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Brian Cooper appointed executive-in-residence

Sponsorship and sport business executive joins the Ted Rogers School of Management
August 08, 2017
Brian Cooper

Photo: Brian Cooper, CEO of MKTG, was appointed executive in residence on July 1, 2017 for a one-year term.

Brian Cooper, influential thought leader in sponsorship and sport business, has been appointed executive-in-residence at Ryerson University. He will join the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) assisting in the development and delivery of sport business curriculum and program development, including the MBA Specialization in Sport Business and related programming at the undergraduate and executive education levels.

Cooper has more than 30 years of experience in athlete representation, activation management, broadcast programming, executive-level property leadership and sport marketing. Currently the president and chief executive officer of external,MKTG (formerly S&E Sponsorship), he has negotiated more than $500 million worth of sponsorship agreements with brands such as Canadian Tire Corporation, Scotiabank, adidas, and Molson. Cooper started S&E Sponsorship Group in 2007, and has led the agency through a number of major milestones, including being the first-ever sponsorship agency selected as a finalist for Marketing Magazine’s prestigious Agency of the Year award (2014), the eventual sale of the agency to Dentsu Aegis Network (2016), and the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada’s Agency of the Year award (2017).

“Brian Cooper brings a wealth of current knowledge and valuable insights to the Ryerson community from his notable career in sport business. He will be a terrific resource for our students and faculty members, and his appointment will greatly enhance learning and teaching at Ryerson,” said Michael Benarroch, provost and vice-president, academic.

In the early 1990s, Cooper was named president and chief operating officer of the Toronto Argonauts and was credited with the revival of Canadian football in the Toronto market, under the ownership of John Candy and Wayne Gretzky. Later in 1995, Cooper joined Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment as vice-president, business development and operations. In this role, he was instrumental in launching the expansion of the Toronto Raptors franchise.

“I’m pleased to welcome Brian Cooper to the Ted Rogers School of Management as executive-in-residence,” said Steven Murphy, dean, TRSM. “Brian’s extensive expertise in sport business will assist in the development of Ryerson’s Sport Innovation Hub, as well as contribute to greater university-wide sport initiatives. Brian's industry experience will provide valuable insights in forging new partnership opportunities related to teaching, research and professional development.”

Cooper took his expertise to the media industry, founding Insight Sports Ltd. in 1999, a well-known broadcast/production company and built properties such as the NHL Network, GOL TV Canada, and the World Fishing Network while producing Gold Rush 2002, Ultimate Gretzky, and the long-running TV series, The Business of Sports. He has been recognized for his imprint on the Canadian sports and entertainment landscape, and was named one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 25 Power Players in Canadian Sports, Yahoo’s Top 25 most influential people in Canadian Sport, and was the first inductee to the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada’s Hall of Fame.

“It is truly rewarding to share my sports marketing experience with future leaders in Ryerson’s business curriculum,” said Cooper.  “It’s an incredibly exciting time for sport and the opportunity to continue shaping how the industry evolves is highly gratifying.”  

Cooper sat on the charitable boards of the Toronto Blue Jays Foundation, the Stratford Festival, and Toronto Indy/Champ Car Foundation, and was an advisor to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation. He is currently a board member of Canada Basketball and the Hockey Canada Foundation, bringing vision and governance while advocating for the commercial opportunity for brands who invest in sports, entertainment, and the arts.