There’s the history, the scenic views and a countless number of family-friendly activities. For Ernest Carter and Billy Russo, the focus is on yet another reason—sports.
Carter and Russo are the co-founders of Central Virginia Sports and CentralVASports.com. The company, based out of Lynchburg, was launched in March with the goal of bringing awareness to the large amount of sports business that takes place in the region which includes Amherst, Appomattox, Campbell and Bedford Counties.
“We started this because we recognized a tremendous amount of sports business taking place in our region that most people were not aware of and its impact,” Russo said. “We saw a need to bring awareness and use our experience, connections, ideas and passion for sports to impact our community.”
Russo, who serves as the vice president for Central Virginia Sports, says that he and Carter, the president, started to brainstorm the idea in 2015 while Carter was working as the external event coordinator of athletics at Liberty University. At the time, Russo was the executive director of the Smith River Sports Complex in Martinsville and a member of the Virginia Commonwealth Games’ board of directors.
Carter left Liberty in February and asked Russo to be a part of what was the beginnings of Central Virginia Sports.
“We started with CentralVASports.com because what we found in discussions with hotels, restaurants and the general public was a need for a central place for all things sports events in the region,” Russo said.
According to Russo, the site is the first of its kind in the region and is currently a catch-all of sports development and services.
The business is currently focusing on three objectives: sports advocacy and awareness, sports marketing and promotion, and event services.