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500 Festival hires Atlanta marketing exec as CEO

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Bob Bryant, a veteran sports marketing executive from the Atlanta area, has been named president and CEO of the 500 Festival, the Indianapolis-based organization announced Wednesday morning.

Bryant will assume the position June 10, becoming the fourth president and CEO in the 500 Festival’s history.

He’ll succeed Kirk Hendrix, who stepped down March 1 to take the same positions at AAA Hoosier Motor Club. Hendrix had led the group since 2003.

The 500 Festival, founded in 1957, produces and promotes 50 annual events and programs in celebration of the Indianapolis 500.

Bryant currently is tournament director at the BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP World Tour men’s professional tennis event that runs July 20-28.

He also runs his own firm, Team Works Marketing Inc. Its clients include the United States Tennis Association, the ATP World Tour, Cartoon Network, Kellogg’s and the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be selected to lead the 500 Festival into this next chapter,” said Bryant in a prepared statement. “Indianapolis is clearly a community that has deep roots in racing and has proved itself time and again that it can host world-class events. I look forward to building on the reputation of this established organization.”

Bryant also spent five years at Turner Broadcasting and the Cartoon Network, mostly as vice president of the Off-Channel Commerce department, where he promoted the Powerpuff girls and managed NASCAR and tennis-related events.

“Bob has a strong track record of success and innovation in the event field,” said 500 Festival Chairman Ted Dickman. “He truly understands how a city comes together for large-scale events. We are thrilled that Bob and his family will be joining the community in this important leadership role.”
 

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