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Volume 20 No. 42
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Game Changers: Dana Allen

Allen’s work can quite literally include the trenches.
Dana Allen
Competitor Group Inc.
SVP, Business Development

Marathons and triathlons require coordination among government agencies, local businesses and national sponsors. Dana Allen is the glue that holds these parties together for the Competitor Group’s Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon and TriRock Triathlon events. Allen, who has 15 years of experience in event management, first negotiates deals with the host cities, explaining to politicians the economic impact created by major endurance events. She then helps the events evolve from the boardroom to the starting line. “Cities and tourism offices are feeling the squeeze from the economy,” Allen said. “I’m having to do a good job explaining what real ROI is and that having a major international event can be a game-changing event.”

A collegiate track runner, Allen started her career with IMG, selling sponsorships for running races and motorsports events. She moved on to play a major part in bringing the 2003 UCI Road World Championships to Hamilton, Ontario, before later transitioning to oversee the collection of events known as the Canada Running Series. Allen said sports event management is a great arena for women hoping to dive into sports business. “Women tend to be strong in project-management positions,” Allen said. “There are a lot of women with tourism, hospitality and project-management backgrounds in running.”

— Fred Dreier
  • Crowning professional achievement: The successful execution of the 2003 road world cycling championships.
  • Biggest professional disappointment: Not listening to my gut and taking a job where my passions weren’t being fueled.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Therese Quigley, former athletic director at McMaster University (Canada) for encouraging me to pursue my passion for sports business.
  • Woman in sports business youd most like to meet: Stacey Allaster, CEO of the WTA (and fellow Canadian).
  • My vision of success is …: Being in a job that you choose and love.
  • Outside of work and family, I’m spending a lot of my time on …: Running and enjoying good wine.


“Dana listens to all the partners and hears everybody’s needs and then expresses herself honestly. There are some things that can be done, and others that can’t, and she’s up front and honest with everybody.”

  • Kevin Smith, director, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, who works with Allen on the local Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon event