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Program Faculty

Sports Administration

Scott Andresen is the founder of Andresen & Associates, a Chicago-based law firm that focuses on sports law, entertainment and the arts and intellectual property. He previously was in-house legal counsel for the Arena Football League. Andresen has studied at Cambridge University in England under US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, worked for the legal department of the Oakland Raiders and was legal assistant to the executive director of the Illinois High School Association. He has taught sports law and the business of professional sports at Columbia College Chicago. He received his JD from Valparaiso University School of Law and his MBA from the University of Phoenix.

As senior vice president of IEG and ESP Properties, Jim is responsible for developing and sharing thought-leadership in the areas of sponsorship strategy, valuation, measurement, digital content, data-driven marketing and fan engagement. IEG is the globally recognized source for sponsorship insights, trends, training and events via, its annual conference, online publications, trend reports, surveys and webinars. IEG is part of ESP Properties, a WPP company. As a commercial and creative advisor for rightsholders, ESP Properties helps organizations unlock greater value from their audiences and brand partnerships.

Jim is the chairman of the annual IEG Sponsorship Conference, responsible for the program and speakers, as well as hosting and delivering the event’s opening address. He also is responsible for IEG’s annual report and forecast of overall sponsorship spending, as well as the compilation of IEG’s list of biggest spending companies and its annual industry surveys. A frequent media commentator and guest, Jim has been a featured speaker at hundreds of sports, entertainment and marketing conferences around the world.

Jim is a former chairman of the board of directors of About Face Theatre and also has served on the board of directors of the StreetWise social services agency, the Northwestern University Alumni Assn. and the national advisory board of the Arts & Business Council. He also was a founding member of the advisory board for the Center for Sports Sponsorship & Sales of the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University and a founder of the Northwestern University Gay & Lesbian Alumni (NUGALA) club.

A New York native, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern.

Jeff Bail is a 25-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, sports and entertainment industries. His role and responsibilities as vice president, business development, for ESP Properties/WPP focus on consulting and global sports/entertainment sponsorship sales for Rightsholders and Sponsor Brands, venues, and media entities. He is part of the agency’s management team that spearheads strategic alliances and global business development for clients in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific geographies. Jeff started his career with Clorox and worked in Brand Management for Nabisco, He has held management positions within prestigious sports marketing agencies including IMG and Kaleidoscope/ Lifestyle Marketing Group, Inc. Jeff was the President and Founder of a Chicago-based sports consulting firm for 7 years (S3/Sports & Sponsorship Solutions, Inc.,), and merged his firm in 2002 within DraftWorldwide (DraftFCB). During his career he has developed sponsorship and promotional programs for properties including the NHL, USOC, NFL, MLS, ESPN (ESPY Awards, Outback Bowl, X Games), major marathons around the world, various teams within all of the major leagues, major college conferences, and top-tier events (i.e. various Oympic Games/NOC’s/NGB’s, since 1996, NHL Winter Classic, etc). He has worked on powerful sponsorship and promotional programs/events for world-class companies/brands such as Nike, Mercedes, GoPro, VISA, UPS, MetLife, Frank’s RedHot, Carrier, Johnson Controls/York HVAC, Pepsico, Gatorade, Sara Lee, Pennzoil, Frito-Lay, J&J, Best Buy, GMC Truck, Target, Foot Locker, Nestle, Unilever, AT&T, P&G, and numerous grocery / mass merchandiser retail chains. Jeff received his MBA from Northeastern University and his BA from Indiana University and has been an Adjunct Professor of Sports Marketing at Northwestern since 2000. He is the Program Director-Marketing for the Master of Arts in Sports Administration Program (MSA) at NU.

Douglas Bakker is an associate athletics director at DePaul University. Overseeing athletics compliance, he works with all of the sport programs to comply with NCAA, BIG EAST, DePaul and other state and federal requirements. Additionally, Bakker serves as the sport administrator for the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs. He is the primary liaison for the athletics department with various other University departments, including admissions, financial aid, and housing and is also involved with the athletics department's Captains' Council. Bakker served as assistant tournament manager for the 2006 and 2012 NCAA women's basketball first and second rounds as well served in a similar role for the 2014 BIG EAST women's basketball championship held at Allstate Arena. Bakker currently serves on the NAAC Reasonable Standards Committee for compliance professionals with the committee's mission of shaping policy on the best practices to monitor, educate and document various NCAA compliance rules issues for Division I institutions. He holds a BA from University of Illinois and a JD from DePaul University Law School and is published in the DePaul Journal of Sports Law and Contemporary Problems, and has been a faculty member of the MSA program since 2009.

