Roach, Franklin (Advance Professional Group Inductee)

Circus Ring of Fame Wheel Plaque

Roach, Franklin (Advance Professional Group Inductee)

Inducted into the Ring of Fame: 2022

Circus Profession: Vice President, Director of Routing and Tours, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

Born: 1949

Advance Professionals Circus Ring Of Fame Foundation inductee


Frank Roach: A Life Under the Big Top

The group honored as the Advance Professionals wrote the book on live event promotion and management. Since the early days of P.T. Barnum it has been the work of those who executed the tour planning, marketing, advertising , sponsorship and public relations that made the circus a financial success. The circus is equal parts art and commerce. Nothing happens unless a ticket is sold. In the world of show business, without business there is no show.

Many alumni of this group have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs, agents, show producers, marketing and pr agency owners, sports and entertainment executives and venue managers. You will find them in leadership roles of media companies, major league sports (NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS), ticketing companies, concert and talent management, theme parks, fairs and expositions, cultural arts and non profit philanthropic organizations. The universal ties that bind the group  is the collective shared learning experiences gained while working for the circus.

This is the biography of Franklin Riley Roach, a member of the Advance Professionals:

In the quiet town of Bluffton, South Carolina, Frank Roach spends his days engaged in various community pursuits, a stark contrast to the whirlwind life he once led under the vibrant lights of the circus. Roach’s journey from the center ring to retirement is a tapestry woven with remarkable achievements in the world of live entertainment and academia.

Before his days as a respected lecturer in the Department of Sport & Entertainment Management at the University of South Carolina, Roach cut his teeth in the electrifying world of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, Inc. It was here that Roach honed his skills as Vice President of Routing and Tours, orchestrating the intricate dance of booking arena contracts for two units of the circus and four units of Walt Disney’s World on Ice. His tenure saw him orchestrating over 25,000 performances across more than twenty countries, leaving an indelible mark on the global entertainment landscape.

Roach’s career trajectory was not one of happenstance but rather a culmination of years of dedication and expertise. Prior to his stint with Ringling Bros., Roach served as Assistant Director of Hampton Coliseum in Virginia, where he single-handedly doubled the venue’s bookings, showcasing his knack for fostering growth and innovation in the live events industry.

Education played a pivotal role in Roach’s journey, with a Master of Public Administration degree from Golden Gate University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary serving as the foundation for his illustrious career. His contributions haven’t gone unnoticed, as evidenced by a plethora of accolades including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sport, Entertainment, and Venues Tomorrow conference in 2016.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Roach’s influence extends far and wide within the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), where he has served in various leadership capacities, including Chair of the organization’s External Affairs Committee and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the IAAM Foundation.

Today, Frank Roach may have traded the hustle and bustle of the circus for the tranquility of retirement, but his legacy as a visionary in the world of live entertainment continues to shine bright. As a sought-after speaker and industry luminary, Roach’s impact resonates with audiences around the globe, a testament to a life lived under the big top and beyond.