John P. Caponigro
Founder & CEO
Upon graduation from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1982 with J.D., M.B.A and B.B.A degrees in hand, John joined the Frasco firm as an associate attorney. Practicing extensively in the areas of labor relations and contract negotiations, John soon became involved in running the day-to-day business of one of the firm’s clients, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART), the governing body of professional Indy car racing.
From 1982 through 1989, John served in a number of capacities for CART including as its President and Chief Operating Officer. During this time, this organization and the sport achieved unprecedented growth. In addition to overall responsibility for all day-to-day staff management, marketing, public relations and financial management functions of the organization, John negotiated and structured the league’s sponsorship arrangements, television contracts with ABC, NBC, CBS, Univision and Prime Network and promoter agreements for all of the Indy car races comprising the Series.
During this period, the firm and John gained an excellent reputation for creating, negotiating and implementing sports and entertainment partnerships and alliances. In 1989, John left CART and founded SMN as the sports marketing and management arm of the Frasco and Caponigro firm. The purpose of SMN’s foundation was to broaden the expertise and capabilities available to clients beyond customary legal services into specialized career management and personal development, marketing, event management, licensing and multi-media services.
Known for his longtime management of the legendary Andretti racing family (Mario, Michael, Marco and the Andretti Autosport team), John and SMN have built on this preeminent foundation by successfully representing a blue-chip list of athletes, personalities and corporations through the years including motorsports personalities and properties Team Penske, Brad Keselowski, Brad Keselowski Racing, Sam Hornish, Jr., Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Graham Rahal and Al Unser, Jr.; NCAA coaches Gary Pinkel, Tom Izzo, Brian Kelly, Butch Jones, Brian Gregory, Billy Taylor and Stan Heath; NBA stars Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Mark Aguirre, Hersey Hawkins and Doug Smith; media personalities Mitch Albom and Jean Jennings; broadcasters George Blaha, Fred McLeod, Steve Garagiola, Christy McDonald; and many more.