Global Events Group Celebrated its 35th Anniversary in 2010.
For Global Events Group, long term success is a source of great company pride as the Portland-based team enters our thirty-eighth year of creating, managing and marketing special events.
From humble beginnings as a one-man promotion firm started by founder/president Michael Nealy in 1975. Joined by wife Susan in 1984, Global Events Group has grown into one of the premier event sponsorship and production teams in the West. Concerts and celebrations, fairs and festivals, motor sports, movies and more have been a part of the rich history of Global Events Group.
The early days of the company focused on the production of local and regional music events and festivals. News of the young Portland promoters soon reached Hollywood, and Global (then operating under the eclectic name of Thunder Media, Inc.) became the northwest marketing representatives for major movie studios Paramount and Walt Disney. Global's Events early success included national awards for our promotion of "King Kong," and for having a rare movie-themed float (the movie "Grease") in the Portland Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade. Global promoted over 500 films in the Northwest for Paramount and Walt Disney studios.
Motor Sports was the next focus for Mike and Susan when the Global Team joined with Northwest retailer G. I. Joe's in 1978 to bring the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) series to Portland International Raceway. Sponsored by Camel, GT enjoyed racing in Portland through 1994 managed by Global Events which also expanded the IMSA race to LagunaSeca Raceway in Monterey, CA. for three years, 1992-1994.
In 1984, the Portland Rose Festival Association brought Indy car style racing to PIR, and Global Events Group was selected as their marketing, promotion, operations and sponsorship partner for the event. Originally titled the "Stroh's/G.I. Joe's 200" during the 1984 and 1985 events, Budweiser replaced Stroh's as the co-title sponsor in 1986 through 1989. In 2000-2001 Freightliner replaced Budweiser as the co-title sponsor. G. I. Joe's became the sole title sponsor for the 2002-2003 events. The 2004 Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland became the first and only year without a major title sponsor. As one of the largest weekend sporting events in the West, the June race brings over 80,000 people to Portland International Raceway and produces a direct $8.5 million economic impact in the metro area.
The American Le Mans Series, sanctioned by IMSA, brought world-class sports car racing back to Portland in July 2001.
"Rose City Thunder" was the Northwest's celebration of the Harley-Davison 100th Anniversary Ride Home, with Portland one of four cities chosen nation-wide to host a Rendezvous kick-off party. Global produced the week-long celebration and capped it with a two-day event which drew a colorful and well-behaved crowd of approximately 5,000 Harley riders to the downtown Portland South Park Blocks.
Holiday light celebrations have also been a successful event niche for the company. The Tire Factory presents BI-MART Winter Wonderland powered by Comcast at Portland International Raceway has become one of the largest drive-through light shows in North America with mentions in USA Today as one of the top ten shows in the country.
The Nealys have drenched the walls at Global Events Group with pictures that capture thirty five years of special events. The Rheinlander Oktoberfest at Oaks Park, Mount Hood Festival of Jazz, Seattle Smooth Jazz Festivals, Marlboro Country Music series, the Portland Rose Festival Air Show, and the Portland Festival 1999 and 2000 with Luis Palau have entertained thousands while contributing to the local economies and cultural fabric of the community.
"Giving back to the cities that host our events is a vital theme at Global Events Group" says Mike. Charities and service groups, non-profits and schools have all benefited from Global-produced events through direct contributions, employment of volunteers, and donations of goods and services.
As communities grow more prosperous and diverse, the opportunities for Global Events Group appear as boundless as our vision and energy. The company's successes will continue as long as we practice our company motto - "In a world of promises....we produce."
Global Events Group