ELAN Awards Founder and CEO, Holly Carinci says that she is "ecstatic" with the partnership. "Building upon the huge success of the ELANS in Canada, I have worked for four years towards making an announcement like this one," says Carinci. "Justin Townsend will bring to the ELAN Awards his gaming, advertising and investment pedigree to ensure that we produce a top, world-class awards show for video games. Music has the Grammy's;Television the Emmy's; Movies the Oscars and Golden Globes ... Video Gaming is the fastest growing sector of the Entertainment Industry and is now bigger than all of them; the number one industry in entertainment that now deserves an awards ceremony that celebrates this magnificent industry's growth and position, and yet it has nothing close to these esteemed ceremonies." Carinci smiles and adds, "But they will."
Carinci launched the ELAN Awards in Vancouver back in September of 2006 with William Shatner as the first Host.The awards ceremony for video games, animation and visual effects grew over the next two shows with famous Hosts Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) and Tom Kenny ("SpongeBob SquarePants") to the point to where they are now on their way to the United States with the help of Townsend. "I always knew that after three shows in Canada I would take the ELANS to the states," says Carinci. "I wanted to establish the ceremony in my own backyard and shine a spotlight on the talent here first before placing the ELANS on the world's center stage."
Based out of New York but originally for London, England, Justin Townsend is one of the figureheads in the in-game advertising industry. A pioneer of digital advertising, before founding IGA Worldwide Townsend worked in a number of senior roles including one in which he launched the first-ever interactive division for global advertising conglomerate McCann-Erickson from their Berlin office in Germany. Since founding IGA Worldwide in 2005, Townsend has helped raise over $46 million in funding as well as to see IGA Worldwide recognized separately as the 'Breakout Company of the Year 2006' and as a 'Top 100 Private Company' in the media and entertainment sector for four consecutive years. Townsend has also seen IGA Worldwide partnered with leading game companies such as Activision, Atari, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, id Software and Valve Software, and in 2008 IGA Worldwide was selected by Sony Computer Entertainment as the first in-game advertising provider for the PS3.
Regarding his partnership with the ELAN Awards, Townsend says: "With gaming recognized now as the fastest growing sector within the entertainment industry, new games sales eclipsing movie box office opening receipts, and gaming platform audiences in the hundreds of millions, bringing the ELANS to the USA, and building upon the superb pedigree that the ELANS has generated in Canada ... This is an organization that is going places and one that I am proud to be aligned with and to support."
Watch for the 2010 ELAN Awards to announce on Monday, December 14th the dates of their 3-day-celebration stuffed full with exclusive parties on the street, in the pool and in the hottest nightclubs as well as name the beautiful new host city where it will all take place.