08 Oct 2012

November Luncheon: Promoting Sports Brands in a Crowded Marketplace

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Are you interested in sports public relations? Do you want to know how the best brands, teams and events are innovating their public relations programs to progress their marketing agendas? Do you want to know what the future holds for public relations in sports? Companies in the U.S. spend approximately $28.6 billion every year on sports sponsorship and promotion. This $435 billion dollar industry is one of the most attractive yet competitive for marketers large and small, and creates an incredible clutter problem for sports teams, venues and events. Join PRSA Chicago on November 6 for a luncheon discussion about promoting sports brands in a crowded marketplace.


Our Panel Includes:

– Scott Paddock, president of the Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway
– Vince Pellegrino, vice president of tournaments for the Western Golf Association, BMW Championship
– Steve Schanwald, executive vice president of the Chicago Bulls
– Tom Valdiserri, executive vice president of KemperLesnik

The panel will be moderated by Peggy Kusinski, sports reporter for NBC5 Chicago.

Panel Bios:

Scott Paddock
Chicagoland Speedway & Route 66 Raceway

With a history of success in sports and brand marketing, Scott Paddock was named President of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway in January of 2011.  As President of the Joliet, Ill.-based facilities, Scott is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Illinois’s largest sporting complex.  Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, Chicagoland Speedway hosts NASCAR events, including the kickoff event in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.  Route 66 Raceway has been a mainstay on the NHRA circuit for over a decade.

Before being named to his current post, Scott was the Director of Sports Marketing for the Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo Inc. In this role, Scott was responsible for the management of the brand’s 120MM sports marketing sponsorship portfolio, including all league, team and spokesperson relations and negotiations.

Vince Pellegrino
Vice President of Tournaments
Western Golf Association
BMW Championship

Vince Pellegrino has served as Western Golf Association’s vice president of tournaments since 2009.

Pellegrino joined the WGA staff in 2000 as associate tournament director and served as sales and marketing director from 2005-2009.

As vice president of tournaments, Pellegrino manages all aspects of the BMW Championship, a PGA TOUR Playoff event for the FedExCup; he also oversees operations for the Western Amateur and the Western Junior.

Pellegrino, 34, of Western Springs, Ill., earned his Evans Scholarship as a caddie at Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside, Illinois. He is a 1999 graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, where he received a bachelor’s of science degree in Sports Marketing and Management. After graduation, he worked as an account executive for Donnellon Public Relations in 1999 and early 2000 before joining the WGA staff.

The 2013 BMW Championship will be held Sept. 9-15 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Steve Schanwald
Executive Vice President-Business Operations
Chicago Bulls

Having joined the Bulls 26 seasons ago in the middle of the 1986-87 season to lead its Business Operations, Steve Schanwald is one of the longest tenured team executives in the NBA. Steve is involved in overseeing areas that include Ticket Sales, Sponsorship Sales, Game Entertainment, Promotions, Advertising and Broadcasting. During his first full season (1987), the Bulls began a 610-game streak of consecutive sellouts which ended in November of 2000 – the third longest streak in NBA history … the Bulls sold over 12,400,000 tickets during its streak, compared to Portland (10,370,360 tickets over 814 consecutive games), and Boston (9,857,180 tickets over 662 games). During Steve’s tenure, the Bulls have consistently ranked among the league leaders in attendance and sponsorships regardless of the team’s won-loss record. The Bulls have received numerous awards for marketing excellence during his tenure in areas such as ticket sales, advertising, game entertainment, and corporate partnerships … Steve is a recipient of a local Emmy Award, as well as fifteen awards for advertising excellence, serves as Senior Vice President-Marketing for the United Center and is responsible for suite, signage, college basketball and club seat activities.

Tom Valdiserri
Executive Vice President

Valdiserri has more than 25 years of sports marketing experience, overseeing the public relations, sports marketing and event management businesses. Valdiserri joined KemperLesnik after serving as senior vice president of entertainment and sports marketing for The Marketing Store. He has served on the board of USA Basketball and the Promotion Marketing Association, been Commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association and has held executive positions at multiple Chicago-based sports marketing organizations.

Moderator: Peggy Kusinski
Sports Reporter

Peggy Kusinski joined the NBC5 sports team in 2000 as a sports reporter. She is also a contributor to NBC5’s “Sports Sunday.”

Kusinski worked as the afternoon SportsCenter anchor on ESPN Radio 1000 and host of “The Point After” on Saturday mornings. Prior to joining the station, Kusinski was the first woman to host a sports talk show in Chicago, as co-host of WMAQ-AM’s “Sports Huddle.”

Kusinki’s talk show career started at CLTV in 1996, when she returned to Chicago after stints as a producer for CBS and NBC during the Albertville Winter Olympics and the Barcelona Summer Games. She also anchored the 2000 Summer Olympics from Sydney, Australia, for ABC Radio Sports.
Kusinski began her network sports career in Bristol, Conn., as a production assistant at ESPN-TV. She worked her way up to Associate Producer on “NFL GameDay,” “Sunday Morning Sportsday,” “SportsCenter,” and the investigative series “Outside the Lines.” Her work in Chicago includes Radio Stints with ESPN Radio 1000 and “The Kevin Matthews Show” along with the former WMAQ Radio.

Kusinski has won 2 National Emmy Awards while a producer at ESPN, and garnered 6 Local/Midwest Emmy awards including 4 at NBC5 which includes 2007’s “Outstanding Achievement for individual Excellence on camera-portscaster.”


Register Today

Click here to register!
Tuesday, November 6,
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Maggiano’s Little Italy, 516 North Clark Street, Chicago
Event Registration:
Member, $37.00/Non-Member, $45.00/Student, $37.00