Chris Welton, Olympic & Global Sports Marketing Leader, to be USA Federation Chief Executive
8 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Chris Welton, Olympic & Global Sports Marketing Leader, to be USA Federation Chief Executive
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, April 8, 2014–Chris Welton, an Olympic and global sports marketing leader, will be the new Chief Executive Officer of the United States Equestrian Federation based in Lexington effective June 1.
The appointment of Chris, who built a career at the top of sports marketing and branding beginning with the 1996 Olympics in his hometown of Atlanta, was announced Tuesday after unanimous approval by the USEF board of directors. He succeeds John Long who held the position for 10 years.
After practicing law in Atlanta for six years, Chris was was named vice president for Corporate Partnerships and Sponsorship for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games in 1991, managing the domestic sponsorship program.
Following the Games, he founded Meridian Management that became the exclusive marketing representative of the International Olympic Committee, responsible for managing all its sponsorship and marketing activities, including the IOC’s TOP Program. After eight years as Meridian’s CEO, he joined the international sports marketing consultancy Helios Partners whose primary businesses included corporate sport consulting, sport property and media consulting, and representing cities and countries bidding to host major sports events. He was Helios’ CEO until early 2013.
“This is an exciting time for the Federation,” remarked USEF President Chrystine Tauber. “The stage is set perfectly for Chris’ extraordinary strategic leadership skills. He is a proven leader who has consistently demonstrated the ability to build consensus, develop and implement innovative programs, and utilize his deep connections throughout the international sports movement.”
In addition to his experience at the Olympic level, Chris and and his family own a horse farm–he is a Western pleasure rider while his wife rode hunters and jumpers.
“The opportunity to serve as the Federation’s Chief Executive Officer is tremendously exciting for me,” said Chris, a 1981 graduate of the Terry College of Business where he majored in finance, and a 1985 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law.
He was an Academic All-Southeast Conference and Academic All-American defensive back on the 1980 national championship football team.
“I ride because of the joy it gives me, and I look forward to working to grow participation in equestrian sport at the national level, the visibility of horse sport in media, as well as the success of our elite riders in international competition. Equestrian sport has been part of the human experience from our earliest days and is a foundational sport within the Olympic Movement. I look forward to applying my experience and skills toward building upon the great foundation and standard that previous leaders have set.”