The Ohio University Center for Sports Administration is proud to present the 2012 Sports Business Forum (formerly known as the Fall Speaker Series) on October 19-20 in Grover and Walter Halls. The Forum began as a professional development seminar that highlighted careers in sports. Designed for undergraduate students, the event gives an in-depth look at various professions within the sports industry. In essence, the Forum is an opportunity for Ohio University to bridge the gap between the undergraduate, graduate, and professional sports administration students, providing a chance to gain further insight on the industry and professional development.
Here is a closer look at some of the speakers for the 2012 Sports Business Forum:
Kelley Walton, JD, - Practicing Lawyer and Former Director of Human Resources at Columbus Blue Jackets (Keynote Speaker)
Kelley Walton is an attorney and professor with over ten years of legal and human resources experience. She has a bachelors degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Law Degree (Juris Doctor) from Capital University Law School. She worked for the Columbus Blue Jackets (National Hockey League) for their first 10 years of existence. Her first three years with the Blue Jackets were spent in the legal department. The last seven were as the Director of Human Resources, overseeing the employment of 150+ full-time and 300+ part-time employees. During that time, she oversaw all efforts involved with recruiting, workers compensation, 401(k) administration, benefit administration, employee contracts, and employee evaluations. For all 10 years at the Blue Jackets, she oversaw all immigration efforts for the club. She has worked in academics as an Adjunct Professor since 2010, teaching several subjects incluing: Human Resources, Business Law, Employment Law and Sport Management.
Jason Anderson || Director, Ticket Operations & Inside Sales
Jason Anderson has been a member of the Dover Motorsports team since 2008 and currently leads our inside sales and ticket operations efforts. Anderson brings over ten years of ticket sales and operational experience in the sports and entertainment industry and has enjoyed stints with organizations in the National Football League, Arena Football League and Minor League Baseball.
With ticket sales always being a priority, Anderson was a member of the New Orleans Saints ticket sales staff that enjoyed a successful 40-game sellout streak prior to Hurricane Katrina. Upon the teams return to New Orleans in 2006, Anderson was integral in redesigning the New Orleans Saints ticket pricing structure which has led to six-consecutive season ticket sellouts, a franchise-record. Anderson was also a member of the sales team that broke the Arena Football League’s record for season attendance with the New Orleans VooDoo (a Saints-owned product) and sold out consecutive Arena Bowls (Arena Bowl XXI & Arena Bowl XXII).
With Dover Motorsports, Anderson led the company through our ticket system transitions in 2011 with the successful conversion from Paciolan to Veritix. With Veritix, Anderson is a member of the platforms Advisory Board, a four-person panel aimed at offering product enhancement suggestions and direction to the company’s product engineering team. Anderson was also integral in the conceptualization and implementation of Dover International Speedway’s new ticket pricing philosophy which was adopted beginning with the 2012 season.
Always looking to better himself, Anderson is currently working on his Masters of Sports Administration at Ohio University with a projected completion date of May 2013.
Dan Butterly – Senior Associate Commissioner, Mountain West Conference
As the Senior Associate Commissioner, Dan Butterly is responsible for branding and marketing the Mountain West Conference (MW). Butterly also directs marketing, promotions, merchandising, licensing, advertising, the MW Radio Network, works daily with sponsorship rights holder CBS Sports Network on the Mountain West corporate partnership program and serves as a point-of-contact for CBSSN-MW partnership items.
Butterly has served on the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Issues Committee. He currently serves on the NCAA Football Promotions and Brand Marketing Committee which develops and reviews promotional and marketing concepts designed to enhance the awareness of the NCAA Football brand.
A native of Washington, IL, Butterly received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University.
DJ Hodge – General Manager, Xavier Sports Properties at Learfield Sports
D.J. Hodge, now in his 6th year at Xavier University, is the General Manager of the Learfield Sports’ property on campus: Xavier Sports Properties. Hodge and his staff are charged with managing all Corporate Partnerships for Xavier Athletics, are the radio rights’ holder for Xavier Basketball, in cooperation with Fox Sports Ohio they sell the inventory on the locally produced basketball games, they manage all digital advertising opportunities, and are the selling agents for the Luxury Suites within the Cintas Center. In addition to those responsibilities, Hodge also sits on the Senior Staff of Xavier Athletics.
