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Monday, Aug 8, 2022
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Sports Marketing Veteran Heads New Office

A sports marketing and consulting firm appointed an industry veteran who helped popularize pro beach volleyball and snowboarding tours to head its new San Fernando Valley office. Craig Elledge was tapped by rEvolution for his contacts in the sports world and expertise in knowing the best ways for corporate sponsors to target the youth market. When it comes to action sports skiing, snowboarding, Jet Ski racing, motocross, etc. it’s less about winning or losing than it is about the social networking participants and spectators engage in, Elledge said. “You know something has caught on when it goes beyond just being a sport and it affects fashion and music and peoples lifestyles,” Elledge added. The 46-year-old Elledge works out of the Sherman Oaks office of Chicago-based rEvolution. Prior to his new position, Elledge was an executive with Pro Sports and Entertainment, Inc., an owner and operator of live sporting and entertainment events. He also operated his own company, CE Sports, for about 10 years. rEvolution is a marketing and consulting firm giving guidance to sponsors of sporting events, helping them with contract negotiations, and matching up a sponsor’s objectives with the best events. The company opened a West Coast office to have a presence in the region and to add a capacity in the action sports and youth marketing segments. Joining rEvolution allows Elledge to do what he does best and go after business he wouldn’t be able to get on his own. The northern California native became interested in sports marketing when the summer Olympic Games took place in Los Angeles in 1984. He moved on to promoting and managing for several years the pro beach volleyball tours and getting the games on ESPN. His company CE Sports would become a primary supplier of lifestyle events to ESPN. He picked the sports he promoted not because he was a participant but because he saw they were on an upward trend and needed to be packaged to sell to television, Elledge said. The action sports area has grown to where it has become a conduit to the youth culture due to its confluence of music, lifestyle and online social networking. The generation targeted by sponsors, however, is very savvy about marketing and a company can no longer just go to an event and slap their banner up and expect to get results. “Kids are too smart for that,” Elledge said. “It’s really a much more subtle integration with athletes and supporting what people do in their everyday lives without the hammer over the head with advertising.” Mark R. Madler

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