Ryan Chenault currently serves as the Team President of the Ohio Machine franchise of Major League Lacrosse. In this role, he is responsible for all business and lacrosse operations for the franchise with a focus on the growth of season and single-game ticket sales, sponsorship generation, boosting brand equity, building community partnerships and enhancing the overall game day experience. He has 15 years of experience in sports management at both collegiate and professional sports organizations, including Northwestern University, Chicago Wolves and Xavier University.

Prior to his time with the Machine, he served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing, where he oversaw that day-to-day management of the athletic department’s marketing efforts for all 19 varsity programs. He also served on the athletic department’s senior administrative team and was a sports administrator for women’s lacrosse as well as the men’s and women’s swimming programs.

He received his Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and Bachelors of Arts in History from Ohio State University in 2002. In 2005, he earned his Master’s of Education with a specialization in sports administration from Xavier University.

Brice Clinton is a senior sales engineer for CSG International, a global interactive media company. He is responsible for international business development, technical evangelism, and translating technical capabilities into tangible business outcomes. In addition, Clinton serves and the primary media liaison through wiring and speaking. Since joining CSG International he has been responsible for client engagements across media, sports, and retail in North American, Europe, Asia, India, and Australia. Clinton received a bachelor of the arts in Organizational Communication from Purdue University, and a master’s degree in Sports Administration from Northwestern University.

David DeVries is a marketing manager and public relations professional with more than 15 years of experience. He now is a marketing manager at NAVTEQ, the world’s leading global provider of maps, traffic and location data-enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising. DeVries was national sports marketing public relations manager at Sprint, supporting the company’s NFL, NHL and venue sponsorships. He has been an adjunct faculty member for DePaul University and Loyola University Chicago since 2004, teaching a variety of public relations courses. His paper, “Defining the characteristics of a lingering crisis: lessons from the National Zoo,” which examined the emergence of a new crisis communication category defined as the “lingering crisis,” was published by Public Relations Review. He has a master’s degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul University.

Dana Drew Shaw is a licensed attorney, sports strategist, and consultant. She has worked with athletes, coaches, and administrators while also assisting sports-based organizations with strategic coaching for vision and planning. Dana has extensive international experience having lived and worked in Europe for over 11 years. During that time, she acted as a legal advisor for an Italian company, played professional basketball, and helped with player contracts. Dana taught International Sports Law and Sports Ethics at the University of Urbino (Italy) School of Law and Valparaiso University, respectively. Dana continues to work with sports representatives throughout Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and China. Dana is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law where she was a published member of the Law Review.

T.K. Gore was promoted to Senior Director, Digital in March 2012. He is responsible for all of Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s digital operations, including TV Everywhere, live streaming, business development and strategy, sales, content development, partner relations, social media, analytics and products.

Gore previously served as Director, Digital from June 2009 to March 2012 and played a vital role in creating the digital and live streaming business for CSN Chicago. Gore was instrumental in building a 24x7 digital content studio and newsroom in 2009 and forging partnerships with Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire, University of Notre Dame, IHSA, CDGA and PlayOn! Sports that propelled to new traffic records, changed the overall original content philosophy and fortified CSN Chicago’s position as the leading digital provider of regional sports coverage.

Prior to joining CSN Chicago in 2009, Gore served as Director of Marketing & PR at start-up Universal Sports, where he oversaw marketing, premium subscriptions, content creation, communications and public relations. Prior to joining Universal Sports in 2006, Gore spent more than seven years at AOL (1998 – 2006), moving up the ranks to the position of Senior Manager, AOL Sports where he worked on business operations, strategy, content development and partner relations in managing NFL, NBA, NASCAR, MLB, WNBA, NHL, PGA Tour, CBS Sports, HBO Sports, Sports Illustrated, Turner Sports, NFLPA, WWE, The Sporting News, STATS Inc. and SportsTicker. During his career at AOL, he was instrumental in developing AOL Sports into one of the leading global sports destination internet sites.

Gore started his career at Home Team Sports (1994 – 1998) in affiliate sales, distribution and marketing in working with the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, ACC and CAA.

Gore graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English. He has taught digital and social media at The Graham School at the University of Chicago and sports media at Georgetown University. Gore sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fire Foundation and resides in Lake Bluff, Illinois with his wife and three children.

