Brian Gainor has accumulated more than 20 years of experience working with 200-plus professional sports teams, leagues, brands (sponsors), and organizations worldwide.
Brian Gainor moved to the First Coast with his family in 2020, and it did not take him long to realize the unique and exciting sports scene the area has to offer. With decades of experience in the sports world he is following his dream and recently began Gainor Sports, a sports marketing and advisory practice, located in Ponte Vedra.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
My family and I made the move to the First Coast in 2020, leaving behind Chicago to be closer to our relatives who had relocated from Minnesota to work at the Mayo Clinic.
Our decision was primarily driven by the desire to embrace the pickleball lifestyle. Being a family of four, our family includes our wonderful children, Clara (12) and Garrett (10).
Laura, my wife, is the founder of the world’s first pickleball marketing agency, Vossberg Gainor, and the creative force behind a pickleball lifestyle brand, Pickleball in the Sun. The vibrant community of Nocatee has proven to be an ideal and welcoming home for all of us.
I was raised in Miami and attended the University of Florida as a business major.
My journey in the sports industry began as a student assistant in the UF Athletics Department my freshman year, where I enjoyed so many incredible experiences working basketball and football games at The Swamp.
After graduation, I moved to Germany to work for NFL Europe. Upon returning to the U.S., I earned my master’s degrees at Ohio University and met my wife in Charlotte.
We’ve cherished experiences living in Milwaukee and Chicago before finding our new favorite home in Ponte Vedra.
What led to the creation of the recently launched Gainor Sports?
With a long-standing goal and vision of establishing my own sports marketing and advisory practice, I’ve been fortunate to accumulate over 20 years of experience working with 200-plus professional sports teams, leagues, brands (sponsors), and organizations worldwide.
In early 2023, I co-founded a Jacksonville Sports & Entertainment Networking Group, aiming to unite and raise the profile of our sports and entertainment community in the region.
Through this, I realized over the past year that now is the perfect time to launch Gainor Sports.
What services will Gainor Sports offer?
Gainor Sports will specialize in helping teams, leagues, brands and organizations here in Florida and around the world develop new creative ways to generate revenue, grow their fanbases and create positive impact.
Locally, I am excited to play a key role in helping to continue to grow and elevate the Jacksonville sports and entertainment community and help leaders in the area create positive impact in our community and new, best-in-class fan experiences.
Additionally, I aim to serve as a resource for companies sponsoring local teams and events, helping them optimize their investments and create positive community impact.
What are your future goals and objectives for the business?
My vision for Gainor Sports is to be recognized as a leading sports marketing and consulting agency globally, collaborating with prominent organizations locally, nationally and internationally. I’m also eager to contribute to the continued growth of the First Coast region.
What are the most rewarding parts about your job?
The most gratifying aspect of my job has been the opportunity to travel and work with diverse organizations worldwide, including the Green Bay Packers, Chelsea FC, Cirque du Soleil, SoFi Stadium, Cricket Australia, Netball New Zealand and more.
What are some of the aspects of the industry that are more challenging that you have to account for?
The sports and entertainment industry’s constant evolution presents challenges as teams and leagues strive to grow, adapt, and generate greater impact and revenues.
However, navigating these challenges is what makes the industry exciting, given its powerful role in uniting and empowering communities.
How would you describe the sports culture of the First Coast area and how do you see it looking in the future?
The sports and entertainment industry in Florida has exploded over the past 15 years and Jacksonville has such an incredible future and growth trajectory ahead.
With potential developments like a new Jacksonville Jaguars stadium and two professional soccer teams planning stadiums, the future is exciting.
High-profile college sports, a growing music scene, and dedicated owners in minor league sports contribute to the area’s vibrant sports culture.
Furthermore, with Laura and I both being entrepreneurs, we are enthusiastic about identifying unique opportunities for our agencies to collaborate, especially given the continued amazing growth and popularity of pickleball.
By uniting efforts, we aim to introduce the local community to the exciting developments in pickleball and establish meaningful collaborations with professional sports leagues and teams.
The First Coast region features an incredible amount of premier and diverse destinations and events like The Yards, championship golf, tennis, state-of-the-art pickleball facilities and more and we are excited to support and showcase these exceptional properties in our community.
What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?
We love the lifestyle here in Ponte Vedra – there’s no better place to raise a family!
We also love being in driving distance to take the kids to Gators games and have met so many incredible families and people who have also moved here in recent years who help make this such a wonderful, unique community.
What do you like to do and your family do in your free time?
In our free time, we love enjoying outdoor activities with family and friends, such as kayaking, playing pickleball, attending our kids’ youth sports activities at Grace Conservatory of Dance and Jacksonville FC, golf carting around Nocatee, and exploring St. Augustine on weekends.
The First Coast offers easy access to numerous incredible travel destinations, providing exciting opportunities for our family to explore Florida and beyond.