It will be 30 and out for Rick Mackie. In a three-decade career that spanned corporate change and the transformation of the high-performance marine market, Mackie has been a constant presence at Mercury Racing, the point of contact for customers, the public and the media. That era will end on Aug. 16 when Mackie retires from his position as Mercury Racing Senior Marketing Manager.
It has been a long journey for Mackie, who started writing letters to Mercury Hi-Performance as a teenager and noted his 30th anniversary with the company in September, 2018.
“I’ve been near the water all of my life,” said Mackie, who grew up near Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., “and I’ve always been around Mercury. We had Mercury power on our family boats and my brother was a Mercury tech during the summer. As kids he and I built race boats together that were always Mercury-powered. It was almost my destiny to work at Mercury, and for 30 years my dream came true.”
Mackie’s tenure at Mercury Racing even pre-dates the name of the company. Mackie joined the staff at Mercury Hi-Performance at age 26 in 1988. As a product support specialist Mackie drove a van loaded with T-shirts and other merchandise to races across the U.S. and Canada. He later drove the Mercury semi loaded with spare parts to races, or towed a two-seater tunnel boat to events. That role led Mackie to begin working with the media, who often got a thrilling ride in the two-seater, and he began to transition to a marketing communications role. Mercury Hi-Performance became Mercury Racing in 1999 and a stand-alone business within Brunswick Corporation, and Mackie was part of the team that transitioned from supporting racers to creating high-performance sterndrive, outboard, propeller and accessory products for consumers.
“Rick is one of the best-known and respected people in the world of high-performance powerboating and boat racing, and has been for more than 30 years,” said Steve Miller, Mercury Racing director of marketing, sales and service. “Rick has always represented Mercury Racing with the perfect blend of personable humor, product knowledge, and professionalism. He has had a life-long passion for our brand that is simply unparalleled. We are all going to miss Rick tremendously, and we wish him nothing but the best in his well-deserved retirement.”