We Build Things That Work
"When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty… but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."
- Buckminster Fuller
The Scott Zagarino Agency
About Scott Zagarino
Over the course of 15 years I competed in 53 triathlons around the world. For a few seasons I tried my hand at racing as a pro. Racing in this company was a master class in humility. When injuries forced me out of triathlon as a competitor I moved on (with one notable exception) to adventure racing, whitewater kayaking, surfski paddling and kitesurfing. Between 2000 and 2006 I trained in the traditional Soto School of Zen Buddhism beginning as a novice monk and upon completing that portion of my training, was ordained legally as a Zen Buddhist Priest. I have published one book titled How To Get And Keep Sponsorship, and have written for Triathlete Magazine, Competitor Magazine, Outside Magazine. I have been interviewed by the NBC Evening News, CBS Sports and ESPN on topics ranging from how sponsorship works to philanthropy.
The Olympic Games
In 1996 I got to manage the Gatorade brand at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. At the time Coca-Cola was a major "Official Sponsor." My job was to keep Gatorade visible in one of their key markets while Coca-Cola basically branded everything. I spent two months before the games getting pouring rights, signage rights and putting Gatorade branded vending machines in any establishment that would have me. It was so pervasive the Wall Street Journal published a page one story asking why the Gatorade brand had gotten so much real estate in a Coca-Cola Olympics in Atlanta, Coca-Cola's hometown?. That was pretty "disruptive" even before disruption was a thing.
The Teva Mountain Games
At the Olympics they called what I had done "ambush marketing." Today they call it "disruption." The Teva Mountain Games was ripe for disruption. I had an idea to get them out of the vertical publications and into the mainstream. Floyd Landis had just ridden one of the most amazing one day rides in Tour De France history. He was also on the front page of every newspaper in the world the next day for his disqualified for doping. Part of Floyd's punishment was that he was prohibited from racing in any sanctioned cycling event. The Teva Mountain Games had a mountain bike race and it wasn't sanctioned. We got Floyd to come to Vail and The Teva Mountain Games was front page news all over the world after the announcement of his participation.
Fight Gone Bad
Over the course of six years, starting with nothing more than idea, we helped raise $5 million for charity with something entirely new and different. With the help and support of CrossFit and its founder Greg Glassman, we took one workout and asked Crossfit participants all over the world to do a workout Greg had invented called
"Fight Gone Bad."
on the same day asking friends and family to donate online using a proprietary web platform I designed specifically for the event. In the first year Fight Gone Bad raised $178,000. In its sixth edition the "non-event" concept we pioneered raised $2.3 million with 17,000 participants in 22 countries.
Equal In Sports
At a time when prize money for men was heavily weighted toward the men and paid more deeply in the field than it was for women, I was asked by a group of professional endurance athletes to represent their interests to the National and World Governing Bodies. A staple of the Olympic charter required that there always be a board level seat for an Athletes Representative. With the support of the athletes I was elected in this capacity and the two primary directives I was handed were, first to address the issue of inequality in prize money awarded at events, and second to get the issue of out of competition drug testing on the table. Within two years we had an agreement that events sanctioned by the World Governing Body would always offer equal prize money, and we actually performed the first out of competition drug test in history.
Where I Work
I live and work in Hood River, OR. We moved to Hood River from Los Angeles in 2007. Hood River is the capitol of "arrested development" where every car, truck or Sprinter has racks, and everybody plays almost everything. After completing my commitment to the beneficiaries of Fight Gone Bad I decided to create this agency to offer my thirty years of experience to companies and events in the sports I love. It's been really interesting to see how endurance sports have changed (and how they haven't) and to work with companies to help them raise their brand message above the noise. So far, so good.
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