Business of Motorsport Student Charles Anti speaks about his NMA experience
Business of Motorsport Student, Charles Anti has always been a fan of motorsport, and decided to pursue his love for motorsport by enrolling in the MA Business of Motorsport course earlier this year. NMA have the privilege of sharing Charles’ experience studying at NMA’s Business School. Through flexible learning options and the guidance of industry experts, Charles is learning new things every day; which will propel him to new career horizons. Here’s our conversation with Charles as he reflects on his NMA journey so far…
Charles Anti in his Formula Ford 1600
Charles' NMA Experience
Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi! My Name is Charles Anti, I’m 37 years old and currently residing in New jersey! I first became interested in motorsport when I was a kid and my parents would take me to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, a vintage street race held in a park near where I grew up. I began racing myself as a teenager in the mid 2000’s and spent two years in Pro Mazda, the American equivalent to Formula 3. I ran out of money after the second year and was forced to focus on school, where I graduated with a degree in Sports Management from New York University in 2011. After that I had a very brief stint in British Formula Ford, spent some time exploring Europe, and when I came back to the US I began an effort in Formula 1600 with a budget that I could sustain.
During the pandemic I became a little bit too comfortable with the COVID-lockdown lifestyle and I thought being a student would help get me out of that funk. So far, I’d say it’s worked!
How does NMA fit around your life?
I’m self-employed, so flexibility is everything to me. The NMA’s flexibility allows me to seamlessly integrate my studies with my work.
I’m currently racing part-time in the F1600 Championship in the US. I’m exploring opportunities to either expand those efforts or build a sponsorship agency focused on development teams. I’m able to work through the NMA course material and assignments when I’m home between races. As long as I plan for assignment deadlines, I’m able to set things aside when I’m preparing for each event so I can focus on that.
Why did you choose to study at the National Motorsport Academy?
I had thoughts for a while about getting an MBA or another business degree. When I saw one that was focused on motorsport, it was even more appealing. To add to that, the online, flexible nature allowed me to continue my current lifestyle. This made it even more appealing.
What course are you studying & what module are you currently on?
I’m currently on Modules 3 and 4, which are about the commercial aspects of motorsport and sponsorship. Perfect for what I’m currently working on in the real world!
What’s been your favourite module & why? Is there any upcoming modules you’re excited for?
I’m really enjoying the ones I’m currently studying; commercial aspects and sponsorship. I’ve been involved in the industry for twenty years already and I studied Sports Management for my undergrad degree. The program is challenging me to critically analyse things that I am already somewhat familiar with and look at them from new perspectives. Five months into the program it has already uncovered blind spots I didn’t know I had, and enhanced my understanding of the industry.
What are your career goals?
My main interest is commercial development of the junior categories, so Formula 4 through Formula 2, and their American equivalents. I want to help teams figure out how to generate revenue -through sponsorship or other means- so that they aren’t reliant upon rich parents to stay in business, and so that young drivers can advance up the ladder based on talent, rather than their bank account. “Minor league” teams in other sports are able to fund themselves, we should be able to as well.
How will a degree with NMA help you to achieve your career goals?
Along with forcing me to think critically about the industry and analyze it in an academic setting, this degree will formalize my experience in the industry. “20 years experience in motorsport” can mean anything, but “Masters Degree in Business of Motorsport” is more specific and potential partners, customers, and employers will immediately understand it.
What’s your dream role?
Long term, my dream role would be to own a profitable team that runs cars in IndyCar and IMSA, and co-drive one of the IMSA cars myself. I began racing when I was a teenager and while I’m too old for a single-seater career, sports cars and prototypes will always be available. I’m shooting for the “Paul Newman” retirement- still racing into my 80’s!
Do you think the NMA can help you to get that dream role?
It’s a long, uncertain road to get there but I do think a degree from the NMA will help put me in a position to continue making progress.
Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say to potential students considering studying with the NMA?
Have a plan to take advantage of the program’s flexibility. The racing industry is a small world and building a network is important. Contacting the organizations you want to work for or with, and then traveling to a race event to meet them in person can go a long way to kick-starting your career. Introducing yourself as a student can also open a lot of doors.