Editors’ Note: This feature appears as it was published in the summer 2019 edition of UT Dallas Magazine. Titles or faculty members listed may have changed since that time.
A student in the Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in global business with the hope that it will drive his success in a career not usually associated with that field of study.
“My one goal in life is to become a professional race car driver,” said Nicholas (Nikko) Reger. “That’s what I want to do.”
Reger started go-kart racing when he was 9. By age 13 he was in a full-size car—but only on racetracks whose governing bodies allowed it. He was the Texas Teen Mazda Challenge winner in 2014. In September 2018 he won the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship and $200,000, which he will invest in the next stage of his career.
Recently, he and his brother Timo climbed the next rung of the ladder by signing a contract to race in the 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge, a six-race series that runs through mid-October.
Reger said the global business program is a good fit for him because of the international nature of the racing business, which includes manufacturers across the globe. He frequently speaks with engineers from Germany and Japan. He is under contract with Mazda Motorsports, the North American auto racing division of Mazda Motor Corp.
“A huge part of a race car driving career is business,” Reger said. “There’s a million different business meetings with so many different companies. Racing is such a unique way of doing business because you’re not necessarily selling a product. I have to be creative and sell my own personal brand instead.”