The Olympia logo has long been iconic in the fitness world, but now it's recognizable in everyday life as well. It can be seen on clothing, in gyms around the world, and even on the trim of an official NASCAR race car. Most recently, the global icon of bodybuilding excellence was prominently featured on the #45 Chevrolet, which was part of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at one of motorsport's most celebrated circuits - Daytona International Speedway.
Courtesy of AlphaPrime
Caesar Bacarella was the driver and owner of this car and he has been a big name in the racing world for quite some time. His passion for racing dates back to his youth.
"It's a passion I had as a kid because I'm Italian. I've always loved cars,” said Bacarella, who grew up a Michael Schumacher fan, also looking up to Jeff Gordon. He had his own opportunity to try it out during a trial at a track in Miami. It wasn't long before he was in a race.
"I was good at it," says Bacarella. “After four races I was third. Two years later I won a championship.”
Bacarella won both the 2018 and 2019 Pirelli World Challenge Sprint X Championships. In his racing career, he has competed at numerous circuits including the Ferrari GT3 series and the NASCAR Xfinity circuit. His father didn't understand why he was so passionate about racing, but Bacarella recalled never seeing a Ferrari in person when he was growing up. w he's getting paid to drive them.
"I said to him, 'Dad, they're paying me to get in a $750,000 Ferrari racer and beat it up. 'Please bang the shit out and go and win.'”
He may be best known as a rider, but he's also made a name for himself in the fitness industry with the success of Alpha Prime Supps, the Alpha Prime clothing line and AP PrimeBites Protein Brownies. Aside from his work ethic and determination, he credits the people around him for the success he's had growing his brands.
"When I hire someone, I want to give that person an opportunity, and I tell them, 'Spread your friggin' wings. Show me what you have.' You can really see that they excel," he said. When you excel and give your all, you gain his trust and he gives it back in the highest degree.
"I give 120 percent to the people I trust," Bacarella said. "I'm successful now because of my team, but because I can trust them and give them everything I have."
Courtesy of AlphaPrime
Earning Bacarella's trust could be considered a reward in itself as it is not easy. It's because of what happened in his childhood. Bacarella grew up with his father because his mother left her early. A parent who leaves the family can be traumatizing in itself, but he shared that it hit him differently because of the natural trust that arises in a relationship between a mother and a child.
"If you get hurt or get sick or something, it's normal to cry for your mom," says Bacarella. "It put me in a bad position because I didn't have that growing up."
His mother may have left, but he had his father, who ran a pizzeria when Caesar was growing up. He became very familiar with this pizzeria and it wasn't because he didn't have anything better to do. From a young age he worked for his father, slicing pepperoni, sorting beer bottles and even baking pizzas himself when he was 9 years old. Make no mistake: this wasn't just to teach him how to complete tasks, it was necessary to keep the business prosperous. While it wasn't easy growing up so young, Bacarella can now see that there were some positives to it.
"By being brought into work by my father at such a young age, I was already trained for it," he said. "I was like, 'Okay, I've got to shift into second gear,' but it made me who I am today."
Aside from being both a racer and an entrepreneur, Bacarella is now also a father, which is what he is most proud of. When he took on this role, the mission was clear: his children would not have the same problems as he did.
"I didn't want to be in that position anymore. I don't want them to eat miracle bread with cheese and ketchup because that's all there is to eat," he explained. “Three months after she was born, I bought a prepaid college fund. They will have a diploma because I didn't have one from a university. I don't think I have a family member who has a college degree yet."
Financial commitments were great, but Bacarella knew that wasn't the most important part of parenting. The best he could do to be there for her was just that—be there for her.
"I want them to know that I'm going to be there," he says. "I'm her safe zone, and I'll be there no matter what. I'm her best friend."
Courtesy of AlphaPrime
HIS relationship with his children is rock solid, and it shows when they all go to work. Young Caesar had to go to his father's place of work. w Caesar's kids come to his office, but not because of commitments. You choose what Bacarella doesn't take for granted.
"You see them and you can tell they're enjoying themselves," he says. "My daughters came here to work and I just recently gave them their first paychecks. One of them works with a photographer who does product documentation, and I thought, 'This is great!' It feels really comfortable.”
He sees the opportunity to be that father as a gift and sees all the positives in their involvement in his businesses. Believe it or not, the source of this gift comes from an unexpected place.
"What drove me to be the person I am today was my mother leaving me," admits Bacarella. "It puts you in a state of mind that it can't get any worse, but it has made me a better father."
Bacarella wants his children to feel the same sense of belonging that he would later feel at the pizzeria in his childhood. In addition, he wants everyone he brings to feel that ownership as well. A story he remembered was an example of this.
"One of my designers was in the store with his son, and they saw the brownies, and his son said, 'Daddy, this is your company.' His dad is so dedicated and so proud of what he does that his kid said it and felt it.”
That pride can also be seen, felt and tasted in the brownies themselves. Being very comfortable growing up without a lot of money, Bacarella wants his customers to know that if they choose something from one of his brands, it will last.
Courtesy of AlphaPrime
"The highest quality comes first," he says. “Last but not least, you get great bang for your buck, but it has to be affordable. I would rather make less money so more people can afford our products. I do not care [about the money]. I'm already successful."
Thanks to his upbringing, the unintended gifts he received from that upbringing, and the results that come from applying those gifts, Bacarella has now made a name for himself in the fitness world, and at the same speed and intensity as he did in racing. He does it with the same intentions too – he sets the highest possible standards without compromise. That starts at the very beginning of every customer experience his companies have.
"If you have a home or a business, the foyer or lobby sets the tone," says Bacarella. "That's the first impression. You only get one chance to make the first impression on a new customer with your products. You try it once and that's it. So it has to be for the best.”
Bacarella will be making a lot of first impressions as PrimeBites will be part of Olympia Expo 2022 in Las Vegas over the weekend of December 16-18. Bacarella's ride with the Olympic logo will also be there. Many of these people may have grown up in situations similar to his, but they have their own dreams and goals. He hopes to be a positive vessel and role model for these people.
“You may not get opportunities if you have a rough upbringing, you have to find them because they won't fall into your lap. Never give up. Take your chances.”
Meet Caesar and snap a photo with the official Olympic race car in Vegas this December at the Olympia Expo. Visit MrOlympia.com for more information. And follow @caesar_bacarella and @alphaprimeusa / @alphaprimesupps / @alphaprimebites on Instagram.
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