Aug 10, 2011 at 10:11 PM
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Conference Pays Off For General Sports

Often agencies get so caught up in helping their clients build their brand, they fall short of adequately marketing their own. Not the case with General Sports, according to the August issue of Forbes. When General Sports' founder Andy Appleby is not helping clients make the most of their events, he's planning his own. Since 2001 he's organized a gathering of 150 leading sports executives in Colorado where attendees can listen to speakers, network and race sports cars, among other activities. Think the sports version of Allen & Co.'s media and technology summit. There's no shortage of these types of think tank events, like TED and Summit Series, and of course there are plenty of instructional conferences on sports and sponsorship, but there are few intended to help executives share ideas and build relationships in an informal setting. There should be more.

Sponsors, buzz and new business generated defray the estimated $3 million tab the conference has run up for General Sports since 2001, according the article. Here are some quick takeaways..

1. Don't stick to trade topics. Bring in off the beaten path speakers and entertainment.

2. Make it casual. The best relationships stem from shared experiences. At the SELC, attendees have plenty of time to partake in outside activities.

3. Invite the actual front line decision making executives, not the celebrities. Think VP-level.

4. Use your relationships. Appleby sells sponsorships for the event to the likes of Adidas, Ticketmaster, MillerCoors and others.

Read the full profile from Forbes' Tom Van Riper here >>

photo credit #newstag