rEvolution, the Chicago-based integrated sports marketing and media services agency, recently opened a West Coast office and launched a Youth/Action Sports Division. With the increased popularity of the X Games type competitions, the addition of such sports like snowboarding and motocross now in the Olympics, and the convergence of the web “lifestyle connector” like Youtube.com, action sports have become a primary source to capture teens and young adults attention. To run the new division, rEvolution has hired industry pioneer Craig Elledge, a 20 year creator, promoter and producer of more than 500 lifestyle and action sports events and over 1,000 original network and cable television shows.
“It is becoming increasingly more important for companies to target the youth market in order to get them into their franchises early, adopt their brands and stay loyal as they move through various life stages,” says rEvolution President John Rowady. “Many companies try and fail because they don’t know how to communicate with these independent minded consumers that are suspicious about the corporate messages they receive. Craig Elledge is a visionary in this category, remains an integral member of the community and stays on the leading edge of this genre often identifying what will be the next hot movement.”
Beginning by directing all events and execution for McDonald’s prior to the 1984 Olympic Games, over the past 20 years Elledge has produced it all from the Olympic Games to the X-Games, motor sports, music, winter sports and more. As the founder and President of CE Sports in the 90’s, he fueled the growth of lifestyle and action sports on ESPN as the promoter for pro beach volleyball including the AVP, WPVA and Pro Beach Fours with Gabrielle Reece. Elledge has operated more than 100 lifestyle events per year in beach volleyball, snowboarding, mogul skiing and personal watercraft racing for Anheuser Busch, Sony, Nike, Paul Mitchell and many more. Elledge and CE Sports were also the site designers and builders of the first widely successful X-Games in 1996 for ESPN and he was a pioneer in the development of Freestyle Motocross.
With Elledge’s experience and industry relationships he plans to grow this new division and make rEvolution a key player in the world of youth and action sports. Elledge feels that with the popularity of action sports increasing, rEvolution has a unique offering for their clients.
“Action sports have been the driver for the youth market because they are personal and social, allowing kids to express themselves on their own terms as individuals,” said Elledge. “Creating compelling content in authentic and relevant ways via the internet, athletes and events allow young adults to embrace brands that support their passions and icons.”
rEvolution’s Youth and Action Sports Division will be based in Los Angeles. “California and the West serve as catalysts for new trends in the youth culture; it permeates from the region to resonate around the nation and the world. It is a natural progression that rEvolution firmly plants its business in the West to service the many great companies that call it home,” states Rowady.
A full-service sports marketing and media agency, rEvolution utilizes the platform of major sporting events, leagues, teams and athletes to promote its clients’ consumer and business-to-business brands. rEvolution is Chicago-based with a global reputation. rEvolution’s marketing division offers such services as creative strategy, sponsorship negotiation, branding, event marketing, promotion, research and hospitality. rEvolution’s media selling, buying and planning division, called the rEvolution Sports Network, provides custom-designed, on-air strategies for advertisers interested in reaching national and regional audiences through college football and basketball, World Cup Soccer, as well as other major sports programming vehicles. Unencumbered by a network of holding company interests to consider, rEvolution, the mid-sized, independently owned agency, joins forces with clients in creating and implementing business-building ideas. Three long-standing industry experts, who possess more than 50 years of collective global sports experience and relationships, lead rEvolution’s skilled team of professionals.