JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Calling it a dream opportunity, Alan Verlander announced he has resigned as chief executive officer of JaxSports Council -- part of Gator Bowl Sports -- to launch his own sports and entertainment marketing company, Airstream Ventures.
Verlander, who was director of athletics at Jacksonville University, then director of sports and entertainment for Jacksonville, then took the helm of JaxSports Council when it was formed, has spent more than a decade bringing sports and entertainment events to the city.
Verlander said it was a childhood dream to own his own sports marketing and entertainment company.
"I've very proud of all we have accomplished in a short period of time with the Sports Council," Verlander said. "The landscape in Jacksonville and nationally has made this the right time for me to depart Gator Bowl Sports and the Sports Council to pursue my dream."
Rick Catlett, CEO of Gator Bowl Sports, is supportive of Verlander's venture.
"I love Alan's passion for our city and the fact he is pursuing his dream," Catlett said. "This will be a tremendous loss for our organization, but we fully support his decision to see it as an enhancement to our sports and entertainment profile of the city of Jacksonville."
Verlander told News4Jax that his firm will work on events that don't fit with Gator Bowls Sports' focus on college and other large-scale sporting events, and what Airstream Ventures will do will complement the JaxSports Council's events.
"Sports nowadays is anything you compete in," Verlander said, adding that includes academics as well as smaller sporting events, such as bringing high school football to a larger audience.
Verlander's last day at Gator Bowl Sports will be June 30.
According to its literature, Airstream Ventures hopes to deliver first-class, impactful events that include sponsorship acquisition, event creation and recruitment, television programming and revenue generation.