As CEO of Summitt Management Corporation and the Southern Heritage Classic, Fred Jones Jr. has created a successful combination of sporting-entertainment events for the city of Memphis.
Fred Jones began his career in entertainment as road manager with Isaac Hayes. Returning to Memphis, Jones began booking acts such as Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, Ray Charles, Count Basie, B.B. King, Sarah Vaughan, John Davidson, Tina Turner, Bill Cosby and Tyler Perry. In 1977, Jones was named national tour manager for the Isley Brothers. He spent two years with the Isleys, while continuing to bring shows to Memphis.
Jones utilized only his own money and absorbed all of the financial risk personally. During the 1980’s Jones came across the beginning of a trend that would shake up the entertainment world: corporate sponsorship. While working with pro golfer Charlie Owens, Jones noticed House of Seagram promoting a Legends of Sports event. “That was it. It opened my eyes to a new way to go,” said Jones. “With a corporate partner all the risk wasn’t on my shoulders.”
Jones created Summitt Management Corporation. “Two T’s for emphasis on reaching higher than the usual summit.”
Jones explained for the unique spelling.
The Southern Heritage Classic grew from a call asking Jones to promote an upcoming Tennessee State University football game. The Southern Heritage Classic annually pitches Tennessee State University of Nashville, Tennessee against Jackson State University of Jackson, Mississippi. Now in its 28th year, this game is a highlight of the Memphis fall sports season. Corporate sponsorship has exploded to include FedEx, AutoZone, Nike, Carrier Corporation, Allstate Insurance, Coors Light and Tennessee Highway Safety Office.
Jones spends time with school children in the community who have a lot going against them. “If people say you can’t make it, you tell them, well, Fred Jones did.’ ”.
Summitt Management Corporation is an entertainment event management and promotion company.
“‘“The key to success is to always keep the main thing the main thing.””
For More Information: http://www.southernheritageclassic.com
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