The Lundquist College of Business is pleased to announce the selection of Whitney Wagoner as the new director of the James H. Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon starting August 1, 2015. As the center’s first-ever female director, Wagoner will lead one of the most recognized names in sports business education.
Wagoner draws on her more than seven years working in the NFL League office and over a decade teaching sports business within the UO Lundquist College of Business. She will oversee both our globally ranked sports business MBA offering and our outstanding undergraduate business degree concentration in sports business.
In her new role, Wagoner will be responsible for the overall operations of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center including industry partnerships, coordination of student-based activities, alumni engagement, identifying and developing executive education short course opportunities for sports business industry professionals, student recruitment and placement, and initiating and strengthening relationships with benefactors and sources of external funding.
“Whitney Wagoner combines a deep passion for education with an extensive knowledge of sports dating back to her years working at the NFL,” said David Higdon, NASCAR vice president of integrated marketing communications. “She’s a change agent whose infectious personality and talent makes her an ideal candidate to lead the University of Oregon as it embarks on a new path for the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.”
Additionally, Craig Leon is being promoted to MBA program manager within the center starting September 16, 2015. Leon holds a master’s degree in athletic administration and brings his two years as the Warsaw Center’s industry outreach coordinator—as well as experience as a professional, sponsored marathoner—to his new role.
A search is underway to fill the position of undergraduate program manager for the center.
With the ascension of current staff and the addition of two new positions, including plans to name a Professor of Practice, the Warsaw Center is better equipped than ever to meet and exceed student needs and expectations while enhancing industry and donor relationships.
“My time at the Warsaw Center gave me the education and network to excel within sports business. Whitney was an integral part of that experience. I am fully confident that her strategic vision, collaborative spirit, enviable industry experience and passion for the program will serve our students and alumni very well,” said Kelsey Philpott, MBA ’11, account director with GMR Marketing.
The Warsaw Center celebrates an illustrious history and an auspicious future. Founded in 1993, the James H. Warsaw Sports Marketing Center was the first program of its kind housed within a U.S. college of business. Uniting alumni, practitioners, and faculty members across multiple disciplines, the Warsaw Center provides a platform for both research and education focused on the $500 billion dollar sports business industry. The most recent Sports Business International global rankings of sports master’s programs published on June 15, 2015 placed the Oregon MBA’s sports business track (coordinated by the Warsaw Center) among the top three programs in the world in the categories of Graduate’s Choice as well as Student Satisfaction.
“Whitney has demonstrated a passion for not only educating and developing students, but also inspiring them to imagine a full range of possibilities. She encourages smart, bold and connected thinking, ensuring that our future sports business leaders are prepared to contribute in a uniquely-Oregon way. It’s exciting to have a female leader directing one of the most recognized names in sports education,” said Merritt Richardson, a member of the Lundquist College of Business’s Board of Advisors.
“I am humbled and thrilled to serve as the next director of the Warsaw Center,” Wagoner said. “We are committed to moving our program forward through a spirit of partnership, engagement, transparency and collaboration. I am also committed to honoring our powerful legacy, which is the foundation of our past and future successes. Above all, the team here will aim to continue to honor Jim Warsaw’s vision of impacting the sports industry through passion, integrity, and leadership.”