My name is David “Cree” Crawford. I was named after my prolific Scottish artist Great Great Grandfather Robert Cree Crawford. His art was created on canvas. My art is in the development and creation of products, services, and business. I have been involved in various aspects of the entertainment, consumer goods/brands travel & hospitality industries for over 25 years.
I began my professional career at the age of 14, as a working music & acting talent client represented by FBI (Frontier Booking International) in New York City NY. I worked along peers, Actors: Matt LeBlanc, Courtney Cox, and Terri Polo -Meet The Foklers. I booked and appeared in a number of national commercial and daytime television, including: Another World (daytime soap) OXY 10, Coke Cola, John Deere, and even appearing on CBS National Television’s STAR SEARCH as a vocal contestant with Ed McMahon in Los Angeles. As a young actor and musician, I developed advanced interpersonal, sales and marketing skills which I have used and honed for application in business as a leader and as a creator of successful business, products and programs.
I was raised in a suburb of New York City in a commuting town called Westport in Connecticut by an incredible single Mother, professional working artist. Growing up in a very modest household in Fairfield County amongst incredible wealth meant I had to work smarter and harder to compete in all aspects of my teenage years, especially from college admission. You see, becoming a famous actor was NOT what my Mother wanted for her only Son. A college education at a top university was the goal and the acting, singing was the means and would be used to separate me from the “pack” . My Mother Gail knew this and to add to the “differentiating” factor one day decided to drive us down to the local “riding-club“ equestrian center. She heard they were offering Polo lesions. We met with the pro and we convinced him to offer me lesions in trade for “mucking”( cleaning stalls) and helping cook brunch on Saturdays. This turned out to be a 5 year relationship and job that allowed me a special appreciation for an incredible sport and opportunity to play when I would never have had the opportunity. I had the chance to compete at Cornel University 4 years in a row in the National High School Championships and earned a spot on the JR US team vs. England. This event also gave me my first event production experience, because I was responsible for much of the planning and sponsor procurement for the event WE hosted. I was 17.
After graduating early from High School, I was offered an internship and brought into the sister company and music division of F.B.I, IRS Records (International Record Syndicate) Records. IRS was a record label, started in the United States in 1979 by Miles Copeland III . Miles was also the manager of Wishbone Ash, The Police, and , Sting, as well as other bands. As a “Intern” Jr. Agent, I was given an incredible overview of the “ins and outs” workings of a small boutique record label and crated longtime relationships I still have today.
At the end of the Summer I left New York to start “college”. I had been offered a vocal scholarship to SMU-Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tx. I lasted one year at SMU. I found it to be too socially focused, and I wanted to get the most I could out of my college years. I returned home and landed a position with Perrier Great Waters of France in Greenwich, Ct. as the US Special Events Representative. This was an incredible position that brought me into big brand and corporate sports marketing. (novel at this time). My responsibilities were major sampling initiatives at large running events. Including NY Marathon and Boston Marathon and 10 other major city running events called “The Corporate Challenge” . It was this experience I began building on my professional skill sets and was introduced to leadership responsibility. At events like this I was sole responsible for product management, deployment and employee / volunteer management for up to 100+ at each event. I was also introduced to “sponsorship management and activation” with Volvo Tennis Tour sponsorships. It was at a Volvo tournament I decided on the next chapter of my life… While flying into DC our plane banked over The Potomac River which gave me a perfect view of The Georgetown University campus..
I had an incredible experience at Georgetown and graduated in 1993. My time at Georgetown was spent focused on studies and in raising / earning funds for tuition. My experience at Perrier in event management and the sales and marketing skills I learned as a young actor were great tools. I started a concert & event company, producing a number of successful concerts and other special events, including a large polo benefit for the US Red Cross. I leveraged my music industry connections to book top talent including: Hootie and The Blowfish, David Matthews and college friend John Alagía, of Derryberry and Alagia, best known for his record production work with the Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer and other mutual friends Vertical Horizon.
My Senior year, I developed and launched a local tourism entertainment information service called: “Whats on”. This was the first and most successfully developed, “telephony” (touch tone powered) Interactive Local Music/Nightlife Promotion Guide. “What’s on” gave visitors & patrons of the DC area, access to music samples, night life schedules / events, restaurant menus, reviews and more and generated traffic and revenue to participating local business. Pre-Internet, this was a very novel and forward thinking service. After graduation, I expanded this concept and service to apply it to promote and sell newly released music on various labels called the “CD Sampler”. This caught the eye of Richard Branson’s, Virgin Retail Group in Beverly Hills California. Crawford presented this Interactive Multi-Media Sales Marketing Service directly to Virgin.
