Dr. Bernie Mullin
Dr. Bernie Mullin is Chairman and CEO of The Aspire Group, a leading global management and marketing consulting business focusing on the sport and entertainment industry that partners with its clients to implement “Next-Practices” that are the product of incisive strategic consulting and research. As a result, Aspire consistently delivers winning brands, significant revenue enhancement and produces strong sales and service cultures. Aspire provides a distinct competitive advantage in maximizing organizational and marketing effectiveness, growing revenues and attendance by building an avid and sustainable fan base. Under Bernie Mullin's guidance, The Aspire Group has rapidly grown into a $50 million company with over 225 full-time employees serving more than 100 sport and entertainment industry clients located in seven countries on three continents, Aspire represents best-in-class leagues, universities, teams, sports properties and consumer brands. Aspire's purpose is best exemplified in over 30 proprietary Fan Relationship Management Centers currently operating in the USA, Canada, and United Kingdom.
An internationally-acclaimed management and marketing consultant and speaker, who along with Doctors Bill Sutton and Steve Hardy, literally wrote the book, entitled “Sport Marketing”, Bernie Mullin has over 30 years of experience as a chief executive or senior director in iconic and highly visible sport and entertainment organizations. In his career, he has specialized predominantly in start-ups and turn-around situations, building winning organizations and developing people to sustained peak performance. Bernie and the Aspire staff have a highly successful track record of rapidly growing revenues and attendance to unprecedented levels while simultaneously reducing operating losses. This is accomplished through creation and execution of many of Aspire's proprietary "Next-Practices" programs that helped produce numerous league and franchise all-time attendance records; record revenue and profit growth; and increased enterprise value.
Prior to The Aspire Group, Dr. Mullin held the following positions:
- President/CEO of the Atlanta Hawks (NBA); Atlanta Thrashers (NHL) and Philips Arena (2004-2008)
- SVP Marketing and Team Business Operations for the National Basketball Association (2000-2004)
- Vice Chancellor of Athletics, University of Denver (1995-1999)
- President/General Manager Denver Grizzlies (International Hockey League, 1993-1995)
- SVP- Business, Colorado Rockies (MLB, 1991-1993)
- SVP - Business Operations, Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB, 1986-1990)
- Professor of Sport Management and Marketing, University of Massachusetts (1977-1986)
British born, Bernie holds a Ph. D Business, MBA and MS Marketing from the University of Kansas and a BA Business Studies from Coventry University. Mullin has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Coventry University in England in recognition for his outstanding contributions to the industry. Bernie was inducted into the Sport Business Hall of Fame at Robert Morris University in 2012 and into the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) in 1999. Mullin has been active in the communities where he has lived, serving on the following boards: YMCA; Make a Wish Foundation; Sports Council and Visitor Convention Bureau.
Bernie was a four year varsity soccer letter winner at Coventry University and captained the team to the British Collegiate Finals in both his junior and senior years. He then went on to play semi-professional soccer for Oxford City FC in England. His coaching career included a Big 8 Soccer Championship in 1976 with the University of Kansas, and back to back East Coast Athletic Conference Soccer Championships with the University of Massachusetts. In his distinguished career, he has received numerous additional honors and recognition including being dubbed "The Guru of Ticket Sales" by Sports Illustrated in 1993, "The Pirate of Profitability" in 1986 by the forerunner of the Sports Business Journal and being named the Boy Scouts of America "Peach of an Athlete Award" recipient in 2008. Married to Valerie Wilkinson, he has three children Julie, Lara, and Steven and step-son, Chad and three grandchildren Ian , Niame, and Roran. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma – the National Honor Society in Business,