CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State Athletics and its multimedia rightsholder, Learfield, today introduced seasoned sports marketer Ryan Cook as general manager to lead Learfield’s local Vikings Sports Properties team dedicated to Cleveland State.
Cook, former assistant athletic director, corporate partnerships for Seattle University, will team closely with Cleveland State Director of Athletics Mike Thomas and his athletic administration as Vikings Sports Properties oversees the university’s comprehensive athletics rights including signage, television, radio, digital and the corporate partner program.
The last two years Cook developed significant corporate relationships with high-profile national and regional brand sponsors on behalf of the Seattle Redhawks. Prior to that, he was vice president, general manager for the Class A affiliate of the MLB’s Seattle Mariners, High Desert Mavericks. Cook’s previous experience also includes serving as premium sales manager for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, Maloof Sports & Entertainment; sales manager for AM830 KLAA, flagship radio station for MLB’s Los Angeles Angels; and he was a new business executive with the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets. Early in his career, as an account executive for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, Cook was a record-breaking sales representative within the organization and among NBA sales executives league wide. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, where he was a highly acclaimed water polo player for the Trojans.
“We are excited about our partnership with Learfield and the hiring of Ryan as the General Manager at Cleveland State,” Thomas said. “Ryan is a well-rounded individual with excellent sales and sports sponsorship experience and I am confident that our current and future sponsors will enjoy working with him and Learfield. He will be an outstanding asset to CSU athletics as we continue to broaden our brand.”
“Ryan is bringing tremendous experience to Learfield, as well as to Cleveland State, and we’re pleased to have him on board. We feel certain he’ll be an immediate asset as we continue to broaden the reach of the Vikings’ brand and work alongside Mike and his team,” said Learfield Vice President Tom Stevens.
An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. In addition to Cleveland State, it manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for nearly 130 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; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.