weekend as we helped open up Michigan and bring a signature event back to Detroit, it was just an incredible weekend.”

Comerica Donates $50K to MANA Scholarship to Honor Monica L. Martinez

Comerica Bank has donated $50,000 to MANA de Detroit’s Monica L. Martinez Leadership Scholarship Fund to memorialize the legacy of the late Monica L. Martinez, Comerica’s senior vice president of national community affairs.

“MANA is honored to be able to recognize the life and contributions of our member and dear friend Monica through the Monica L. Martinez Leadership Scholarship Fund,” says Belda Garza, president of MANA de Metro Detroit. “The scholarships will be distributed annually to young Latina women from metro Detroit who are pursuing their higher education goals.”

Martinez was a longtime member of the metro Detroit chapter of the national organization of Hispanic women. MANA is short for the Spanish word for sister, “hermana.” She was instrumental in providing funding for scholarships and for the Hermanitas program that mentors and guides young Latinas in their pursuit of higher education.

The MANA de Metro Detroit Scholarship Program was established in 1996 and has been providing scholarships for Latina women on an annual basis. To date, MANA de Metro Detroit has awarded more than 130 scholarships. Scholarship awards cover educational expenses such as tuition, books, and school-related supplies. ​Awardees must be willing to provide 10 hours of volunteering as a mentor to the Hermanitas Program over a two-year period.

Martinez joined Comerica Bank in 2006 and served as an advocate and voice for the underserved families, neighborhoods, entrepreneurs, business owners and communities that Comerica serves.  In her last position she impacted all aspects of the bank’s involvement in Hispanic business development nationally.

“We are saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague, but we are proud of her achievements and the example she set for others to emulate,” says Mike Ritchie, president of the Michigan market for Comerica.

Comerica will present the sponsorship at a community memorial luncheon in southwest Detroit on June 24. Prior to that, at 10 a.m., a public service will be conducted in Martinez’s honor at Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit Catholic Church at 1000 St. Anne St. in southwest Detroit.

For more information, visit here.

Little Caesars Celebrates National Detroit-Style Pizza Day with Online Promotion

Little Caesars in Detroit is celebrating its hometown’s signature square pizza style and sharing it with the nation at a discounted price in honor of the inaugural National Detroit-Style Pizza Day on June 23.

For that day only, Little Caesars DEEP!DEEP! Dish will be available online for just $6 plus applicable tax with the promo code DetroitDeepDish at participating stores nationwide.

“Detroit-style deep dish pizza is one of the most unique and delicious pizza styles,” said Jeff Klein, chief marketing officer for Little Caesars. “Little Caesars became the first national pizza chain to offer Detroit-style deep dish pizza in 2013. Today, we want to remind the country about the distinctive and delectable qualities of our hometown pizza style and give everyone a chance to try it at a great value.”

Little Caesars DEEP!DEEP! Dish is a large eight-corner pizza with a crispy-on-the-bottom, soft-and-chewy-on-the-inside crust, crunchy corners, and caramelized cheese edges, topped with pepperoni and cheese.

National Detroit-Style Pizza Day was originally created by Detroit independent chain Buddy’s Pizza, which is credited with first serving square-shaped pizza in 1946 at its original location on the city’s east side. Little Caesars, the only national pizza chain headquartered in the city of Detroit, joins the tribute to recognize the iconic pizza style on this date.

Big Rapids is Home to Skymint’s Largest Storefront

Skymint, one of Michigan’s leading cannabis brands and products, is set to open its largest retail location in Big Rapids, north of Grand Rapids, on June 26.

The 6,400-square-foot facility, Skymint’s 13th in Michigan, is designed to be “sleek, fresh, irreverent, creatively infused,” and feature “artfully staged product vignettes and brands,” according to the company.

The new outlet is located near Highway 131, across from the main campus of Ferris State University.

“Skymint Big Rapids represents the culmination of our promise to create a vibe-enhanced retail experience that brings consumers into our world and inspires them to want to stay and explore,” says Summer Ransom-Cleveland, president of retail at Skymint. “Skymint doesn’t just sell the best cannabis Michigan has to offer, we sell and curate a lifestyle that elevates the way people think and talk about cannabis. Beginning in Fall 2021, we look forward to hosting in-store community events that bring together the worlds of cannabis, fashion, food, and music.”

