Rob Prazmark is one of the most highly regarded executives in the Sports and Entertainment Business and is uniquely recognized within the Olympic Movement.
In August 2004, SportsBusiness Journal named Rob the Olympic’s eighth most influential person in the world. He is the all-time leading seller of Olympic-related programs, and more importantly, an expert in consulting and negotiating the rights and benefits offered by various Olympic entities.
Rob is one of the original team members that created and sold The Olympic Programme (TOP) for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when it was developed in 1985. Rob successfully sold TOP on behalf of the IOC through 1996 and negotiated more than 40 different corporate deals worldwide and has been involved in every Olympic Games since 1984.
During a career in which he revolutionized sports and event marketing, while pioneering the field of intellectual marketing, Rob has brokered more than $3.5 billion in sponsorship and media relationships to date in all areas of Sports and Entertainment marketing. Spanning the Olympics, Rob has also been directly involved in marketing the FIFA World Cup, including the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
Rob pioneered the independent consulting and advisement aspect of large-scale properties. He has personally been responsible for successfully negotiating contracts on behalf of corporations seeking Olympic and World Cup affiliations. Those companies include Liberty Mutual Insurance, Johnson & Johnson, EY, Volkswagen, John Hancock, US West/Quest Telecommunications and many others.
In 2014, he and the 21 team completed a project for the International Olympic Committee, developing a joint marketing initiative between the United States Olympic Committee and NBC, negotiating on behalf of Johnson & Johnson in its worldwide sponsor agreement with FIFA’s 2014 World Cup. 21 also successfully represented EY in obtaining rights as the official supporter of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the exclusive provider of professional services to the Rio 2016 organizing committee. Rob and 21 were retained by America’s Cup in 2013 to develop and market a sales representation program for the event.
Previous accomplishments include work with the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, NASA, The Smithsonian Institution and previous World Cups. All of these activities have earned Rob a recommendation as a worldwide leader in event creation and complex deal making.
Prior to restarting 21 in 2007, Rob was President of Olympic Sales and Marketing for IMG from 1997 through 2006, working primarily on special projects. Original 21 Marketing activities began in 1991, and in 1997, Rob sold 21 to IMG. From 1982 to 1985, while at ABC News in New York, Rob was responsible for the sales and marketing of all network news properties, including World News Tonight, 20/20, Nightline, all prime-time News Briefs and the documentary series Close-Up. He also created ABC’s Business Briefs and Business World with Sandor Vanocur. Prior to his time at ABC, Rob worked at NBC.
Rob was raised in California and is a graduate of Canisius College in upstate New York.
Tom Shepard is widely credited for being one of the most authoritative sponsor and partnership marketing executives of his time. Through his work with major properties, global travel and entertainment companies, as well as prominent retailers, he is widely regarded for innovative and profitable marketing and partnership strategies. He is also noted for his adept handling of complex negotiations.
As CMO and partner at 21 Marketing, Tom is responsible for developing the strategies involved in engaging and negotiating global properties and matching them with the needs of potential sponsors. This includes the development of activation strategies on behalf of the sponsor and the management thereof.
Previously CEO of Festival Network, the oldest and largest producer of outdoor music festivals in the world, Tom rebranded and reshaped the organization that launched the festival business in 1954 under the ownership of George Wein and his then Festival Productions.
Tom is widely known for his role as the Executive Vice President of International Marketing, Partnerships and Sponsorship for Visa International. He pioneered the business of partnership marketing across all industries, leveraging the Visa network of members via relationship management, savvy negotiating skills, and marketing expertise to secure long-term brand and financial success for Visa and its stakeholders. This earned Visa a global reputation for creating highly successful revenue and marketing models.
Tom developed global sponsorship strategies for both sport and special event sponsorships, such as the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Disney, FIFA and Rugby’s World Cup, providing a consistent and integrated brand message worldwide and created legacy programs to increase visibility at these events. He also has created innovative and important destination programs that have revolutionized the long-term visibility and profitability of the host nations through key destination partnerships and deployment.
Tom created a key Visa business unit to accommodate the globalization of merchants such as those on the internet, hotels, airlines, strategic retailers, restaurants, and important multi-regional retailers, resulting in mutually beneficial marketing and product solutions. He created numerous on and offline destination marketing, co-brand, and high-end cardholder offer programs for Visa’s members around the world.
In January 2007, Around the Rings listed Tom as the “Dean of Olympic marketing” and one of the 25 most influential Olympic Games’ executives. Tom was also named fifth most influential in the Olympic movement by SportsBusiness Journal in 2004 and received the prestigious “Partnership Marketing of the Year” award in 1998 from Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI).
Prior to joining Visa, Tom was executive vice president of Millsport, a sports marketing agency, where he provided strategic consultation concerning the development and leveraging of major event properties. He developed and integrated sponsorship strategies with the Olympics, FIFA World Cup and the National Football League, and was instrumental in creating numerous destination programs. Tom also served as the Games Director of the AAU Junior Olympics and as Senior Vice President of Operations for Crested Butte Mountain Resort, a premier ski resort in Colorado.
Tom holds a B.S. in Biological Science from the University of Connecticut, currently serves on the Board of the Student Conservation Association, USA Pentathlon and STEP (Sustainable Tourism for the Elimination of Poverty) boards. Tom also teaches a graduate course at Stanford University.