Former Chicago Wolves President of Business Operations to Helm Wildcats’ Multimedia Rightsholder
EVANSTON, Ill. – Veteran Chicagoland sports marketer Mike Gordon has been appointed general manager for Northwestern Sports Properties and begins his new role this week. Northwestern Sports Properties is the on-campus Learfield IMG College team dedicated to serving Northwestern University as its athletics multimedia rightsholder.
Gordon brings nearly 25 years of experience in the Chicago professional and collegiate sports landscape to the Wildcats. He is the former president of business operations for the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves, a role he held nearly 10 years, after joining the organization as vice president of partnerships in February 2009. During Gordon’s tenure, the team perennially ranked among the top AHL franchises in sponsorships and ticket sales. The front office won the 2010 President’s Award given annually to one AHL organization to reward excellence in all areas off the ice. Additionally, the Wolves won its fifth Sponsorship Sales Department of the Year Award in 2019, and the organization regularly has been recognized by the AHL for excellence in community service and fan experience. Gordon also is a past recipient of the acclaimed James C. Hendy Memorial Award, which honors the executive who has made the most outstanding contribution to the AHL.
Prior to the Wolves, Gordon was vice president, sales for the Chicago Rush. During his nearly seven-year stint, the organization was a two-time recipient of the Arena Football League Commissioner’s Award. His previous industry experience also includes serving seven years as DePaul University Athletics’ assistant athletic director for external affairs.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mike, Susan, Katie and Alex to our Wildcats family,” said Northwestern’s Combe Family Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips. “From the start of our partnership Northwestern Sports Properties has done a tremendous job in support of our student-athletes, and we have no doubt Mike is the right leader to take the entire group to the next level.”
Learfield IMG College represents the Wildcats through its Evanston-based team, and Gordon will work closely with Phillips, Deputy A.D. for External Affairs Mike Polisky and the entire athletics administration. In addition to overseeing the comprehensive rights relationship, Northwestern Sports Properties manages all sponsorship initiatives with local, regional and national brands looking to align with the Wildcats through digital, signage, broadcast, promotions and other innovative assets.
“We’re excited about having Mike lead our Northwestern team. He knows the Chicago area exceptionally well, and he brings a wealth of knowledge and depth of experience we consider valuable as we continue to further elevate the Wildcats brand,” said Learfield IMG College Vice President, Multi-Media Rights Bob Welch.
Learfield IMG College unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform. The company’s extensive commerce, experiential and media solutions create ultimate opportunities for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, broadcasting, digital and social media; ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.