Opening during Pride month, Skymint Big Rapids joins the rest of the organization in supporting the work of Fair and Equal Michigan, a nonprofit devoted to ensuring that every person in Michigan’s LGBTQIA+ community has an equal chance at success. Throughout June, Skymint customers can give back to Fair and Equal Michigan by taking selfies against the in-store Pride backdrops at select locations and for every selfie posted to social media with the hashtag #skymintpride, the company will donate $2 to Fair and Equal Michigan.

SpartanNash Expands Perks, Value for Online Grocery Shoppers

SpartanNash Co. in Grand Rapids has expanded benefits available exclusively for its Fast Lane online shopping subscribers.

Annual Fast Lane subscriptions are available for $49 per year and include free, unlimited curbside pickup at any SpartanNash store that offers Fast Lane online grocery shopping (a $4.95-per-order savings). Now, Fast Lane subscribers can save with half-off delivery in available locations (an additional $4.95-per-order savings). The program could save shoppers an hour per week, in addition to $465 per year on pick fees and $208 per year on delivery fees to their home.

“Fast Lane is already a great value for our store guests — offering the same in-store prices without needing to even step foot in an aisle — but now, we’re taking it to a whole new level with these perks,” says Brian Holt, vice president of marketing for SpartanNash. “As a Fast Lane subscriber, you have access to our team of dedicated personal shoppers, great benefits, and exclusive savings, all for less than a dollar a week.”

For more information, visit here.

Ann Arbor’s Coretec Group Partners with Netherlands University

The Coretec Group Inc. in Ann Arbor has partnered with Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), one of the world’s top universities in the field of engineering and technology, to further advance intellectual property patents surrounding Coretec Group’s Cyclohexasilane (CHS).

TU/e will focus on comparisons of deposition rates and film quality over silane and other higher order silanes in order to quantify the value for use of such materials in semiconductor processing and the manufacturing of photonics.

Erik Bakkers, a professor in TU/e’s Applied Physics Department and one of the world’s foremost researchers in the field of nanomaterials, will lead the research.

Bakkers’ lab has the capability to perform side-by-side comparisons of deposition characteristics of CHS and other silicon precursors and to properly characterize and assess film qualities of all such comparisons.

“For the growth of light-emitting silicon, it is important to work at an as low as possible temperature. CHS could be a game-changer,” says Bakkers.

The work performed by Bakkers’ lab includes in depth characterization of the physical properties of CHS as well as growth rate comparisons to other silicon precursors such as porosity, density, and extent of coverage.

“In order to properly validate the deposition characteristics of CHS, we rely on experts like Dr. Bakkers with the necessary facilities and know-how to fabricate the silicon-based films and nanostructures used in our target applications,” says Ramez Elgammal, vice president of technology at the Coretec Group. “The researchers at Eindhoven have the scientific expertise to properly make assessments about their quality.”

The Coretec Group is partnered with Evonik, a world leader of specialty chemicals, to produce initial quantities of CHS and continues to work with other globally recognized companies as they evaluate CHS as a key material in their technology.

More Top Players Commit to Play in Rocket Mortgage Classic

The world’s No. 22 and No.31-ranked golfers Jason Kokrak and Joaquin Niemann, respectively, have committed to play in the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club July 1-4.

Other recent commitments include Brendon Todd (No. 62), Russell Henley (No. 63 and early U.S. Open contender), Sebastián Muñoz (No. 65), and Lanto Griffin (No. 70). Niemann, Todd, Muñoz, and Griffin all finished among the top 30 in the PGA Tour’s 2019-20 FedExCup points standings.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic field boasts two of the four reigning major championship winners (2021 PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson and 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama).

The field includes 10 major championship winners accounting for 16 major titles, as well as 11 players among the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking and nine players within the top 30 in the PGA Tour’s 2020-21 FedExCup points standings.

