Q&A with Eric Grilly

The president of Alli Sports oversees a portfolio that includes the Dew Tour, the Red Bull Signature Series and the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships   

Eric Grilly
Eric Grilly

When it comes to action sports, there are few bigger players than Alli Sports. And at the helm is Eric Grilly, who was named president in January after serving in a leadership role with Alli’s owners, the NBC Sports Group and Comcast Sports. As executive vice-president and chief digital officer for NBC Regional Networks from 2009 to 2013, Grilly oversaw digital operations such as strategy, content and new product development. Prior to that, he was a newspaper executive. At Alli, he has his hands in a wide range of action-sport events, including the Dew Tour, whose December event in Breckenridge, Colorado, will serve as an Olympic qualifier for the first time, and several TV programs covering action sports from motocross to cliff diving.

In this interview with SportsTravel’s Jason Gewirtz, Grilly discusses the Dew Tour’s success, the future of action sports and Alli’s approach to social media.

Has there been a learning curve for you with regard to action sports?

Definitely, coming from traditional sports and before that media with a heavy focus on news. This is a global business. The media side was less of a learning curve, but the event and the branded content pieces were something relatively new for me. We have different relationships with each one of our partners. What amazed me was how complicated the business is given those nuances. In some cases we are producing the entire event and distributing it both domestically and globally. In other cases we are a domestic monetization partner. And this year we’ve gotten into the branded content business with “The World of Adventure Sports presented by GoPro” and the “Octane Academy Founded by Ford.”

To read the rest of this Q&A in the digital edition of SportsTravel, please click here.