COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In what is believed to be the first-of-its-kind sports marketing partnership, the Elk Grove Village Board tonight voted unanimously to partner with USA Triathlon, as well as USA Track & Field and USA Wrestling, on a bold sponsorship program that will place the Village’s “Makers Wanted” brand on the world stage over the next year as the three U.S. Olympic National Governing Bodies prepare for Tokyo.
The sponsorship program will enable the Village to leverage the popularity of the sports of triathlon, track & field and wrestling to increase its visibility on a world stage with the goal of attracting world-class manufacturers and businesses to locate in Elk Grove Village, home to the nation’s largest contiguous industrial park.
Last month, the Village invited U.S. NGBs for sports that will enter teams in Tokyo to submit proposals outlining why they would be the best partner for sponsorship by Elk Grove Village.
USA Track & Field was awarded the gold-level sponsorship of $100,000. The strength of submissions and the potential for other teams to help bolster the Makers Wanted brand to their followers and fan bases prompted Village officials to add silver ($50,000) and bronze ($25,000) sponsorship awards, with the silver sponsorship going to USA Wrestling and the bronze sponsorship to USA Triathlon.
“To be able to be a part of this innovative partnership fills our community with pride. While we are sponsoring USATF, we are also sponsoring the American Dream,” said Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson. “Elk Grove Village is redefining how communities connect with businesses for economic development by thinking outside the box. Brand identification is the key to attracting new businesses, and this marketing program will help us showcase our ‘Makers Wanted’ brand nationally and internationally, while helping American athletes achieve their dreams.”
“Triathletes are all about determination, hard work and discipline—the same ingredients that make up the entrepreneurial spirit of Elk Grove Village,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “USA Triathlon is incredibly proud to be chosen as a new partner for Elk Grove and their innovative Makers Wanted campaign, and we look forward to supporting their embodiment of the American dream.”
“I want to thank everyone involved in the Elk Grove Village RFP process for voting for USATF to receive the gold level sponsorship commitments,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “The innovative RFP process allowed USATF to get to know a new organization and community in a unique way during a difficult time. Elk Grove Village is a community focused on building the American dream just like we at USATF are focused on supporting the dreams of our athletes. We are grateful for the opportunity.”
USA Wrestling shared this statement upon finding out they received the Village’s silver sponsorship: “USA Wrestling is incredibly honored to be selected by Elk Grove Village and the Makers Wanted campaign for a partnership as our team of #HistoryMakers prepares to make the final push for Tokyo. We’re excited to build a partnership that celebrates our diverse set of elite athletes, supports the local wrestling community, and highlights the amazing opportunities for businesses and families in Elk Grove Village.”
“During the course of our review, we saw opportunity to partner with two additional teams that will help us showcase our community and our industrial park, thus expanding our reach even further,” said Mayor Johnson. “So, we have our three medalists and are looking forward to productive, results-driven and mutually beneficial partnerships with them all.”
The Village received 12 entries from the U.S. NGBs for the following sports: archery, artistic swimming, diving, fencing, judo, sailing, softball, track and field, triathlon, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.
The Village worked with 4FRONT, a sports marketing consultancy, to evaluate the entries and identify the strongest contenders who could help the Village tell its economic development success story on an international stage.
4FRONT and Village officials evaluated the submissions based on the applicant’s ability to:
- Elevate awareness of Elk Grove Village and the Makers Wanted brand
- Reach business leaders and companies around the country
- Activate opportunities for community engagement in Elk Grove Village
- Offer visibility at major events
- Leverage local connections to the Elk Grove Village area
- Contend for medalist-level performances in Tokyo
This is not the first time Elk Grove Village has been a leader in developing innovative sports marketing partnerships as an economic development strategy. The Village was the title sponsor of the 2018 and 2019 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl games. That sponsorship established Elk Grove Village as the first non-tourism driven municipality to ever be the title sponsor of any college football bowl game. That two-year sponsorship helped the Village raise brand awareness of the Village’s industrial park and also attracted activity that will result in future jobs, economic development and tax revenue for the Village.
“Our National Governing Bodies partnership, just like the bowl game sponsorship demonstrates that we’re not afraid to take bold steps that can enhance our brand, attract companies to set up shop in Elk Grove and strengthen our local economy on behalf of the residents we proudly serve,” said Mayor Johnson.
About Elk Grove Village
Elk Grove Village is home to the nation’s largest contiguous industrial park, a six-square mile expanse that is home to more than 5,600 businesses that employ 56,000 men and women and over 400 manufacturers that specialize in plastic, metal, food, tech and more.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).