Corey Peterson, CSEE, is off to a flying start in his new role as vice president of business development at Travel Courts. On day one in March, he caught a flight to New York City. The next day brought a meeting with a prospective client he hopes to add to the fold of the sports flooring and housing provider. The busy schedule would shock no one who knows Peterson, who is among the most innovative sports tourism professionals. The only surprising thing may be that the person who became synonymous with Richmond, Virginia, sports is no longer with the city’s CVB after four highly successful years. While Travel Courts is based in Salt Lake City, Peterson will work out of his home in Virginia—“that is a new challenge,” he says. Connect Sports spoke with the former director of sports development at Richmond Region Tourism about his career move and switching sides from DMOs to event organizer/vendor.
Why leave Richmond?
I accomplished a lot of great things in Richmond in four years and created what I think is a great program in a great city. It gave me an unprecedented amount of autonomy to go out there and be creative. I’m eternally grateful for that. But it also built an entrepreneurial spirit I didn’t think I had. Instead of going to the next city or a bigger destination, I wanted to take what I have learned to a position where I can impact more people. This presented a unique opportunity to create and develop, which is what I truly love to do. That’s only enhanced with having physical assets.
“At the end of the day, in sports and in the CVB world, opportunity is currency.”
For those who don’t know, what is Travel Courts?
At the core of it, Travel Courts is a sports flooring and housing provider for youth tournaments, working with a portfolio of clients who produce indoor events like basketball, volley and futsal. My goal is to take a lot of the relationships I have and go to communities and see if there is an opportunity to help an event grow or an opportunity to create an event we can partner with them on. We’ve also started talking about ambitious stuff like philanthropy in multiple communities.