Andrew Craig, is a true industry veteran, from being an early executive member of ISL Marketing to rising to Deputy CEO, to leading CART as their CEO to a successful IPO, before spending the last 20 years as Consultant with his own business (The Craig Company) across successful Olympics Bids, International Sports Federations and motorsports.
His early days, getting started at Nestle as a Sales Executive in the 70s before moving into the Advertising world and starting his first agency in PR & Marketing
Early involvement in motorsports and with Adidas
Which turns out to be a fork in his career and lead to joining ISL as Marketing Director just shortly after it was founded by Host Dassler (son of Adi Dassler, founder of Adidas), with Juergen Lenz and Klaus Hempel leading the charge (early 80s)
ISL’s Glory Days in the 80s – representing FIFA & UEFA, creation of SRI, first research firm in the industry, etc
The Olympic TOP Program and the true story and players behind it – from Samaranch to Horst Dassler
Key to it was bringing all the individual National Olympic Committee rights together under one umbrella
Greatest moment, his first Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988
What went wrong at ISL, bankruptcy in early 2000 (he had left in 1994) – death of Horst Dassler and Lenz & Hempel leaving – leadership issues
Joining CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) Series as CEO, open wheel racing series in the USA
Big challenge from the start with Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500) owner Tony George
Two Racing Series competed for a period of time, CART and Indy Racing League (IRL)
Taking CART public on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1998, reason and process, benefits to team owners, valuation went up to US$ 750 million
Some discussions with Bernie Ecclestone to buy F1 - CART dissolved in 2003 and was purchased by Indy Racing League. Recently Series bought by Roger Penske
“The Craig Company” – starting his own Consulting business in 2001
Olympic Consulting – working with Olympic Bidding Cities – Vancouver, London, Sochi, Paris, etc
The role and responsibilities of being a Consultant to Olympic bidding cities
Understanding the fundamentals of the voting system – the art of winning bids (emotional connections)
His role with Ifs (International Federations) linked to their Olympic participation (Olympic Wrestling story)
Legacy Sports vs New Sports in the Olympics – his views on the balancing act and Esports potential
The big 2020 events which moved to 2021 – his and my views on Tokyo and others
World Lacrosse’s Olympic ambitions and his work with startups as investor & advisor
After an early career with Nestlé and in advertising, Andrew Craig moved to sport when he joined senior management at ISL Marketing in 1983. Responsibilities included work on the FIFA World Cup prior to focusing on the successful development of the International Olympic Committee’s global marketing program.
In 1994 Craig was appointed CEO of Championship Auto Racing Teams in the USA. Craig executed a successful IPO for the company on the NYSE in 1998. He consulted on the negotiations for the F1 Grand Prix in Baku. He served as Vice Chair of the FIA Touring Car Commission from 2008 to 2015 and as a Member of the FIA Endurance Racing Commission from inception through until 2018. Currently Craig is Permanent Representative in North America for the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Craig has extensive involvements in the Olympic World. He worked on four winning Olympic bids - as an advisor on Vancouver 2010 and as Senior International Relations Advisor on London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Paris 2024. He was an advisor to the International Golf Federation on its campaign to become an Olympic Sport and as Senior Advisor to United World Wrestling on its campaign for reinstatement in the Olympic Games. He served as Senior Advisor to the European Olympic Committees on the development of the European Games and served on the European Games Coordination Commissions for the 2015 and 2019 editors. Craig is Senior Advisor to World Lacrosse on its long term campaign for Olympic inclusion.
Craig serves on: The Advisory Board of "Wait Time" (http://www.thewaittimes.com); a tech start up that optimizes service times at sports venue concessions and other time critical locations. As a Director of “HookIt”from 2007 to 2017 and continues as an Adviser to the company. “Hook It” connects athletes with brands and measures athlete engagement through social media in real time. (www.hookit.com) As a Director and Founder of Sport at the Service of Humanity (www.sportforhumanity.com)from 2014 to 2020.