Founding Partner – GlideSlope
Eric Guthoff is a Founding Partner of GlideSlope, a team of management advisors that focus solely on the business of global sport. At GlideSlope, Eric oversees the company’s internal operations and recruiting. He is also responsible for GlideSlope’s Operational Architecture business offering, an international team of experts providing comprehensive advisement on the mechanics of complex global sports initiatives to help brands achieve efficient, cost-effective, impactful execution. Previously, Eric was a Director at IMG, the world’s largest sports, media and entertainment company. Eric played a key role in the growth of IMG’s Olympic Consulting Division, which included clients such as Johnson & Johnson, GE, Volkswagen, DHL, Kimberly-Clark and British Airways. Eric served in a leadership role on three Olympic Games at IMG and was selected to relocate to Beijing to design Johnson & Johnson’s Olympic sponsorship and operations model. In China, Eric built a staff of 1000 that brought J&J’s award winning Olympic Games effort to life.
While collaborating on the 2008 Olympic Games for Johnson & Johnson, Eric and his two partners began to explore the concept of GlideSlope. Their efforts for the healthcare giant had achieved uncommon success and set a high-water mark for how brands leverage the power of sport. It was through this experience that they came upon the insight that ultimately gave birth to their company.
Prior to working at IMG, Eric was a Director on the Marketing Partnership team at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. While there he managed the league’s relationships with sponsors, including Dodge, Grey Goose, Nextel, John Deere and NetJets. Eric also led client renewals and oversaw sponsor activation plans at horse racing’s signature events, including the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup.
Eric started his career at Octagon, a sports marketing firm, working with clients such as IBM, MasterCard and Nextel to develop international and domestic sponsorship strategies and activation platforms. Many of those were executed in partnership with leading sports properties such as Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association and the Olympic Games.
Of special note, Eric created “The Great American Ballpark Tour,” a 1998 charity program that traveled to all 30 Major League ballparks to raise awareness about the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco. The project generated extensive media attention for the American Cancer Society and raised significant funds through corporate sponsorship, individual donations and a post-tour auction.
Eric is passionate about giving back to the industry and recognizes the importance of personal and corporate social responsibility. He is involved with sports business mentoring programs, such as the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Center, and is a member of the board of advisors at the Ivy Sports Symposium and Carnegie Sports and Entertainment. The Ivy Sports Symposium is considered one of the global sports industry’s premier events, rotating among the Ivy League schools each year. Carnegie specializes in developing for-profit marketing strategies for athletes, corporations and charitable foundations, creating mutually beneficial relationships that achieve social and business goals.