LEARFIELD NAMES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO LEAD NEW CAL BEARS SPORTS PROPERTIES TEAM
BERKELEY, Calif. – Joe Mulford has been appointed executive director for the newly established Cal Bears Sports Properties team as announced today by Learfield. Last month, Cal Athletics named Learfield its new multimedia rights partner through the 2026-27 athletic season and this substantiates the first move in getting the relationship underway.
Mulford, a native Californian who has extensive sports marketing and sales experience, is relocating to the Berkeley area from San Diego where he oversaw his own sponsorship and marketing practice, QM Strategies. He brings to Cal expertise from the professional sports arena as well, having previously served two years as director, partnership development for MLB’s San Diego Padres and nearly four years as a sales executive for MLB’s San Francisco Giants. Additionally, he recorded significant work with the NBA, serving four years as the league’s director of team marketing and business operations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Cal State University at Chico and master’s degree in sport management from the University of San Francisco.
”We are looking forward to welcoming Joe to Cal and are excited to add someone who has his level of experience, familiarity with the Bay Area landscape and appreciation of the University,” said Cal Associate Athletic Director and Chief Revenue Officer Ashwin Puri. “We know he is a good match for our department as we begin our long-term partnership with Learfield.”
As lead on-campus representative for Learfield, Mulford will work alongside the athletic administration on all aspects of the Bears’ traditional rights and sponsorship elements. He also will collaborate with campus leadership in the development of strategic corporate alliances that benefit the university as a whole.
“Joe brings excellent experience and business acumen to Learfield and our new relationship at Cal, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him here leading this new property,” said Learfield Vice President Megan Eisenhard. “We’re proud to be teaming with the Bears, a storied institution and remarkable brand.”
“I’m honored to work with the number one public institution in the world,” said Mulford. “As a Bay Area native, I grew up attending Cal games and now I’m so appreciative of this opportunity to return ‘home’ and represent the Bears.”
ABOUT CAL ATHLETICS
The University of California is represented by more than 850 student-athletes in 30 sports. Striving for excellence in the classroom and the arenas of competition, Cal teams have earned 91 national championships in 15 different sports, with nearly 300 individual and relay national championships won by student-athletes. Golden Bears have also collected 207 medals at the Olympic Games, including 21 this past summer in Rio.
An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. It manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for 120 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.