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Elk Grove Village, Ill. to partner with USA Wrestling and two other sports on bold marketing plan leading up to 2021 Olympics

By Elk Grove Village | July 17, 2020, 10:01 a.m. (ET)

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 the U.S.A. Track and Field (USATF) Team and two other National Governing Bodies on a bold sponsorship program that will place the Village’s “Makers Wanted” brand on the world stage over the next year as the team prepares for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The $100,000 sponsorship program with USATF will enable the Village to leverage the popularity of both the sport of track and field and the Olympic Games 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

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.

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.”

“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.”

As part of the $100,000 sponsorship, the Village will be featured in :30 second television ads aired during pre-Olympic events broadcast on NBC/NBCSN spread over a six-month period. Elk Grove Village’s “Makers Wanted” branding to be included in signage and at large-scale, televised track and field competitions leading up to the Summer Games.

USATF will also involve Village officials in a three-part business-to-business speakers series targeting business leaders and USATF personalities to generate business leads

USATF has also committed to holding a RunJumpThrow community event in Elk Grove Village in the coming year that will be led by Olympic athletes. And finally, USATF committed to getting current and legacy Olympic athletes involved in local community activities.

“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 Max Siegal, Chief Executive Officer of USA Track & Field. “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.”

Last month, the Village invited national governing bodies for sports that will enter teams in to the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan to submit proposals outlining why they would be the best partner for sponsorship by Elk Grove Village.

“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.”

“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 United States national governing bodies of 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 pre-Olympic events
- Leverage local connections to the Elk Grove Village area
- Contend for medalist-level performances at the Olympic Games

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 Olympics 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.

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.