Paul Thornton is a sports and entertainment industry veteran who currently serves as the President of TAG Presents LLC, an events and entertainment based company founded in 2007 to create and manage live sports and entertainment events.
A twenty year veteran of the live entertainment industry Thornton was the founder and president for Bravo Entertainment, a company that grew from its inception in 1995 to producing up to 700 live events per year across 19 states. Bravo became the largest live events promotions company in the northwest United States and one of the largest independent promotions companies in North America.
As founder of the Big Easy Concert House, Thornton designed, opened, and operated a chain of concert venues from the ground up. By 2004, the Bravo umbrella of companies had grown to more than 200 employees and averaged 20% growth annually, of which Thornton managed all operations. In 2006, Thornton sold Bravo Entertainment and the Big Easy Concert House venues, and agreed to continue to serve as the president to make for a smooth transition of ownership.
In September of 2007, Thornton completed the transition of Bravo and founded TAG; a company producing large scale nationally recognized and branded sports, music and live entertainment events, some of which aired nationally on ABC, CBS, and ESPN. The Honda Ski Tour, Jeep King of the Mountain, and Jeep’s 48Straight Festivals were properties produced by TAG that aired on national television broadcasts. TAG also provided consulting services for strategic business development, operations, marketing, branding, and guest experience planning primarily for companies in the entertainment, facilities, sports and digital media industries. TAG was contracted starting in February 2012 by Circuit of the Americas; the home of the Formula 1 US Grand Prix and other top international motorsports races, and host to many diverse sports and entertainment events. TAG’s services included heading up the design and management of the 16,000 capacity world class Austin360 Amphitheater (Pollstar’s international winner for Best New Major Venue in 2013), and charged with bringing in and managing the sports and music events that took place at the Circuit of the Americas facility. TAG created the Austin Fan Fest (hosting 450,000 people over 2012-13), produced all the 2012 & 2013 Formula 1 USGP entertainment, created and produced RedFest with Jeff Foxworthy (hosting 48,000 in 2014), and acquired multiple other events for CoTA. TAG led the charge in winning the highly competitive bid to move the ESPN X Games to Austin, where TAG developed a new model adapting the event into a major festival production attracting more than 160,000 fans in its first year, and garnering revenues five times greater than any of its previous nineteen years.
In 2014 Thornton became a partner in the Austin Aztex USL Professional Soccer team located in Austin, Texas. Thornton provides business development services to the Aztex organization focusing on revenue generation, marketing, and increasing the fan experience, along with the development of a new stadium and franchise for a future organizational move to MLS.
Thornton has vast experience in events production, including talent acquisition, production, and marketing on the largest stages for acts such as The Eagles, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Sting, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Kanye West, Pitbull, Tom Petty, Enrique Iglesias, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, Rage Against The Machine, Black Eyed Peas, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Sarah McLachlan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Santana, Jason Mraz, and almost every national touring act. Thornton has produced public, private and corporate events for clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Micron, Sysco, Pepsi, AOL, and the National Convention of Governors.
Thornton has always been involved in the support of charitable organizations and had the pleasure of producing the fundraiser concert for The Tibet Fund during the Dalai Lama’s US visit in 2005. Thornton has also supported the American Red Cross, The Family Advocate Program, City Lights Rescue Mission, Boise Rescue Mission, and multiple other charities.
Thornton was elected as an Executive Board Member for NACPA (North American Concert Promoters Association) in 2007, which is made up of the largest live events promotion companies in North America. NACPA is the definitive live events lobbying organization representing the live entertainment industry to the North American countries governmental bodies. Thornton served as the sole representative of independent promoters; two Live Nation Executives and two AEG Executives held the other four seats.
Thornton attended the University of San Diego on a full baseball scholarship, and then transferred entering his junior year to California State University Fullerton, where he graduated with a degree in accounting.
Thornton has been honored as a 2003 Winner of the State of Idaho’s “Accomplished Under 40” Award, presented by the Idaho Business Review. His company was nominated for Independent Promoter of the Year for North America in 2002 and 2004, and was the winner of the 2004 State of Idaho Private Sector Recognition Award as the leading company in the state for its charitable contributions, fundraising events, and awareness campaigns for the Family Advocate Program. Paul also served as an Executive Board Member for the Downtown Boise Association (“DBA”) which is a non-profit 501(c)6 Corporation that manages the downtown Boise Business Improvement District. Thornton was highly involved in Little League baseball as a board member, manager, and All-Star coach for a period of nine years.
Thornton is in his 20th year of marriage to his amazing wife Sondra, and they have three wonderful children ranging in ages from 13 to 19 years old. In 2011 Paul moved his family to Austin, TX. They were attracted to Austin because of its many outdoor recreational activities and sports, big city vibrancy, but all while keeping a tight knit community personality.