- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 28, 2003

Robert T. Sweeney is promoting the sportier side of the D.C. area through a new initiative by the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

Mr. Sweeney, 37, will start Wednesday as director of a regional sports consortium.

The consortium, which will be affiliated with the Board of Trade, will promote professional and college sports teams and sports facilities in the D.C. area.

Mr. Sweeney said his first order of business is establishing the organization and preparing for the association’s first big networking event, Sports Blitz, with team members and executives Oct. 7.

“Then we’re going to establish one-year and long-term goals for attracting sporting events into this region, promoting events here and getting businesses involved in sponsoring sport events for youths,” he said.

The impetus for the group came after the District lost its bid to host the summer 2012 Olympics, said Board of Trade President Robert Peck.

The U.S. Olympic Committee chose New York as the U.S. bid city because it had a stronger brand and the D.C. area lacked a regional sports-marketing arm, Mr. Peck said.

The initiative, which will be named by the end of October, is gearing up to go after events such as the PGA Championship, Super Bowl and Olympic trials for various sports, Mr. Sweeney said.

“We’ll also be marketing our facilities for unique events people wouldn’t think could be held in the D.C. area,” such as tennis tournaments, he said.

Mr. Peck said he picked Mr. Sweeney because of his past work with the Board of Trade and his sports enthusiasm.

“Bob is organized, energetic, a proven fund-raiser and regional marketer with good customer relationship skills and political instincts,” he said.

Mr. Sweeney comes to the Board of Trade from DC Agenda, a nonprofit association that addresses poverty in the District, where he is vice president for community and equitable development.

Before DC Agenda, Mr. Sweeney was business development director of the Greater Washington Initiative, a nonprofit Board of Trade affiliate and regional economic-development marketing group.

“This new opportunity is an amazing dream job for a sports nut like me,” Mr. Sweeney said.

He lives in North Springfield, Va., with his wife, Colleen, and their two children.

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