Q&A with Patrick McClenahan
The president and CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games is responsible for organizing one of the world’s largest sporting events
It’s been almost 30 years since Los Angeles hosted the 1984 Olympic Summer Games, an event that featured 6,800 athletes from 140 nations. But the city is preparing to host an even larger event in July 2015 when it welcomes the Special Olympics World Games and its 7,000 athletes from 170 countries. At the helm is Patrick McClenahan, a veteran television executive who held senior executive positions at Prime Ticket and Fox Sports and was president and general manager for two CBS-owned stations in Los Angeles. He also serves on the board of the Los Angeles Sports Council and has chaired Special Olympics Southern California for 11 years.
In this interview with SportsTravel’s Jason Gewirtz, McClenahan discusses the city’s bid, the importance of experience mapping and ever-increasing TV rights fees.
In addition to leading the 2015 World Games, you have been chairman of Special Olympics Southern California for more than a decade. How did you get involved in the organization?
My daughter, Kelly, is 26 now and has cerebral palsy, so it’s personal for us. Part of the passion for me being involved is our experience with our daughter. And then during my television career I produced a one-hour special on the Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games, which won an Emmy. That was my first real introduction to Special Olympics. One thing led to another and they asked me to come on the board, and we continued to support them.
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