FARMINGTON, Utah – Learfield IMG College, exclusive sponsorship sales partner for the Big Sky Conference, recently appointed James Santelli as general manager for its Big Sky Sports Properties team. He joined the league office earlier this month.
Santelli brings to the local, dedicated team more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, advertising, event management and corporate partnerships from the sports and media industries. He will work alongside Commissioner Tom Wistrcill and the entire Big Sky Conference administration on all aspects of the league’s Learfield IMG College relationship. Santelli’s team actively sells all Conference assets to businesses and corporations looking to align with Big Sky Conference and its 11 full members and four affiliate member institutions.
Santelli most recently was a sales account executive with iHeartMedia in Salt Lake City and is the former director of partnership sales for MLS’ Real Salt Lake. He also held corporate partnership sales and executive producer positions with Utah Sports Radio Network for the local multimedia rights holder and served in key operations and producer roles with Clear Channel Communications and Emmis Communications. Santelli spent nearly seven years with The Austin Bouldering Project, LLC in which he was general manger overseeing all start-up operations, marketing and personnel for the Texas climbing gym and now world’s largest bouldering gym. He also spent nearly two years specifically building vital business relationships and its national corporate sponsorship portfolio.
“We eagerly welcome James to our Big Sky staff to spearhead this important initiative for our conference,” Wistrcill said. “His background selling sponsorships for both college and professional sports along with other media has prepared him well to help us continue increasing the revenue we generate in support of our member institutions and their student-athletes.”
“We’re thrilled to have James leading our Big Sky Sports Properties team,” said Learfield IMG College Multi-Media Rights Vice President, West Region Jeff Bolitho. “He possesses a unique skill set representing a variety of experiences. We know he’ll do a terrific job and develop strong relationships with our corporate partners as we align with the Conference in further expanding the Big Sky brand.”
Santelli added, “I’m truly excited to be joining the Big Sky Conference team. I look forward to contributing to the growth and success of a conference that is as storied and with so much history like the Big Sky. As a former collegiate student-athlete myself, this is a great fit for me and I will focus on developing partnerships to highlight the hard work and determination that the Big Sky represents.”
Learfield IMG College is a leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics. The company unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform with innovative content and commerce solutions for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, audio, digital and social media; data analytics; ticketing, 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.