David Wilkinson

President and CEO

David Wilkinson has been an international innovator and sponsorship marketing industry leader for over three decades. He has worked in 47 countries; has managed thousands of successful events; and negotiated over $500,000,000.00 in sponsorship contracts, which in turn delivered $1,500,000,000 in measured integrated marketing value.

Originally from Canada, an Olympian and International Federation sport administrator, and as an accomplished speaker and educator, David has authored five books on event marketing and sponsorship. His books are recognized as the global standard for sport marketing, event marketing and strategic integrated sponsorship marketing. His visionary insight and industry expertise has guided over 50 corporate and 167 organizational, institutional and muncipal clients to exceed their business and marketing objectives through experiential marketing opportunities.

Notable accomplishments:

Wilkinson conceived, developed and managed Cisco Systems’ NetAid program, an unprecedented simultaneous live global TV/radio/webcast concert, coordinating involvement of the United Nations Development Program, major event promoters, TV producers and dozens of music performers including high-profile artists, such as, Bono, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Eurythmics and Jewel at Wembley Stadium, Giant’s Stadium and Geneva’s UN HQ The Palais de Nation to assist with global issues of extreme poverty. It remains one of the most heavily watched, interactive web-casts in modern media history.

Recently David created the San Jose (CA) Grand Prix for social cause client The Canary Foundation to bring their efforts to advance the issues of Early Detection of Cancer to a larger audience. This $11,000,000 project was successful in its first year of operation generating over $3,000,000 in media and corporate sponsorships and attracting a capacity audience of over 150,000 to the race weekend. Wilkinson is credited with being among the early cadre of social marketers that developed the social impact marketing industry, with events and marketing that had transactional effectiveness such as the Grand Prix which has led to municipalities (such as San Francisco, Toronto, Brussels, Branson,, Shanghai, Sacramento); Countries (including Samoa, New Zealand, Belgium (Flanders), and Canada) and public Institutions ( Los Angeles World Airports (LAX), Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary, Olympic Torch Relay for the Calgary Olympics as illustrations) to apply significant positive changes to their bottom line and brand development.

Wilkinson created the new age of major sport venue naming rights packages when he led negotiations on behalf of Pacific Bell for the $50 million Pacific Bell Park sponsorship with the San Francisco Giants, spearheading a unique deal that generated direct revenue to offset a significant portion of Pacific Bell’s sponsorship fees and creating one of the only privately-funded ballparks in the US. That was a decade ago-more recently (2012) Mr. Wilkinson completed a $203,000,000.00 naming rights deal for the Oakland Athletics Baseball team for their new venue, Cisco Field, which will host the team in the most advanced technology venue in the world when the team moves to San Jose, CA.

He has developed and executed numerous cause-oriented programs resulting in significant positive social impact, including Canada’s National Community Tree Foundation Tree Planting Program, which resulted in 200 million trees being planted in urban centers and Akamai Technologies’ “Magic of Math” Program, which infused over a million dollars in unprecedented funding to primary public math education. Currently representing the World Science Festival he has created programs that attract sponsored events for over a quarter of a million people in two days to drive STEM initiatives.

David has led the vision, strategy and creative marketing plans for 19 emerging start-up companies such as Bivio Networks, Carlson Media Group, 555-1212.com, Aero Snowboards and more. His current (2013) participation with ‘The Philadelphia Experience’ and its incredibly deep leadership resources that are already in place fulfills his desire is to bring the best practices of over 30 years in the partnership marketing business to support and bring to life the technical, marketing, branding and management wizards that have developed this global village concept and find the extraordinary additional value that exists within the Philadelphia universe. And it brings the digital communication age to life in a project that will be re-visited hundreds of times around the globe by municipalities, NGO’s and other event planners as the traditional models of static communications crumble.

As side-bar comments David has conducted marketing seminars for over 200,000 delegates worldwide and consulted to 87 national sport governing bodies and social service organizations purely on their marketing plans. His creation of the United States State Games remains one of the largest institutional developments for amateur sport but also gets some enjoyable moments currently marketing ‘Nitro Circus Live’ which is a Cirque de Soleil meets X Games meets Jackass touring show that is selling out 60,000 arenas nightly. Always innovating it was his creation of the The Gravity Games for client got milk? which led to the development of The Dew Tour a few years later.

Proudly, Wilkinson has formulated unique property and financing packages for a number of not-for-profit college initiatives, including Fresno State’s (CA) $102,000,000 SaveMart Center ($40,000,000 naming rights which remains the largest institutional sponsorship on the globe) and affinity marketing programs that created millions of dollars and extensive marketing support for USC, UCSD, UC Riverside and more.

Honored with the prestigious Belgian Piet Theys Award in 1992, which is awarded to an individual who dramatically changes the state of the marketing industry in Europe through Sport, Social Cause and Experiential Marketing, Wilkinson continues to focus on the principle of influencing positive social change through the development of profitable strategic relationships between corporations and alliance properties. It is this passion which drives his vision for significant social impact programs that are driven by well-informed corporate partners in conjunction with the governments, unions, volunteers and NGO’s that drive the heartbeat of global actions that matter.

Wilkinson notable clients include: Pacific Gas & Electric, Reuters, Intel, Air New Zealand, Coca-Cola Canada, US West, Proctor and Gamble, Akamai Technologies, Bank of America, Gateway, Internet Home Alliance, Clorox, Wells Fargo and more that may be viewed here.

Education: MSc, Physical Education, major in Marketing Systems and Design at Purdue University; BA, Social Psychology at University of Winnipeg. Family: Wife Joanna of 30 wonderful years and two daughters Katie (UCSC Grad and in Toronto) and Tory (Chapman Peace Studies and Photojournalism major-graduates in 2014-thank goodness!).