Rich Janor is president and CEO of Game Day USA. As a 2017 Connect Sports Game Changer, Janor discusses his passion for sports tourism.
What I do: I own and operate a sports management firm that creates and manages weekend baseball and softball events in family destinations nationwide. This includes building long-term relationships with destinations, CVB and sports promotion groups, hotel and lodging partners, venues, sponsors and partners.
How I got here: I started Game Day USA in 2005 to fill a void in the marketplace for professionally managed weekend tournament events for baseball and softball teams. As travel and club sports participation has grown, Game Day USA has developed into a thriving, nationwide business with 15 full-time employees and more than 100 total employees.
Why I am a game changer: We target new sports complexes and destinations that aspire to create significant economic impact (hotels, restaurants, retail, etc.) for their communities. Game Day USA has had a number of success stories with this model in great family vacation destinations, including Grand Rapids, Michigan; Mesa, Arizona; Sarasota, Florida; Westfield, Indiana; Cincinnati; Manhattan; Milwaukee; and several others.
My greatest career accomplishment: I was honored to be selected by USA Baseball in 2016 to serve as regional director for the National Team Identification Series program in the Great Lakes Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This role allows me to work with high-level baseball athletes who aspire to represent their country as part of Team USA.
Impressive stats: I’ve grown Game Day USA from six annual events to more than 200 annual events over a 10-year period.
What I’m working on: We are expanding our Junior All-American Games (baseball) product from Sarasota and Mesa into new locations, including the new Washington Nationals/Houston Astros spring training complex in West Palm Beach, Florida. We are also working on expanding our softball programming.
What I do outside of work: I volunteer as head varsity baseball coach at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Illinois; serve as regional director (Great Lakes) for USA Baseball’s National Team Identification Series; and am president of the Naperville Park District board of commissioners.