Josh Todd, one of the sports tourism industry’s leading minds, has been named Connect Sports director, effective Sept. 12. Todd’s primary task will be to continue the growth of Connect Sports Marketplace, the sports tourism industry’s most-attended event, bringing together the top sports planners, destinations and venues for three days of networking, business and education. Todd’s arrival allows Patrick Higgins, Connect’s vice president of Marketplaces, to focus on expanding the company’s reach through international, national and regional events.
Todd is no stranger to Connect Sports, having served on its advisory board. His uncanny ability to forge long-lasting partnerships and his drive to produce the best events possible will allow Connect Sports to further cement its place as sports tourism’s must-attend trade show, predicts Higgins.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Josh’s ability lead the Connect Sports team as it moves forward,” says Higgins. “From the Chicago Cubs to USA Swimming, Josh has worked with sporting events of all sizes and he understands the sports tourism business. Planners and suppliers know they will be in good hands.”
Todd most recently served as director of sports at Visit Mesa since 2010. Among his many accomplishments at the destination was developing strong relationships with U.S. Olympic Committee national governing bodies. In particular, Todd helped build the region’s Skyline and Kino Aquatic Centers into two of the premier aquatic sports venues in the country. He was also part of the team helping the Greater Phoenix region host the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship and 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Connect,” says Todd. “Although it is tough leaving the amazing team, and quite honestly my second family of almost six years, at Visit Mesa, I had to jump on the opportunity to join a growing, respected company like Connect. I look forward to working with NGBs and planners all over the country to evolve and take the already strong Connect Sports brand to a whole new level. Their shared passion for the sports tourism industry, especially at the youth and amateur level, along with their family-first atmosphere, made it impossible to pass up.”
Says Marc Garcia, president and CEO of Visit Mesa: “Josh Todd is the consummate sports and events industry professional who, on many levels, has represented the heart and soul of Visit Mesa and the Greater Mesa community. His sales talents, energy, enthusiasm and charm will be missed. However, we do not say goodbye, as we will continue to partner with him in his new endeavor with Connect. Josh will always be considered a member of the Visit Mesa family, and we wish him tremendous success moving forward.”