Before coming to Xavier and Learfield Sports, Hodge spent five years at “The Cincinnati Enquirer” (Gannett), most recently serving as Retail Advertising Manager. In that capacity Hodge oversaw the management of six sales teams throughout the Cincinnati DMA. He also was responsible for the integration of the Community Press and Recorder newspapers after the Enquirer acquired them in 2006. Prior to his stint at the Enquirer Hodge also served in executive capacities at “The Thoroughbred Times” and Sysco Food Services of Cincinnati.
The 42-year-old received his Bachelor's Degree in History from Western Kentucky University and will receive his Master's Degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University in 2013. D.J. and his wife, Keri, reside in Union, KY with their son Cooper and daughter Riley.
Christa Mann--Coordinator, Marketing Communications, USOC
Christa Mann joined the United States Olympic Committee as marketing communications coordinator in March 2012. In this role, she coordinates strategic public relations and marketing communications campaigns aimed at increasing the visibility of the U.S. Olympic Movement, including that of USOC programs, athletes, and sponsors. She provides administrative support to the chief communications officer and recently served as USA House media coordinator during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Prior to joining the USOC, Mann spent two seasons as manager of media relations for the Atlanta Beat of Women’s Professional Soccer. With the Beat, she handled press communication, marketing, digital and social media, game day production and the promotion of special events at KSU Soccer Stadium.
Some of her experiences include opening the world’s first women’s soccer specific stadium of its kind, hosting the 2009 WPS All-Star Game, coordinating media tours for the 2010 WPS Heroes campaign, and facilitating postgame press conferences.
In the WPS offseason, Christa freelanced as a TV color analyst for college women’s soccer on Fox Soccer Channel and Comcast Sports Southeast.
Her sports communications career began on the heels of her professional soccer career in the Icelandic Women’s Premiere League where she became the only foreign athlete in club history (on the women's side) to receive Player of the Year honors.
Christa earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia State University, where she was a two year captain of the women’s soccer team. She is now pursuing a Master of Sports Administration from Ohio University.
Tim McMurray – Associate Athletics Director, Development, Southern Methodist University
Currently in his third year on the Hilltop, Tim McMurray serves as Associate Athletics Director/Development & External Affairs and is Executive Director of the Mustang Club. In addition to his support responsibilities with ticket sales and corporate partnerships, he has direct oversight of Mustang Club annual giving. McMurray has overseen consecutive record years of Mustang Club and overall annual giving growth for Mustang Athletics. For fiscal year 2012, SMU Athletics added $8.3 million in annual gifts and $19.8 million in all athletics giving.
Prior to joining SMU, McMurray was a Senior Associate Athletics Director at Northern Illinois University. In that role, he was directly responsible for athletic development, supervision of the Huskie Athletic Support Fund, marketing, promotions, and ticket sales units. He was also sports administrator for women's basketball, men's golf, and women's golf. McMurray has also held positions at Texas State University and Lamar University.
In addition to his current enrollment in the Sports Administration master's program at Ohio University, McMurray is a 1992 graduate of Lamar and holds a certificate in Sports Management from the Executive Education Institute at the University of Texas. McMurray is a Past President of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (2009-10) and also served six years on the NAADD Executive Committee.
Jeff Pacini – Vice President, Sports Development, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Jeff Pacini is Vice President, Sports Development for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. In this role, Jeff is responsible for identifying and attracting sporting events to be hosted in Northeast Ohio. Jeff supports the organization’s mission to “measurably enhance the economy, image and quality of life in the Greater Cleveland Community.”
Prior to his current role, Jeff was an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio and specialized in sport marketing, sport management and media relations, leadership in sport, and sport finance.