Adam Grossman is the Founder and President of the sports marketing and sponsorship firm Block Six Analytics (B6A). His company focuses on how to apply quantitative approaches and technology to help sports organizations grow revenues and better engage with target audiences. His company's clients have included the Minnesota Timberwolves, SMG @ Soldier Field, the Washington Capitals, the Minnesota United FC, and the University of Hartford. He launched this business after working as a marketing analyst for the Washington Capitals and while receiving his Master of Business Administration degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2010. Adam is also the co-author of The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High Performance Industry published by Oxford University Press in 2015. He has also published pieces for the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and The Washington Post. Adam completed his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University where he both was a goalkeeper for the men's varsity soccer team and a sports reporter for The Daily Northwestern.


Curt Gruber is the vice president of business development for the Chicago Wolves hockey team and was the vice president of marketing and business development for the Chicago Rush of the arena football league. He was previously the senior marketing manager for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, where he was in charge of U.S. brand management for Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, Wrigley's Spearmint, and Extra chewing gums. Prior to joining Wrigley, Gruber was the director of global brand development for the Jim Beam Brands Co. Gruber received his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Julie Hammer works for NU For Life, a program dedicated to the professional development of Northwestern student-athletes. She joined Northwestern’s athletic communications staff in 2005 after stints at the Big Ten Conference and Teamworks Media in Chicago. She spent seven years as an associate director of athletic communications and publications coordinator prior to taking over the NU For Life initiative. She is also a research methods tutor in Northwestern’s MA in higher education administration and policy thesis sequence. Dunn earned a master’s degree in higher education and policy from Northwestern in 2009.

Kieran Kelliher joined the Chicago Bulls in January 2014 as the Director of Finance, leading the accounting and finance operations of the team and also serving as the Treasurer of Chicago Bulls Charities. From a league perspective, he recently was asked to join the NBA’s Risk Management Advisory Council, and was awarded the NBA finance team’s “Rising Star” award for the 2014-15 season. He speaks at various industry and professional conferences, including the University of Illinois Sports Business Conference.

Prior to joining the Bulls, Kelliher practiced in public accounting as a Senior Manager in Deloitte's Chicago audit group. He served clients across a broad range of industries, including construction, retail & distribution, professional sports entertainment, and software & emerging technology clients. He led his engagement teams to help client resolve complex accounting and compliance matters. He also worked on Deloitte’s national manager advisory council on private client matters, as well as local office committees focusing on staff performance reviews and also internal technology implementation projects. Kelliher currently serves on the national board of directors and the executive committee as the Finance Committee Chair for Feed My Starving Children, providing governance and financial oversight for this charity. Kelliher is a licensed CPA in the state of Illinois, and a member of the AICPA and Illinois CPA Society. He graduated with bachelors in both accounting and corporate finance and a master of accounting science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He lives with his wife and four children in the western suburbs, and makes time to play basketball and softball, along with coaching his daughter’s school basketball team in their inaugural season this year.

Akshay K. Khanna is the Director of Strategy for the Philadelphia 76ers and serves as Adjunct Lecturer at the Northwestern School of Professional Studies, where he teaches Sports Research Methods and Quantitative Analysis. At the 76ers, Khanna focuses on the team's business strategy and maximizing the organization's revenue generating processes. He graduated with an MBA from The Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania in 2015. Prior to that he was a Private Equity Associate with Sycamore Partners where he worked on consumer-related investments. Before his time at Sycamore, Khanna was an Analyst at Audax Group, a middle market private equity firm in Boston. Khanna earned his A.B. in Economics and a minor in Spanish, graduating magna cum laude from Middlebury College in 2009. Khanna has published in Knowledge @ Wharton (Wharton Digital Press).

Scott Kirkpatrick, currently of Chicago Sports & Entertainment Partners, has more than 20 years of experience in the sports marketing industry. He was a senior vice president and director of Hill & Knowlton’s sports marketing practice, where he worked with Allstate, NASCAR and BCS sponsorships; the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid; the Pittsburgh Pirates; the Tampa Bay Rays; Allianz; Adidas; and others. Prior to joining H&K, Scott was at Draft Worldwide and at Kemper Sports Marketing, where he worked on major golf tournaments, built a premier college basketball tournament and developed sports marketing programs for NutraSweet, Equal Sweetener, Fresh Look Contact Lenses, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Frontier Communications and Glenlivet. Kirkpatrick earned his MBA at Northwestern.

