Arena Partners is a next generation consulting and experiential agency focusing on the intersection of growth and execution to help clients maximize the benefits of sponsorship, activation, and affinity programs.

The team has decades of experience working with global brands, governments, properties and talent, having delivered some of the most recognizable events in the world. Arena Partners’ most notable business entities include Chi-Town Rising, the Midwest’s marquee New Year’s Eve Celebration, and Exclusive Event Experiences (E3), a hospitality services and activation company delivering unique experiences, including upscale tailgate events at Chicago’s Soldier Field and elsewhere.


We are honored to work with forward-thinking, results-driven brands across a variety of sectors, including:


"There isn’t a group out there that John couldn’t unite and lead. During the Olympic Bid he served as the hub, pulling together elite athletes, volunteers, vendors and top business and political leaders from across the globe. He has the skill, finesse and charisma necessary to work effectively with the most complex organizations.”

Patrick G. Ryan
CEO of Ryan Specialty Group and Chairman of Chicago 2016

"John has an unmistakable and undeniable passion for helping governments develop strategies for growth. This passion comes through in everything he does in the public sector.”

Mark Angelson
Deputy Mayor for the City of Chicago (2011-2012)

"John comes from a really unique background, including being a US Marine, a commercial pilot, a management consultant and an Olympic Bid leader. That combination of experiences has given him an incredibly unique skill set…he’s able to keep a keen eye on business objectives, inspire teams into action, and deliver experiences with uncompromising artistic integrity. It’s an incredibly effective combination.”

Patrick Moloney
GM of Freeman XP

"John’s innovative thinking and attention to detail are nothing short of remarkable. He quickly comprehends complex issues, takes on the burden as though it is his own, and comes up with unique and innovative solutions to drive results. Throughout planning, preparation and execution, he keeps his eye on every detail while never losing site of the goal.”

Don Welsh
CEO of Choose Chicago


Our name and mission are inspired by one of the most enduring quotes in history:

“It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt
at the Sorbonne, Paris, 1910


Arena Partners
401 W. Ontario
Suite 225
Chicago, IL 60654

Get in the Arena. Contact us today.