The Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business is pleased to announce Tom Kelley, senior brand director at Nike, has agreed to serve as the new chair of its Industry Advisory Board.
Former chair David Higdon has completed his two-year term and will continue on the board as a Chair Emeritus.
Whitney Wagoner, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, said she and the board membership agreed Kelley will aid the center on its forward trajectory.
“Tom is a natural choice to lead the board through the next era of growth and performance,” Higdon said. “Using his particular talents and insights as a strategic thinker and visionary, combined with his skill for defining spaces, he will help us set the course for Warsaw’s next chapter.”
Said Wagoner, “David Higdon personally recruited board members and helped create something from nothing. We are placing a different task before Tom Kelley. Now, the board is off the ground and engaged. Tom’s strategic and mission-driven thinking will help propel the Warsaw narrative.”
Future goals for the board include growing its leadership, continued industry engagement, and student impact.
The board’s membership currently represent diverse industries, including television, athlete representation, professional sports leagues, footwear and apparel, and corporate brands. As the center both educates and provides professional paths to students, the board aims to add two representatives—from the tech world and an executive recruiter or hiring expert from a major sports organization.
The main requirement, however, is a zeal for fostering long-term student success in the industry.
“For me, it’s all about the students,” said Tom Kelley. “How can we impact the lives of these exceptional students and how best can the Warsaw Center serve them?”
Kelley’s 25+ year career in sports spans leadership roles in marketing, advertising, product, digital media and retail. He has developed deep Oregon roots working at NIKE for the last 12 years and spent over 6 years at Wieden + Kennedy. He has also served on various volunteer boards.
Wagoner also thanked outgoing chair Higdon for his service.
“The Warsaw Board would not exist in its current form without David Higdon,” Wagoner said. “We are indebted to David as a key leader in taking this advisory board from an idea to a reality—and to its current state of growth and acceleration. We are thrilled to continue to benefit from his dedication and experience.”