Warsaw Sports Marketing Center set for annual Advisory Board meeting Oct. 20, adds key Asia-based member
WTA Tour Vice President Asia Pacific Melissa Pine joins prestigious sports industry group
The James H. Warsaw Sports Marketing Center advisory board at the University of Oregon will convene for its second annual meeting this Friday, Oct. 20. For the first time, the meetings will be held in the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business’s new Naito building in Portland, OR.
“Portland is an incredible sports city, a centralized global hub, so we’re looking forward to the inspiration that the city and our awesome new facility add to the discussions as we plan for the next academic year and beyond,” said Whitney Wagoner, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the Lundquist College of Business.
In advance of this meeting, board leadership also announced the addition of Melissa Pine, vice president of Asia Pacific for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and tournament director for the WTA Finals. Pine, a Canadian based out of Singapore, is the first internationally based member and will add key new perspective to the strategic initiatives of the center. Pine earned undergraduate and MBA degrees from Washington State University, where she was a two-time All-America Scholar-Athlete. She interned in Africa and Thailand before launching her sports business career that has included working for the WTA Tour in their Florida, London, and Singapore offices.
“We are thrilled to have Melissa join our board, as she brings several unique aspects to our group, including her time as a former elite athlete from Canada, her knowledge and passion for Pac-12 sports, and her amazing work in the Asia Pacific region for the WTA Tour,” said David Higdon, the Warsaw Center’s board chair. “We have a number of initiatives in the works in which her distinguished career managing the WTA Tour’s finale in Singapore, among a number of her successes, will prove invaluable to the Warsaw Center and its students.”
“It’s truly an honor to serve on the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center advisory board amongst a diverse and experienced team of sports business executives, academic leaders, and students,” said Pine. “As a proud Pac-12 alumni, I’m grateful to be in the position to share my insights and passion for the different pathways to a career in sports, and I look forward to being able to further support and encourage future aspiring sports business leaders.”
Pine joins seven existing board members from the 2016-17 academic year:
- Mike Belcher, vice president of marketing business development and partnerships for T-Mobile
- Barbara Blangiardi ’79 (Journalism), senior vice president for strategies and creative partnerships at Fox Sports
- David Higdon, former executive with the ATP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Champ Car World Series (now merged with INDYCAR Series) and NASCAR
- Akash Jain, MBA ’04, vice president for international commercial development at the National Football League (NFL)
- Tom Kelley, senior director for North America retail brand at Nike
- Kara Linse Buckley ’06 (Business), former director of global sponsorship marketing for the Olympic Games at Visa
- Bob Warsaw, entrepreneur and brother of Jim Warsaw, for whom the center is named.
Additional board activities, including engagement with current students and alumni, will be held Friday evening at Providence Park, home of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Portland Timbers and newly crowned 2017 NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) Champion Portland Thorns.
“We’re thankful for the continued partnership of the Portland Timbers and Thorns,” Wagoner said. “Partnerships like this reaffirm the value that the Warsaw Center brings as an important think tank in the sports industry and the premier sports business education program in the world.”
With the addition of Pine, the board continues to grow towards its goal of assembling senior-level industry executives across a broad array of sports industry segments, areas of expertise, and geographic markets. Each member will commit to strategic planning meetings; active engagement with our study tours, alumni events, and on-campus visits; fundraising; and sourcing projects and employment opportunities for our students. Other key members of the University of Oregon academic programs and sports industry executives also will attend segments of the Oct. 20 board meeting. The advisory board meets several times a year, starting with its in-person fall gathering.