Greg Fante is vice president of sports development at the Louisville Sports Commission. As a 2017 Connect Sports Game Changer, Fante discusses his passion for sports tourism.
What I do: I am a prospector, a relationship-builder and a connector of opportunities. I build relationships one at a time with likeminded people in an effort to collaboratively define mutual goals and find common ground in my hometown.
How I got here: My hospitality carrier started at the Louisville-based Executive Inn as a state association sales manager. Through curiosity and drive, I became a director of sales, then moved into the position of general manager, before, ultimately, becoming regional general manager for the locally owned James Hotels in the 1990s. In 1999, I joined the Louisville CVB as national sales manager and senior sales manager. I joined the Louisville Sports Commission in 2007 as its director of sports development.
Why I’m a game changer: I believe it is my ability to see and/or create opportunities, then assemble a team of professionals to do what’s necessary to achieve goals for all involved.
My greatest career accomplishments: I am proud of my time spent volunteering to help make our industry stronger. An example is helping to build our state sports initiative, TEAM Kentucky, from a concept to a thriving brand. Another example is my time as a board member for NASC, during which I co-led the committee that redeveloped the CSEE certification program for our industry.
Impressive stats: Since our inception in 1999, the Louisville Sports Commission has helped attract and support more than 700 events that have generated nearly $500 million in estimated economic benefits for our community; I have had some level of involvement in each of these events.
What I’m working on: Bringing championship-level boxing back to the home of Muhammad Ali and to historic Freedom Hall
What I do outside of work: My family and I enjoy camping, boating, hiking or anything that brings us together with our extended family and friends. My son, Cal, and I are currently restoring a 1970 Starcraft runabout. My wife, Jo, and I enjoy any time we get with our daughter, Madison, who lives and works in Cincinnati. She and I are also in the process of becoming certified foster parents.