From 2007-09 he worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers as the Marketing Manager and was responsible for overseeing the production of television spots, radio spots, LED creative, in-game promotions, print collateral, and online content. His background in professional basketball started at the NBA League Office in 2005 where he worked in the Global Marketing Partnerships division as an Account Executive and managed account activation for several league partners.
Jeff received both his Master of Business Administration and Master of Sport Administration from Ohio University in 2005 after having graduated from The College of Wooster in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Jeff started his career in sports as a sales and marketing intern for International Management Group (IMG) in the Motorsports division.
Mark Rossi-- Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Dover Motorsports Inc.
As Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Dover Motorsports, Inc., Mark Rossi is responsible for coordinating the overall sales and marketing initiatives for the entire Dover Motorsports portfolio of properties. Dover Motorsports, Inc. owns and operates Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. The legendary “Monster Mile” in Dover is known for being tough on drivers and their equipment, and has been hosting two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends each year for over 40 years.
Rossi joined Dover Motorsports on Jan. 1, 2002 and has helped to restructure and focus the sales and marketing efforts of the company on improving the fan experience and increasing partnership value. During his tenure, the company has experienced steady growth in group and season ticket sales, as well as strong results in sponsorship and secondary asset sales.
Prior to working for Dover Motorsports, Rossi spent over 16 years in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry with Nestle USA and Sara Lee. He worked to develop and execute a wide variety of sponsorship and branding initiatives, ranging from local and regional programs to full-scale national events, several of which involved racing and NASCAR.
Rossi is a graduate of the University of Rochester in 1987 with a B.A. in Economics and a Graduate School Certificate of Management Studies in Marketing, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Sports Management at Ohio University. He resides in Wyoming, Del. with his wife Sandy and their daughters Christina, 21, Katelyn, 18, and Allison, 15.
Christina K. Wright--Assistant Director of Educational Programs (NCAA)
Christina returned to the NCAA after completing the dual MBA/MSA program at Ohio University in 2010. At the NCAA, she has served as program and grants administrator, oversaw community and youth initiatives with the men’s and women’s Final Four and College World Series, and is responsible for a number of initiatives related to educational program evaluation and metrics. In January 2012, she became an instructor in the Department of Sports Administration with the Ohio University College of Business and most recently was appointed to the Ohio University SAFM Alumni Advisory Board.
At OHIO, Christina was the creative services graduate assistant for the Center for Sports Administration. In 2009, she served as an event management intern at The Ohio State University. She utilized practicum credit with the NCAA Student-Athlete Affairs group, as well as a revenue generation project with the men's basketball team at Florida State University and a facilities plan for California State University Channel Islands.
Prior to enrolling at OHIO, Christina interned at the NCAA with diversity and inclusion. Christina received her bachelor of arts in public communication from American University in Washington, D.C. A four-year letter winner and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative of the women’s indoor and outdoor track team, Christina finished her throwing career as the school record holder in the indoor and outdoor shot-put, and second on the All-time best list for discus. She also was a conference SAAC representative to the Patriot League.
During her undergraduate studies, Christina served as an intern with the American University athletics department and NASPA. She was also very active in campus life, representing the student body and student-athletes on various search and advisory committees.
Christina is pursuing a doctorate degree in higher education and student affairs with a minor in philanthropic studies at Indiana University to continue a lifelong career in intercollegiate athletics administration.
Friday October 19th
• Jeff Pacini - Cleveland Sports Commission
• Christina Wright - Assistant Director Educational Programs NCAA
• Christa Mann - Coordinator, Marketing Communications at USOC
• Mark Rossi and Jason Anderson - Dover International Speedway
• DJ Hodge - General Manager, Xavier Sports Properties
• Dan Butterly – Senior Associate Commissioner Mountain West Conference
• Tim McMurray - Associate Athletics Director, Development, SMU Athletics
• Mike Behan- Vice President of Sales, Legends Sales and Marketing
• Kelley Walton – Practicing Lawyer and former HR Director of the Columbus Blue Jackets (Keynote)