Kathy Best's "Best of the Best" Award

2016 Recipient - Merrill Cain

Previous "Best of the Best" Award Winners


2015 – Jeff Weiss, Wayne State University

2014 – Bill Harrington, DSBA

2013 –  John Hahn, Detroit Red Wings

2012 – Kevin Grigg, Detroit Pistons

2011 – Tim Pendell, Detroit Lions

2010 – John Johnson, MHSAA

2008 – Will Tieman, Spartan Sports Network

2007 – George Eichorn, DSBA

2006 – Jim Streeter, Eastern Michigan Eagles

2005 – Mark Engel, Detroit Mercy Titans

2004 – Dennis Davidson, Boxing

2003 – John Lewandowski, MSU Spartans

2002 – Risa Balayem, Ford Field/Detroit Lions

2001 – Bill Keenist, Detroit Lions

2000 – Matt Dobek, Detroit Pistons

1999 – Tyler Barnes, Detroit Tigers

1998 – Tommy Cameron, Michigan International Speedway

1997 – Mike Murray, Detroit Lions

1996 – Bruce Madej, Michigan Wolverines

1995 – Kathy Best, Detroit Red Wings


DETROIT, Mich. (December 14, 2016) – The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association (DSBA) today presented its annual “Best of the Best” award to Merrill Cain, recognizing the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix PR Director as its 2016 Media Relations Person of the Year.


Cain, who also serves as communications director for Team Penske, has managed all media relations, digital and social media platforms as well as community relations efforts for the Grand Prix since 2007. A native of Metro Detroit who graduated from West Bloomfield High School and Central Michigan University, Cain works year round with local media members as well national and international journalists that cover the annual Grand Prix racing event in Detroit. Featuring the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, next year’s Grand Prix will be held June 2-4, 2017, once again on the 2.3-mile street circuit at Belle Isle Park.


“It’s certainly an honor to be recognized by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association with the Kathy Best ‘Best of the Best’ award,” said Cain. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with all of the media members in Detroit and beyond that cover our event on Belle Isle. The Grand Prix is such special happening in the Motor City and we thank the media for helping to tell our story and showcase all that’s great about our sport, our city and Belle Isle. As a former media member I think I approach public relations from a different perspective and it means a great to me personally to be presented with this honor.”


After working in radio and print media following college, Cain got his first opportunity in PR working for the Detroit Tigers. He began working in racing for Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in the late 90s when the company was based in Troy, Mich. Serving several different PR roles, Cain has worked in motorsports for nearly 17 years. He joined the Penske organization in 2007 as PR Director for the Detroit Grand Prix before expanding his role to also include Communications Director with Team Penske in 2008.


Cain was presented with the Best of the Best Award – named after longtime Detroit Red Wings PR specialist Kathy Best – at the annual Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association holiday lunch today at Sinbad’s along the Detroit River in downtown Detroit.

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