In 1993 I moved to Reno, Nevada and took a position with a very dynamic architectural, design and development firm focused on Hotel, Resort, and Casinos. The next 5 years brought me into a major education and understanding of the intricacies of: Tourism, Hospitality, and Casino Gaming. My boss was best friends with the head of the RSCVA – Reno Sparks Convention & Visitors Bureau. I spent an enormous amount of time with Mr. Jay Milligan and cut my teeth on a major travel/tourism strategy initiative from inception to launch called the National Bowling Stadium. I was there from discussions about strategy and justification for the demographic, untold numbers of city meetings (politics) to 1st concrete pour, to solidifying sponsorship by Brunswick, to grand opening and ribbon cutting. I understand tourism development strategy and initiative deployment and all the elements and tools needed to bring an ongoing successful program together. During my time with Peter B. Wilday Architects, I was exposed to a number of projects from paper to opening and brought a number of those projects into the firm. It was there that I got bit by the travel / tourism development bug.
In 1998 I was asked by a longtime friend Greg Pavlov to assist him in the launch of a new B2B service & marketing company called UTN-United Trade Network. The business model was a Barter/Trade Service– Marketing Brokerage. I excelled in the development of the sales and marketing team and we grew this start up from 0 to over 1000 members in short time. I was able to take my understanding of basic business needs and distill a sales initiative program to be sold universally to ALL types of business verticals.
We sold the company and in 2002 I developed and quarterbacked the launch of Vegas-Passport, LLC, The Las Vegas VIP Nightlife Concierge Package. (website hidden) . This product’s inception, stemmed from the growing “Nightlife Destination Tourism” market, I identified as once used to be a “draw” to drive casino “drop” (bet revenue) was fast becoming the focal point of tourism travel to Vegas. Vegas-Passport was the FIRST commercially viable VIP Nightlife Experience Package ever produced. Passport was and is still the #1 selling and most widely know product in its space. It is highly respected by travel /tourism, nightlife and casino resort management. Passport not only includes VIP access to the top nightclubs in the world, but offers dining and drink discounts, retail discounts and more, all driving tourism dollars to local establishments. Through the development of Passport, I have negotiated and contracted with the top travel, nightlife, casino, hospitality and F&B brands in the world including: Hard Rock, Planet Hollywood, Pure Management Group, Nine Group, MGM Corp., Harrah’s, Hilton, Caesar’s / Park Place Entertainment Corp, The Palms, and others. This unprecedented development of and “commercialism” a VIP nightlife tourism destination experience package has been distributed through the World’s largest travel / tourism retailer channels and including: Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, Carlyle Travel, Viator, Southwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Midway, Spirit, Allegiant, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, British Airways and more. I have developed strong relationships with a number of CVBs including Vegas and San Diego. This product is a viable “ancillary revenue source for CVBs) Please see Direct link to VIP Passport Business Deck: (website hidden)(phone number hidden)ecdae .
During my leading role in Vegas Passport, I have also consulted for a number of companies in a business development roll. I developed and managed the “entertainment licensing and development” at Progressive Gaming (PGIC) formally Mikohn Gaming. I was responsible for securing and managing licensing, product development and marketing execution for or slot and table products including: WSOP, Aerosmith, The Beach Boys, Tito Puente, Wink Martindale and others. Additionally, I consulted as a Producer America’s Party in Las Vegas 2003 New Years Eve.
Most recently, I was brought into a “start-up” professional football franchise in Texas. I was part of a 3 person executive team and was the only one with operations and product start-up and management experience. The extensive list of my accomplishments and responsibilities associated with this position can be found here: (website hidden) The overview is that I was key member of the executive management team who: negotiated the acquisition of a pro-AFL Football franchise, negotiated multi-year terms with Alamodome entertainment venue, interacted with city officials and leadership to gain support for this project, managed marketing, creative, and PR initiatives, developed and managed ticket and sponsor sales division, contracted with support vendors, hired coaching staff, recruited & contracted players (who are currently #1 in their division and have a shot at “championship”) , built and managed “front-office” team, developed and managed business and operations plan, marketing and mar/com plan including all modern cutting edge social and mobile marketing tools, and led all event and game production at The Alamodome including: TV broadcast, sponsor activation, football operations, dance team operations, ticket operations, retail /merchandise sales management, and all vendor support management (AV, Pyro, Security, etc.)
Throughout my career, I have been blessed with the ability to identify and lead others though opportunity into successfully launched initiatives from very unique perspectives, all from “hands on experience”. I understand corporate sponsorship strategy from the inside-out, advertising, media production/buying, music, film, entertainment, hospitality, and technology. I am a “Creative – Business Developer Leader” who understands R.O.I and business and product development and monetization. I have been blessed to be able to think and act quickly to develop strategy that will be revenue generating, and have the staying power to successfully get to and…… stay in the market.
I have had and many strong, maintain current relationships with some of the top organizations in their space (Music, Entertainment, Casino Gaming, Travel/Tourism/Hospitality, Transportation, Media, Professional Sports, Local, State, National and International Government entities and individuals) I will leverage these relationships to DEVELOP opportunities for a market and an organization I have the opportunity to lead and grow.