Past Rocket Mortgage Classic winners Nate Lashley and 2019 U.S. Open champ Bryson DeChambeau are in the field. Players with Michigan ties in the field include Willie Mack III (sponsor exemption, Flint native), Jeff Roth (section champ, Boyne Golf PGA professional), and

Brian Stuard (Jackson native, Oakland University product).

The tournament’s 156-player field will be finalized on Friday.

More information is available here.

Marygrove Conservancy Partners with Detroit to Conduct a Creative Economy Census

Marygrove Conservancy and the Detroit Office of Arts, Culture, and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) are conducting a comprehensive census to determine the breadth and depth of Detroit’s creative workforce, making it easier to improve arts and culture programming and secure funding.

“This agreement moves the conservancy forward in our commitment to serve as an anchor and hub for quality arts and culture programs for the Northwest Detroit community,” says Racheal Allen, COO of the Marygrove Conservancy. “Collaborations like this will help us reach the widest possible audience and realize our goal of preserving the legacy of Marygrove College.”

Rochelle Riley, Detroit’s director of arts and culture, says, “The conservancy is doing the same thing in northwest Detroit that we are doing for all of Detroit — anchoring programs in neighborhoods.

“Proving the depth of our large creative workforce will help us build programming and help all residents see how lucky we are. But we will balance our attention between the major cultural treasures downtown and making opportunities rise for arts and culture everywhere Detroiters live.”

All members of Detroit’s artist community are invited to complete the online census by July 19.

The Marygrove Conservancy’s partnership with Detroit ACE will prioritize mandates to bring arts, cultural events, and creatives directly to the neighborhoods. As part of this collaboration, Detroit ACE has relocated its office to the Madame Cadillac Hall on the Marygrove campus.

For more information, visit here.

Knight Arts Challenge Returns to Detroit

The Knight Foundation is launching the Knight Arts Challenge 2021 in July to support Detroit artists to create works that connect people to place and each other.

The open call for applications will begin on July 1 and end on July 31. Artists and arts organizations are encouraged to apply for a share of $2 million to fund their projects by submitting a 150-word proposal that answers this question: What is your best idea for the arts in Detroit?

“The arts are a powerful tool to bring people together; they foster community,” says Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Knight Foundation. “Detroit’s reopening is the perfect time for artists to express the new narrative of a reborn Detroit.”

Artists and arts organizations across Detroit have adapted their practices to connect with audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on the innovation and creativity they have shown, this year, the Knight Arts Challenge is interested in how artists and art organizations are creating works that attract audiences, enhance in-person experiences, document creation, or amplify reach to people who wouldn’t otherwise experience the art. Audio, video, websites, mobile apps, augmented reality, and virtual reality all are potential tools.

Winners of the Challenge, who will be announced in the fall, are eligible to receive additional funding to implement digital strategies in service of their individual practice or organization, as well as getting access to experts, who can advise them on how to effectively deploy the additional funding. In addition, winners will also receive access to training resources and materials related to business sustainability, budgeting, revenue generation, marketing, and outreach.

During the July 1 to 31 application period, Knight will host two virtual town hall meetings, July 1 and July 26, and members of the Knight Arts team will be available for virtual office hours to answer questions about the application process or to provide feedback on pitching ideas. Applicants are encouraged to reserve a time here beginning on July 1.

Turning Point Macomb CEO Wins 2021 Athena Award

Sharman Cobb-Davenport, CEO of the Mount Clemens-based Turning Point Macomb, a nonprofit dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence, has won the 2021 Athena Award for Macomb County.

Cobb-Davenport received this award in recognition of her impact in the community and by exemplifying excellence, initiative, and true leadership.

“It was a pleasure to be included in such a distinguished group of 2021 Athena Award nominees,” says Cobb-Davenport. “I am beyond thrilled to receive such a significant award! Being recognized for doing what I love is fantastic. This is truly a great honor and I proudly accept the Athena Award on behalf of my board, staff and the survivors that we serve.”

Athena nominees must demonstrate that they are established leaders and mentors who assist women in reaching their full potential. Criteria include demonstration of professional excellence, creativity and initiative in business and career. They must also provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others.

For more information, visit here.

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