John Korff founded Korff Enterprises, Inc. in 1978, although he admits he never thought of himself as a company until 15 years later when his staff picked the name for him (while he was out of the office). Unlike many other endurance organizers, he got his start in the tennis world. After his graduation from Harvard Business School, his friendship with Billie Jean King led him to start and produce one of the first women’s professional tennis tournaments, the A&P Tennis Classic in Mahwah, NJ. During the tournament’s 25-year history, the event attracted 60,000+ spectators annually, received worldwide media coverage, and became known as a warm up for the US Open.
Korff Enterprises is now based in New York City and specializes in creating and producing world-class events. The company currently owns and organizes the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon, one of the world’s largest Olympic distance triathlons which is now in its 13th year, and the Quick Check New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, America’s largest summertime balloon and music festival, among many other events. Continue reading
Founded in 1997, Rocky Mountain Events promotes and produces quality cycling events throughout Colorado, including the Elephant Rock Cycling Festival, The Copper Triangle, 24 Hours of ERock, and Tour of the Moon. Elephant Rock celebrates its 26th year in 2013 and, with about 7500 participants, is an “everyman’s” ride offering six different courses and a kids race. The Copper Triangle is in its 8th year and has sold out at 3000 riders for the past six years running. Tour of the Moon, in its 2nd year, is anticipated to sell out at 2000 riders.
Scot Harris (top), Event CO Director, and Scott Olmsted (left), Sponsorship and Event Manager, talked with us recently about how their events have earned the reputation as some of the best cycling events in Colorado:
How did Rocky Mountain Events get its start?
Harris: I was hired to start the promotions department of the Rocky Mountain Sports Magazine back in 1987. Fairly soon after than we came up with the idea for the Elephant Rock Ride because we saw a need for a good early-season century ride and also wanted more promotional opportunities for advertisers. Continue reading
For nearly 35 years Gary Jenkins has been putting together races, most with creative names and themes, such as Joker’s Wild (written up by Runner’s World magazine as one of the top not-to-be-missed racing events) and Animal Scramble. He originally got into the business by helping organize a running club with friends and then founded Pacesetter’s P.R., an Atlanta-based race and event management company that specializes in running and racing events. Gary and Pacesetter’s P.R. currently manage nearly 100 events per year, including the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix, which draws nearly 70,000 participants annually in the 450+ races on the Grand Prix.
Formerly an avid runner and competitive racer himself, Gary is highly respected in Georgia and the southeast and is known for putting on quality races at competitive prices. He is Continue reading
Toward the end of 2008, Sam Fiandaca and his wife Jasmin started to think about organizing their own races. Both runners, Sam and Jasmin thought putting on events might be a good way to make some extra money in a slow economy. Brazen Racing was born and the first event, Nitro Trail Half Marathon/10K/5K, was held in 2009 on the trails of a local park Sam frequented.
Four events in 2009 grew to 13 events in 2010, 21 events in 2011 and 23 in 2012, averaging about 1000 participants per event. By the middle of 2010, Sam and Jasmin had quit their “day” jobs to focus completely on Brazen Racing.
We sat down with Sam recently and he gave us the ‘runaround,’ telling us his story as an event director:
Since 1978 Rob Wallack has owned and operated Runner’s Den, one of the premier running retail stores in the country. In fact, in 2012 it was voted one of the 50 best stores in the U.S. by Runner’s World magazine. As an extension of Runner’s Den, in 1982 Rob founded Raceplace Events, an event staging and data processing company involved in the production of some of the largest events in the southwestern United States. In all, Raceplace has been involved with the production or timing of 1300+ events over the past 30 years. We talked with Rob recently to ask him about how he got his start, the changes he’s seen over the past three decades, and the secrets to his success. Continue reading
What you think is normal behavior may be a dead giveaway to your relatives as to what profession you’re in. When you manage participants and events for a living, certain things tend to carry over into the “real world.”
We’ve seen it in our own families and heard some entertaining stories from our customers as well. There’s no hiding it…here are the top 10 holiday habits that will expose you as an event director:
10. You gave all of your relatives event t-shirts as presents
9. You broke down Santa’s split times to your children as he traverses the globe Continue reading
David Scott, general manager and race director for US Road Sports & Entertainment of Florida, discovered his passion for endurance sports back in 1979. At the time he was coaching baseball in Tampa and was convinced by his assistant coach to try a 5K. As a pitcher in college, David was used to running the outfield during practice for conditioning, but had never participated in a race before. After that first event, he was hooked and it became part of his everyday life. “Running benefited me—it relieved stress and I found myself more creative. Taking 30-45 minutes just to be by myself is refreshing.” Continue reading
The weSPARK 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk is a unique event. Combining Hollywood movie magic with a mission to fundraise for the weSPARK Cancer Support Center, this event has grown dramatically since its inception in 2008. A large part of that growth is due to the vision and dedication of the event’s creator, Anton Maillie.
Anton, a producer of TV commercials, lost his mom to cancer and in 2004, was introduced to weSPARK by his good friend and the organization’s executive director, Nancy Allen. weSPARK is an amazing organization that provides a variety of free cancer support services for patients, their families and friends. Anton says he “got an incredible amount of relief from weSPARK’s programs. That same year, I went to Ireland to run my first marathon and raised $8,000 for weSPARK. It was the initial mustard seed that got me wanting to give back to that organization.” Continue reading
Stephen Del Monte of DelMo Sports Inc. is the man behind Tri the Wildwoods Triathlon and 5K and the Atlantic City International Triathlon, the former of which is celebrating its 9th year in 2012. Initially other races were included — a duathlon, aquabike and 5K — as Stephen sought to be all things to all people. That experience taught him one very important lesson: Put your all into one or two things and you can give folks what they want. It proved to be a formula for success. From last year to this, the triathlon went from 450 participants to 800. The 5K grew as well. And the Atlantic City International Triathlon, now in its second year, has quadrupled in growth.
Here are the four things Stephen focuses on to make his events grow, year after year: Continue reading
At Northwest Personal Training you’ll find a number of important mantras, any of which reflect the focus of this fitness studio serving Washington and Oregon. One, “Looking good, feeling great and living life to the fullest,” could describe the magic of the studio’s annual Girlfriends Half Marathon, the proceeds of which go toward breast cancer research.
The 2012 event is scheduled to take place in less than a month, on October 14th. To celebrate that, we wanted to revisit a conversation we had earlier this year with Shantina Fox, registration manager, to learn more about the Girlfriends Half Marathon.
5 Questions for Shantina Fox of the Girlfriends Half Marathon: Continue reading