Rising Stars

October 1, 2009

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Which individuals will emerge as the next generation of leaders in the sports marketplace?

Partnership Activation, Inc. is excited to recognize the October recipients of the “Rising Stars Program”, an initiative that honors four (4) young professionals each month who are making an impact in the sports industry early in their career. The individuals nominated each month will become part of an exclusive group designed to help young industry leaders network and build lifelong relationships with one another. It is with pleasure to announce the four (4) October recipients of the Partnership Activation Rising Stars Program:


Kris Mathis, Sponsor Pitch

Kris Mathis is the Founder of, a New York City-based online start-up that is changing the way sponsorships are researched, promoted, bought and sold online. Kris started his career in sponsorship representing clients like Claritin, Johnson and Johnson, Microsoft, Siemens, Swiss Re and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals at Edelman’s sponsorship consulting division prior to pursuing a brand management position at Paris-based mobile gaming startup, Gameloft. Kris received an MBA from Vanderbilt University and graduated from Washington and Lee University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism.


Uzma Rawn, National Basketball Association (NBA)

Uzma currently works at the NBA in the Team Marketing and Business Operations department where she is responsible for driving team business development, through sponsorship, ticket sales, premium seating and relationship marketing, to increase profit margins across all teams within the NBA, WNBA and NBA Developmental League. Most recently, Uzma assisted with the sales and marketing efforts in Tulsa that ultimately led to the owners securing a WNBA franchise. Uzma received a B.S in Sports Management from Ithaca College, and in 2006 had an article published in Athletic Business Magazine.


Bill Fagan, The Aspire Group

Bill Fagan, General Manager of The Aspire Group was recruited by Bernie Mullin to oversee ticket sales at Georgia Tech (and all future partnerships) in what is believed to be the first case of a university outsourcing its ticket operations. In just a few short months, Bill has been instrumental in the growth of this model to other schools and teams in a move that looks to already have started a significant trend as schools look to outsource more athletic department business. The University of Miami graduate began his sales career with the Phoenix Suns, and later with the Phoenix RoadRunners (ECHL), the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL), and then on to be the Inside Sales Manager of the Charlotte Bobcats before joining Aspire.


Darryl Dionne, Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA)

Darryl Dionne oversees the entire business operation of the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA), which is the players’ union for over 1,500 professional hockey players on 64 teams across the American Hockey League, ECHL, and Central Hockey League. As Director of Communications and Business Development, Darryl has grown the Association’s licensing revenue, formed new corporate partnership programs, negotiated endorsement contracts, while being in constant communication with the Association’s Membership base and key stakeholders. He was on the PHPA Negotiating Team which reached an inaugural CBA with the CHL this past September. Darryl has held a variety of sales and marketing positions with Frito Lay, the Toronto Blue Jays, Columbus Blue Jackets, and World Wrestling Entertainment. He received his MBA and MSA degrees from Ohio University.

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