From Olympics to Online Registration: An Athlete’s Journey

During the 2012 London Olympics, one of my colleagues thought to ask me how I ended up working in online event registration and payment processing.  After all, I made the 1992 and 1996 U.S. Olympic track and field teams in the 10,000 meter run.  How did I get from being an Olympic athlete to being a SignMeUp Brand Ambassador?  And what is a Brand Ambassador anyway?

I am often asked what Olympians do after they are no longer competitive athletes.  Most Olympians from an early age do very little other than train for their events.  They take direction from coaches and follow a strict plan to accomplish goals.  Personally, during the 1990s I ran an average of 95-100 miles per week, as well as strength trained in four 1-hour sessions.  Worse, I had to watch every calorie that went in my mouth!  But the regimen paid off:  I won the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games, the pinnacle of sport.

Todd Willams Then and Now
Then and Now (on right, with Keith Dowling and Todd Bellino)

When I retired from the athletic arena, I wanted to bring my passion for running elsewhere.  I worked for adidas in various capacities since 1991.  Then in 2011, my childhood friends Ralph, Todd, and Jim, SignMeUp’s cofounders, approached me to join their company.  As Brand Ambassador, I would represent the SignMeUp brand, primarily to the specialty running retailer market.  Clearly they were very persuasive.

It’s a terrific fit.  I get to work with a great customer base and retain the many relationships I established from the years on the track and from my position at adidas.  I bring my competitive drive and my passion for the running industry.  I have found that whether you’re an athlete, an employee or business owner the ingredients to success are the same:  hard/smart work, a supportive team and great leadership.  All those ingredients exist at SignMeUp, and I am looking forward to helping our customers grow and succeed.

If you are a specialty running retailer, contact me to find out how SignMeUp can help you grow your business.

Do you have a personal journey you want to share?  Let us know!

2 thoughts on “From Olympics to Online Registration: An Athlete’s Journey

  1. Great story. You are right about the SMU team. They combine a great product, hard work, and dedication to the customer. Cycle California! Magazine is happy to have a decade long relationship with SMU.

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