2017 Game Changers: Clay Partain, Visit Salt Lake

By Connect Sports Staff, August 7, 2017

Clay Partain is director of sports market sales at Visit Salt Lake. As a 2017 Connect Sports Game Changer, Partain discusses his passion for sports tourism.

Follow Partain on Twitter.

What I do: My job is to improve the area economy by attracting and supporting sports events. It is something I do not take lightly, as there are many people in the community who are dependent on the success of this.

How I got here: I moved to Salt Lake around the time of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Fresh out of college, I came for the skiing, but the people and community have kept me here. My start in the hospitality world was in restaurant management, which led to hotel sales and eventually to Visit Salt Lake.

Why I am a game changer: Continuing to develop Salt Lake as a summer-sports destination has been very rewarding. From an NGB standpoint, I have aided in landing such prestigious events as the USA Weightlifting Olympic Trials, USA Fencing National Championships and the USA Taekwondo National Championships. The development of annual events, such as the USA Rugby North American Invitational 7s, Grizz Cup and Triple Crown Volleyball NIT have also allowed us to grow our base of those valuable return groups.

My greatest career accomplishment: In 2015, I was the recipient of the Diane Nelson Binger Sales Leadership Award for Visit Salt Lake. The sports market in Salt Lake has grown exponentially in my three years in this role, and I am proud of what we have accomplished.

Impressive stats: Visit Salt Lake has nearly tripled our production in the sales market between 2014 to present.

What I’m working on: We have recently had great success in increasing our list of sporting events that use the convention centers in town. We are also seeing phenomenal growth in year two at the Salt Lake City Regional Athletic Complex.

What I do outside of work: I enjoy unwinding with my wife and kids. On most weekends in the winter, we can be found at our local ski resort.


Here are some of the reasons Franklin, Tennesee, is ready to step up its game when it comes to hosting youth and amateur sports.

Dev Pathik, co-founder and CEO of SFA, looks to drive change in Rocky Mount, N.C., through the physical and economic benefits of community sports with

Los Angeles ranks second on Burson Cohn & Wolfe Sports’ top sports cities in the world.

Sarah Martin and Heather Nabozny aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, which has served them well with the Sports Turf Management Association.