SBJ – Sept. 27, 2021 by Valerie Page

Danielle Johnson, President of MogoSME and LEARFIELD’s SVP of Client Success, is an honoree in Sports Business Journal’s 11th annual class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.”

In Danielle Johnson’s “arm-in-arm” approach to leadership, she believes anything is possible. That approach has been crucial for her team at MogoSME during the pandemic. The agency, which was acquired by Learfield in 2016, was hit hard as sports shut down in 2020. Despite the loss of significant revenue, Johnson was able to retain the agency’s 50 employees and mobilized them to create and launch Fan365, Learfield’s new digital sponsorship model. Driven by advanced data, Fan365 went from nonexistent to $55 million in its first year, becoming the fastest growing digital product in the company’s history.

“Our teams were able to accelerate the go-to-market strategy for this product at the outset of the pandemic, which allowed us to approach sponsors with an offering that kept their message in front of fans even without live athletic events and students/fans on-campus,” Johnson said.

More than 1,600 Fan365 digital campaigns were launched for over 1,000 clients, including Allstate, AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Wells Fargo, across 165 universities.

“I believe that people will work as hard for you as you work for them,” Johnson said. “I strive to create high-functioning teams motivated by the desire to continuously improve on the results they create for the business. So I always aim to lead by example.”

Her passion for the arts led to the establishment of MogoARTS as a partner for theaters, museums, festivals, orchestras, performing arts centers in the U.S. and Canada.

More about Danielle
Guilty pleasure: I have visited over 50 escape room experiences over the last 4
years and have successfully completed over 75% of them. I do them with friends,
family, and co-workers, and really enjoy how the experiences engage my strategic
brain and my skills as a group leader and collaborator.

Advice to my younger self: There are no failures in life, only lessons, so stress
less about being perfect and enjoy the journey.

Attributes I look for when hiring: Strategic and solution-focused thinking, and a
thirst for knowledge and growth.

My leadership style is inspired by … : Humility, respect and radical honesty.
Best advice I’ve received for career development: Your work does not speak for
itself. You have to ask for what you want. From compensation and promotions to
career opportunities and projects, you have to communicate and advocate for

The sports industry will look back on the past year as … : An opportunity to
accelerate innovation in service of fans, athletes, and athletics professionals