Upcoming Conferences and Events
SBJ/March 21-27, 2011/Forty Under 40
Forty Under 40
Published March 21, 2011, Page 36A
MICHAEL PUGH PHOTOGRAPHY
To fill that void, they turned to Chris Sanders, a Host Communications employee with a strong background in college sports but limited Olympic experience. Sanders quickly became the agency’s engine room — managing international communication across four offices, overseeing proposals for new business and developing business alliances with other agencies that would deliver new clients.
His work has been critical to Helios’ growth. Over the last five years, it has expanded from a small, five-person consultancy concentrated on the Olympics to a 35-person agency that works on international projects with properties, corporate sponsors and media companies.
“He’s the glue that keeps things moving forward,” said Rob Temple, vice president of sports management at ESPN, which hired Helios to assist with developing an international plan for the X Games. “He’s someone who always has his hand on the rudder and can redirect things slowly rather than dramatically.”
Over the last year, Sanders helped Helios partner Chris Renner open a European office in Paris, support Burns’ bid work with Russia for the 2018 World Cup and Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the 2018 Olympics, and spearheaded the agency’s winning pitch to manage Dow’s Olympic business.
“Chris was the architect of putting that thing together,” Burns said of the Dow deal. “That’s a huge demonstration of him taking the opportunity, taking charge and figuring out how to make something work.”
In mapping out Helios’ future growth, Sanders is focused on helping Burns expand its bid business beyond the Olympics and World Cup into other events such as the World University Games.
He’s also going to be concentrating on Helios’ work with ESPN on the X Games and securing corporate consulting work for Sochi 2014.
“We want to take the template and the model that’s proved successful from the Olympic movement and apply it to other properties,” Sanders said.
Title: Chief operating officer
COMPANY: Helios Partners
Education: B.S., Indiana University; master’s, Miami (Ohio) University
Family: Wife, Sara; son, Reid (4)
Career: USA Gymnastics, 1995-2000; Host Communications, 2000-05; TeamMate, 2005-06; Helios Partners, 2007-present
Last vacation: Hilton Head, S.C.
What's on your iPod: Random mix of new/old country, rock, alternative and the occasional hip-hop
Guilty pleasure: The late-night butter pecan
Best stress release: Workout
Pet peeveS: Laziness and selfishness
Greatest achievement: Family
Greatest disappointment: The time away
from family when traveling for work
Fantasy job: President, Cystic Fibrosis
Foundation — to have a greater impact on finding a control and cure for this disease
Business advice: Do the right thing for the right reasons, and trust it will play out over the longer haul.