Frank Murtha served as house counsel for the Teamsters pension fund prior to serving as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, where he handled financial crimes and several major organized crime prosecutions. Upon entering private practice, he handled civil and criminal litigation matters, as well as the representation of baseball and football athletes. He has extensive experience in arbitration, litigation, labor-management issues, and contract negotiations. He formed and headed the first union representing players in the Arena Football League and is currently president of Professional Sports Consultants Inc. The firm's clients include football players and coaches, baseball players, and owners of sports franchises. Murtha received his BA in government and international relations from the University of Notre Dame and his law degree from Northwestern.

Kristina Navarro serves in a joint role as an athletic administrator and faculty member at UW-Whitewater. In her role with UW-Whitewater Athletics, Navarro oversees the Warhawk Leadership Academy for student-athletes. She also serves as the advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. As an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Professional Studies, Navarro oversees the Higher Education Athletic Administration graduate program.

Prior to her tenure at UW-Whitewater, Navarro served as an Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education and Director of the Intercollegiate Athletics Administration Graduate Program at the University of Oklahoma. She oversaw a comprehensive intercollegiate athletics administration graduate program in conjunction with the OU Department of Athletics and Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Navarro’s research interests center on best practices in high impact career and professional development programs in higher education. Her current work is centered at the nexus of sport and education, career development and student development. Navarro currently serves as a member of the NCAA Action Team for Student-Athlete Enhancement Yearly Initiatives as a Division III representative and is an active member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA).

Navarro earned a Ph.D. from UW-Madison from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with a focus on Higher, Postsecondary and Continuing Education, Counseling Psychology, and Curriculum and Instruction.

Tom Robinson is the Director of Football Research for the Dallas Cowboys. In his role he heads up all analytic efforts related to football, and works closely with the team’s scouts, coaches, and executives. Prior to joining the Cowboys, Tom worked for almost 10 years as a consultant assisting clients with project management, business intelligence, analytics, and data warehousing. Tom graduated from UT-Austin (McCombs School of Business) in 2000 with a BBA (Bachelors of Business Administration) in Management Information Systems. Tom also is a 2014 graduate of the MSPA (Predictive Analytics) program at Northwestern University.

Drew Russell

Drew Russell

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Currently teaching:
Capstone Class
Capstone Class

Drew Russell is the vice president of sports properties at Intersport – an industry leading sports and entertainment marketing company based in Chicago. He possesses more than 16 years of experience in property development, sponsorship and event marketing. He is currently responsible for overseeing the growth and development of Intersport’s Sports Properties Division which features seven premier owned-and-operated events that are televised nationally. Russell is tasked with managing the strategic direction of the entire division and a staff that oversees corporate sales and marketing, ticketing, event operations, broadcast operations and communications. He was recently named to Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2013 honoring the most promising young executives in sports business under the age of 40. Prior to joining Intersport in 2008, Russell spent more than eight years in the experiential marketing division of WPP’s Wunderman, managing the sponsorship marketing portfolios of client’s like Sears Holdings and Goodyear. Russell began his career in the programming department at ESPN in Bristol, CN. He is a 1996 graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a 2011 graduate of Northwestern University’s Masters in Sports Administration program.

Chris Russo is a recognized industry leader and innovator in digital sports media and technology. He currently serves as a Managing Director at investment bank Houlihan Lokey, focusing on sports and media transactions. Prior to Houlihan Lokey, Russo served as Senior Vice President, New Media and Publishing, for the National Football League. In that role, he had broad P&L responsibility for the digital media and publishing business units and oversaw all day-to-day operations, including content, advertising sales, marketing, and business development. Russo began his media career in television, first serving as Vice President, Marketing for NBC and later as Executive Vice President, Franchise Programming & Marketing for Time Warner's New Line Television. Russo is a member of the SportsBusiness Journal 40 under 40 Hall of Fame. He received his B.A. from Northwestern University and his M.B.A. from Harvard University.

Jason Sacks is the national director of business development for Positive Coaching Alliance, a non-profit focused on providing character-building sports experiences to youth and high school athletes. PCA partners with local schools and youth organizations to conduct workshops and provide essential education, tools and resources for administrators, coaches, parents and student-athletes. In his current role, Sacks oversees new chapter expansion, national partnerships and corporate/strategic partnerships. Prior to taking on this role, Sacks was the executive director of PCA’s Chicago chapter. Before joining PCA in 2006, Sacks worked in sports television as a production assistant and segment producer for IMG's production company, TWI. Sacks received his master’s degree in Sports Management from New York University. While studying at NYU, Sacks was the assistant coach of the men’s basketball team and worked in the athletic department. For his undergraduate work, Sacks attended Syracuse University and was a broadcast journalism major.

