Madison Area Sports Commission / Greater Madison Visitors & Convention Bureau

Founded in 2010, the Madison Area Sports Commission is dedicated to a very specific mission: to further the resume and the image of the Madison, Wisconsin area as a popular sports destination. To do so it operates within the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, which embraces the broader task of promoting tourism while working closely with municipalities, hospitality professionals, restaurateurs, and retailers.

Simply put, the MASC believes that Madison is a great place for sports. Some of the most well-known events in the region include the WIAA high school championships for many boys and girls sports, the Ford IronMan Wisconsin, the National Kidney Foundation 2010 Transplant Games, the 2008 AAU Taekwondo National Championships, and multiple USA Cycling National Championships including 2-year stints for each of the Collegiate Road National Championships, Cyclo-Cross National Championships, and the upcoming Elite Road National Championships.

But in addition to these high-profile championships are a variety of smaller competitive and non-competitive events, including the Madison Winter Festival, the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross Planet Bike Cup, and the IronKids triathlon.

To demonstrate that athletics and healthy lifestyles are truly the lifeblood of Madison, the MASC needed engaging, compelling photographs that would portray both the journeys of athletes and the  experiences of spectators, volunteers, and sponsors. The MASC has engaged Focal Flame photographer Clint Thayer to capture photographs of several events, including the inaugural 2011 IronKids Madison youth triathlon, the 2012 USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships, and the 2012 Madison Winter Festival.

The resulting photo essays were created to evoke the emotional intensity of the races in a positive, engaging manner while instilling a strong sense of place. From the toothy grin of an elated youth triathlete to the gentle arc of landscape at the Badger Prairie County Park course for the Cyclo-Cross National Championships, Thayer captured images that are true reflections of both individual and collective experiences. Photos from these commercial photography shoots have been licensed for electronic and print use.