Bob Sacco, Co-Founder, Travel Ad Network
A "go-getter" advertising executive whom started his career early as a junior at University of California at Santa Barbara, Bob formed a first-time competing team in the National Student Advertising Competition that won Region 15 and National honors for the 1983 Maxwell House Coffee campaign. He later became President of the [University's] Advertizing Club and competed in the Radio Shack 1984 NSAC competition.
While still in college, Bob's wide interests and talents led him to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 level in Track & Field against world-class athletes. In his free-time, Bob lent his guitar playing skills to one of UCSB's most popular local rock bands at the time, "Zebo's Cousin."
Upon graduation, Bob was accepted to the prestigious Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, CA but was eager to begin his advertising career after his AAF NSAC success.
Mr. Sacco began his career working on several ad campaigns including California State Tourism, Wham-o Frisbee, Fairmont Hotels and Guild Wineries, Bob made the leap to client-side working in niche print publishing marketing InfoWorld Magazine and BAM Magazine in the early 90's.
An early adopter of the Internet , Bob started his first ".com" job in 1995 at a firm that produced the first e-commerce enabled web site for Smith & Hawken and the Nature Company.
In 1996, he was then the first sales-person hired for the pioneering Internet Company CyberGold, a company that in 1996 had the very first financial micro-transaction technology on the Internet. Fun trivia factoid: Bob was credited as the first person to sell EBAY their first online ad campaign.
After helping drive CyberGold's market adoption to a successful NASDAQ IPO after three rounds of VC funding, Bob was recruited to head the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate.com sales efforts as the Director of Sales. The SFGate.com is the web site of the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner newspapers and NBC affiliate KRON Channel 4. Bob lead a staff of 10 professionals and was directly responsible for online advertising revenues of eight million dollars. After the San Francisco Chronicle was sold and merged to the Hearst Corporation in 2001, Mr. Sacco directed national sales for Knight Ridder Digital and their Real Cities Network, the largest network of local newspaper sites on the Internet.
Anticipating the need for vertical ad networks, Bob co-founded the first online vertical ad network in travel in 2004. Aptly named the Travel Ad Network (TAN) and based out of New York City, Bob spearheaded the initial three-year day-to-day sales effort landing TAN in INC. Magazine's 2009 "FORTUNE 500" Fastest-growing companies in America posting $11.5m in revenues ( 619.6% growth rate).
Bob also headed the marketing/PR positioning for the company culminating in TAN capturing the #1 market position in online travel media and posting the world's largest online travel information audience in comScore Research.
In April 2008, after four years of growing the company with only $500,000 of private angel investment, TAN, closed a Series A round of $15 million led by Rho Ventures and Village Ventures.
TAN's client list include Hilton, United Airlines, Goodyear, Visa, T-Mobile, Hertz, Jet Blue Airlines, Buick, American Express, Marriott, and Citibank etc...
Today, TAN's audience continues to be the world's largest online travel information audience and has grown to over 33 million unique Users and is on track for over $30MM in revenues for 2010.
During the Track & Field season, Bob can be found coaching at the local High School and still enjoys playing music and occasionally gets a call to record in the studio on various projects ranging from artist demos to independent film soundtracks.