William Seiden was chief financial officer for Clint Murchison Jr. Interests, including the Texas Stadium Corporation, home of the Dallas Cowboys, from 1977 until his retirement in 1994. He participated in acquisitions and divestitures of numerous companies and was part of a two-man team that sold the Dallas Cowboys to “Bum” Bright in 1985. He was also executive vice president, treasurer, CFO and director of United Exposition, a large general contractor serving the trade show industry, and participated in the sale of United Exposition to the Dial Corporation in 1993. From 1996 to 2005 he was an executive fellow at Northwestern, participating in fireside chats and pro bono teaching of students interested in business careers.

Kathryn Statz brings more than 25 years of experience in men’s and women’s collegiate athletics at the campus, conference and NCAA national office levels to Northwestern. From 2002-2017, she served as Senior Associate Director of Athletics at DePaul University, where she supervised a variety of men’s and women’s Olympic sports as well as the NCAA compliance program. She joined Snodgrass Partners in August as Vice President for Collegiate Sports. She has experience teaching at Northwestern, having co-developed and taught the syllabi for the existing Sports Administration MSA 401 course.

Her campus-level experience includes responsibilities involving Title IX, sexual violence and other student welfare issues. She also negotiated and drafted contracts for sports jobs including coaches’ agreements, talent contracts, facility and media contracts. At the national level, Kathryn worked as an investigator with the NCAA in the 1990s.

Kathryn earned her law degree at Marquette University while working as Senior Woman Administrator and supervising multiple sports. During that time, she also was a member of the search committee, which selected the Commissioner for Conference USA, served on the NCAA Management Council and helped manage an NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional. She remains a member of Women's Sport Leaders in College Sports as well as the Marquette Sports Law Alumni Association.


Michael Thiessen

Email Michael Thiessen

Currently teaching:
Front Office Operations

Mike Thiessen is a sports and entertainment, finance and facility specialist. He has extensive experience in financial structuring and placement, strategic planning, transactional representation and project management. Thiessen has provided project development services including studies, market research, financial analysis, alternative financing structures, naming rights agreements and strategic planning. Previously, he worked extensively within the political system including campaign management and congressional staff experience. Thiessen was an investment banker at Mesirow Financial, where he specialized in the financing of public/private partnerships and economic development projects. He has worked on several projects including Toyota Park, Dell Diamond, Whataburger Field and FedEx Field. He recieved his master's degree in management, finance and marketing from Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University.

Lesa Ukman, along with her brother Jon Ukman, founded International Events Group in 1981. At the time, a handful of companies were using sponsorship, but it had never been defined as an industry or viewed as a marketing tool. The Ukmans created IEG Sponsorship Report to fill the information void and establish sponsorship as a viable communications medium. With the publication of the first issue in May 1982, IEG helped create an industry that today is worth more than $25 billion worldwide. The company is now the world's leading provider of independent sponsorship research and analysis. Ukman has taught more than 15,000 senior marketing executives via IEG Executive Education. Prior to founding IEG, she worked in the Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events, creating the blueprint for sponsorship of festivals and municipal marketing. Ukman was inducted into the International Festivals & Events Association Miller Brewing Company Hall of Fame in 2000.

Bill Waters is the Vice President of Finance for the Chicago White Sox. He joined the Chicago White Sox in 1989 as controller. Waters works with all areas of the organization including ticketing, marketing, sales, broadcasting, stadium operations, legal, human resources and baseball operations. He is responsible for all aspects of accounting and financing, which include, budgeting, tax, financial reporting, payroll, treasury and others. He is responsible for reporting to the Major League Baseball (MLB) offices in New York and working with MLB on industry-wide issues, including revenue sharing, international operations and taxation. He also monitors financial results of outsourced services for concessions, parking and broadcasting, to name a few. He is an Executive for Chicago White Sox Charities and Treasurer for the Chicago Bulls / Chicago White Sox Academy located in Lisle, Illinois. Prior to joining the White Sox, he worked at Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) from 1983-1989 in the audit practice. He earned both his Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Masters in Accountancy degrees at DePaul University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Jill Weinberg is a research associate at the American Bar Foundation and a PhD candidate in sociology at Northwestern. Her current research focuses on the sociolegal construction of consent through a comparative case study of communities that engage in consensual violence. Her academic writings have appeared in numerous publications, including University of Virginia Law Review, In Brief, Southern California Law Review and Sociological Methods & Research. In college she was a Division I scholarship athlete on the women’s rowing team. She has a JD from Seattle University School of Law, an MA in social sciences from the University of Chicago and an MA in sociology from Northwestern.

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