Ignite Sports Announces Re-Brand to Ignite Sports and Entertainment; Adds New President and CFO
Columbus, GA – Ignite Sports is proud to be re-branding itself as “Ignite Sports and Entertainment” as the organization begins a venture into the entertainment industry. As part of this re-brand, the organization is also announcing the additions of Larry Wilson as President of Ignite Sports and Entertainment and Kristen Buley as Chief Financial Officer.
Fresh from the first season of the Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots baseball in the Sunbelt Baseball League, Ignite Sports already grew in the sports department with another Sunbelt League team added in Oxford, Alabama (the Choccolocco Monsters) and now are planning an expansion into the entertainment industry utilizing Golden Park as a headquarters and venue.
"We're very excited to announce this re-brand to Ignite as we venture into the entertainment world" Ignite Sports and Entertainment owner/executive Jeff Croop said. "With the growth and success of our sports division it felt only natural to branch out into concerts, festivals and other fun family-friendly events."
Larry Wilson joins the team as the new President of Ignite Sports and Entertainment. Wilson is an experienced entertainment and venue management executive who comes to Columbus via the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he served as a senior VP of Facility Operations and Programming. Prior to his stint with the Jaguars, he spent 20+ years with SMG and served in many different markets (primarily in the southeast United States) in venue and event management.
“I am very excited and grateful to have this opportunity to join a world class organization” Wilson said. “I look forward to working with our teams and facilities to create an exceptional fan experience as well as bringing new and exciting events to our markets. The future is bright in Columbus and beyond with Ignite. We have high expectations with this new expansion, and I am very excited to put it into practice.”
Kristen Buley is the new Chief Financial Officer of Ignite Sports and Entertainment, joining the team while also serving as the President of BKI Accounting in Columbus. At BKI, Buley is part of a team that provides a suite of services to include tax planning, business formation, business accounting, payroll services, and more. She is a native of Louisiana but has lived in Georgia now for nearly a decade.
“As the great Gordon Bombay once said, a team isn't a bunch of guys trying to win. A team is something you belong to, something you feel, something you have to earn” Buley said. “I’m so excited that I get to combine my competitive nature with my business side, and I am thrilled to be called into this amazing team and look forward to providing that clutch assist needed to make it successful.”
Prior to working with BKI Accounting, Buley spent nine years as an independent associate for AFLAC. Buley’s years of financial experience in accounting, tax law and bookkeeping are traits that make her stand out and will help give Ignite another step in the right direction towards becoming a successful sports and entertainment entity.
"With this expansion into entertainment and adding another sports team, we felt it necessary to bring in more leadership to help ensure our success" Croop added. "Larry and Kristen both bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, and we felt their expertise will be invaluable to us to continue to grow our brand and reach out into new ventures."
With three sports teams and a stadium venue in the Georgia/Alabama region, the trajectory towards the future is on an upward path for Ignite.
“Bringing in people like Larry & Kristen are going to allow our sports team staffs to provide even better customer service and corporate partnership fulfillment” Columbus River Dragons President/GM Scott Brand said. “Our organization has continued to grow as Kristen will help enable our financial operation to be a lot better streamlined and what can you say about Larry? He has tremendous experience, and I am extremely excited to see what he will do moving Golden Park in Columbus from a historic ballpark to a premier entertainment venue.”
The first events to be held at Golden Park as part of Ignite’s entertainment venture will be announced soon. Meanwhile, both baseball teams from Ignite Sports are looking ahead to their 2022 season (Choccolocco’s inaugural season) beginning in June of that year, and the Columbus River Dragons are getting geared up to start their championship defense season in November 2021.
For all the latest news on Ignite Sports and Entertainment visit IgniteSportsUSA.com. For the latest on the different teams and events being put on by Ignite, visit RDragons.com (Columbus River Dragons), GoHoots.com (Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots) or BamaMonsters.com (Choccolocco Monsters).