The Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (AACVB) is pleased to announce Brad Banks has joined the organization as its new Sports Sales Manager.
“We are thrilled to welcome Brad Banks to the team as our Sports Sales Manager,” said Cort Carlson, Executive Director at the AACVB.
“Brad’s multi-level experience in the sports arena makes him a great fit for the focused sports sales and marketing in which the AACVB is active.”
Banks joins the AACVB after having successfully established himself within the financial services industry as an entrepreneur, selling life and health insurance products under the banner of Brad Banks and Associates LLC.
Prior to launching his financial services career, Banks was a professional athlete. After graduating from Glades Central High School, he went on to play college football at University of Iowa, where he was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and runner-up in Heisman Trophy voting. Banks was a top 2 finalist for Maxwell Award, a top 2 finalist for Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year, First-team All-Conference, Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, a permanent team captain on offense, Co-Offensive MVP, and Hayden Fry "Extra Heartbeat" Award winner. Banks was awarded the Davey O’Brien Award in 2002. He was also selected to play in the East/West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl.
Brad signed with the Washington Redskins in 2003 and continued his professional career in the Canadian Football League, where he played for teams in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Montreal. In 2011, he set an Iowa Barnstormers single-game record in touchdowns with an 11 TD (10 passing, 1 rushing) performance against the San Jose SaberCats at the HP Pavilion.
“I’m truly excited to be here in the Aurora Area working with the AACVB to add on to my legacy and have an impact in the community,” said Banks.
Brad Banks resides in Aurora. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on the Hawkeyes and hanging out with his son, Brad Jr.
Youth and amateur sports play a vital role in the local economy
The role of Sports Sales Manager at the AACVB involves attracting youth, amateur, and professional sporting events to the region’s athletic facilities, including Stuart Sports Complex, an outdoor venue developed and operated by the Fox Valley Park District that is one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
As the regional Destination Management Organization (DMO) serving the greater Aurora Area and southern Fox Valley, the AACVB approaches tourism sales and marketing several ways with sports being a leading market.
With the region’s outstanding collection of athletic venues, the Aurora Area has grown into a strong Midwest destination for youth and amateur travel sports.
In 2017, the AACVB branded its sports marketing initiatives as the Aurora Area Sports Alliance in order to better connect with the tournament directors, events rights holders, and governing bodies that are looking for destinations to bring their tournaments.
Stuart Sports Complex in Montgomery continues to drive much of the sports travel business to the region. In 2019 the estimated regional economic impact of sports travel to Stuart Sports Complex exceeded $2.5 million. In that same year the economic impact for all travel and tourism to the AACVB destination was $213.10 million and generated $4.15 million in local tax receipts for our supporting communities.
“As the new Sports Sales Manager, Brad’s responsibilities are to continue building the strong sports tourism base already established in the region and growing the Aurora Area Sports Alliance brand nationally,” said Carlson.
“Through youth and amateur athletics, the AACVB is bringing visitors from across the country to compete here in our venues and creating meaningful economic impact through tourism.”