I was granted an interview this week with Craig Thompson, chief executive of the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA), which is overseeing the 34th America's Cup, to be sailed in San Francisco Bay in August 2013.
Thompson, a Newport Beach resident, was born in Pasadena in 1949. He has worked his way up the sports marketing ladder. He was director of volleyball for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and launched the first World Beach Volleyball championships in Rio de Janeiro in 1986.
He has also worked in Switzerland for the International Equestrian Federation, and then spent four years with the track and field division of the International Assn. of Athletics Federations, where he contributed to the marketing strategy, TV and sponsorship sales, as well as management of all major IAAF events worldwide. Thompson is best known for his marketing campaigns for the UEFA Champions League.
ACEA's chief executive is responsible for branding, venues, facilities, sponsorships and commercial partners, and the television programming.