SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue
When it came time for Aaron Del Mar to choose
his career path, he reached back to his college
experience to help guide the way. And he isn't
ashamed to acknowledge it.
"While I was at Indiana, I was a huge party
kind of guy with my fraternity," the founder and
CEO of Adrenaline Sports Management said.
"I was the social chair. After college and after
I retired from competitive athletics, I took my
love for partying and my love for athletics and
created Adrenaline Sports Management."
Del Mar wrestled at the University of Indiana
and was a three-time All-American in Judo,
eventually earning a trip to the Olympic Train-
Once he opened Adrenaline Sports Manage-
ment in 2008, he created an eclectic mix of fun
"One of our marquee events is the Santa
Hustle, where people get to go out and partic-
ipate in a half marathon or 5K and enjoy that
fun, invigorating and exciting event where they
can get their good workout in but also have
fun," Del Mar said. "We dress them up like Santa.
They get Santa hats and Santa beards and a
Santa hoodie. There are cookie stations on the
course and candy stations on the course and a
Adrenaline Sports Management runs nine
Santa Hustles across the country in Chica-
go, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Portland (ME),
Galveston (TX), Sevierville (TN), Glendale (AZ),
Sandusky (OH) and Newport (RI).
Looking forward to 2017, Del Mar said, "We
are expecting to bump that up to 11 or 12."
Adrenaline Sports Management also runs
the Bunny Hop 5K in Chicago, the Wisconsin
Dells Monster Dash 5K and the Halloween
Hustle 5K in Palatine, IL.
"We predominately concentrate on running
events for right now," he said. "We find that
it is a really cool market for us and we have
extensive background in it. We've had good
success with it."
For Del Mar, success comes from attention to
the small details, what he calls "the little extra
polish we put on our events."
"For example, with the Santa Hustle, we
have giant Macy's Parade inflatables we put out
there," he said. "We have selfie stations at the
base camp and on course. We bring out
live reindeer. We have all of our volunteers
— usually 200-plus volunteers — dressed as
elves. You know, if you are going to have 7,000
Santas, you need to have elves."
While taking care of the clients, Del Mar also
focuses on creating strong partnerships within
the communities they go to.
"You also have to have a strong charity com-
ponent," he said. "I think it is really important
you have not only a strong fiscal impact on the
area you are going into but have a strong social
impact by utilizing local charities and doing our
part in the community." n
2017 Readers' Choice
Award Winners cont.
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continued on page 20
Aaron Del Mar
Founder & CEO