Jack Neilsen, who spearheaded Chicago's bid to host the 2011 Gay Softball World Series, has been named the director of business development for the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), which sponsors the annual series.
Neilsen, 36, who lives in the Ravenswood neighborhood and works as an account manager, is the commissioner for the predominantly male open division of the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association (CMSA) softball league, entering his fourth year in that position in the spring.
"The director of business development is responsible for securing and activating new sponsorships for NAGAAA and the Gay Softball World Series," Neilsen said. "It is a lot of communication and research work, and working with the correct people within corporations to ensure NAGAAA is meeting their expectations as a valued partner."
He said the job came about partly due to the success of the 2011 series. Plus, "I felt now was the time for me to be able to give back to my softball community," he said.
Neilsen will be responsible for reaching out to potential sponsors across the country in an attempt to gain sponsorship dollars as well as in-kind donations to assist NAGAAA.
"I chose to run for this position [because] I felt I could be a great asset to the national organization," said Neilsen, who was elected in late January. "I feel, with my work background and the individuals I know, I can help grow the NAGAAA brand to the next level."
Neilsen said this NAGAAA position will not directly impact CMSA.
Opening day for CMSA's open division is slated for Sunday, April 29. Neilsen said the upcoming season will, like last season, feature 49 teams with about 750 players.
The 36th annual NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series is Aug. 13-18 in Minneapolis.
Founded in 1986 by skating icon Scott Hamilton, the Stars on Ice tour has played more than 1,000 shows for over a quarter of a century. Tickets start at $25 and are available via all Ticketmaster outlets, www.Ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000 and the Allstate Arena box office.