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Columbia Sports Management Program Begins Fall Semester On Campus with Largest Class To Date, New Intensive Offerings, Elite Returning and First-time Faculty

NEW YORK – September 28, 2021 - Columbia University's Sports Management graduate program today announced the addition of five new adjunct faculty members as well as the program lineup for the fall semester, which brings students back on campus for the first time since the spring of 2019, starting on Thursday September 9 . New to the faculty this semester will be NBA G League COO Portia Archer, VP of Global Brand Marketing (Foundations of Sports Business), Activision Blizzard Kristin Connelly, Head of Sports Business Affairs (Sports Marketing), CAA Sports Jennifer Duberstein (Sports Law and Ethics), Director of Sportsbook Analytics, DraftKings Joanna Levy (Fundamentals of Sports Analytics), and Mike Parker, Director of Financial Operations, New York Yankees (Sports Accounting and Finance).

“We have learned and grown so much in the past year, and are looking forward to being back in the classroom for what will be a robust fall with the largest and most diverse incoming class we have had in program history,” said Professor of Professional Practice and Academic Director for the Sports Management Program Scott Rosner. “In addition to welcoming our returning faculty, we want to give a special thanks to five new adjunct faculty joining our team in their first semester on campus.”

New faculty include:

Portia Archer; Lecturer; Chief Operating Officer, NBA G League; As Chief Operating Officer of the NBA G League, Portia Archer is responsible for all aspects of the league’s business operations, including the implementation of the newly formed NBA G League Ignite, new content opportunities, and growth initiatives to drive awareness and revenue at the league and team level. Prior to joining the NBA G League, Archer served as Senior Vice President of Direct-to- Consumer Services for NBC Sports Group. In her role, she was responsible for the launch, development and management of NBC Sports Group’s first direct-to-consumer business and live streaming product, NBC Sports Gold, which included a portfolio of Premier League soccer, PGA Tour golf, NBA basketball, NASCAR, rugby and Olympic sports. Archer also founded NBC Sports Group’s first mentorship program, “Huddle Up,” dedicated to fostering connections and growth opportunities for employees. A Chicago native, Archer played college basketball at the University of Chicago, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public policy and economics. She also holds an MBA in management and strategy from Columbia Business School.

Kristin Connelly Lecturer; VP of Global Brand Marketing, Activision Blizzard: Kristin Connelly is the head of global marketing for Activision Blizzard Esports (ABE), including its two professional esports leagues, Overwatch League and Call of Duty League. She leads the fan-facing initiatives including brand strategy, advertising and promotions, and digital marketing. Kristin focuses on the overall fan engagement strategy, helping its leagues and esports initiatives grow and deepen the relationship with its incredible global fanbases.  Prior to joining ABE in June 2017, Kristin previously worked at the New York Jets for seven years overseeing marketing, fan communications, and graphic design. Kristin also worked on Madison Avenue at the global advertising agency J. Walter Thompson and the Baltimore Ravens. Kristin earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration from the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Jennifer Duberstein; Lecturer; Head of Sports Business Affairs, CAA Sports:  Jennifer Duberstein is Head of Sports Business Affairs at CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA).  CAA Sports represents more than 2,000 of the world's best athletes in sports such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, golf, and Olympics/action sports, in addition to icons in individual sports, on-air broadcasters, coaches, and other pre-eminent personalities.  Beyond on-field athlete representation, CAA Sports provides unique opportunities for clients off-field, in areas including entertainment, endorsements, speaking, philanthropy, video games, and digital.  Based in the New York office, Duberstein advises the agency’s sports executives and agents on legal and business matters. Duberstein began her legal career at Proskauer Rose LLP as a Corporate Associate. Duberstein also served as In-House Counsel at Time Warner, Inc. Prior to joining CAA, she served as Senior Counsel at Major League Soccer, where she provided counsel on such matters as corporate governance, league rules, expansion, sponsorship, broadcast rights, stadium agreements, and intellectual property.   She joined CAA in 2010, initially as a business affairs executive, and was promoted to Head of Sports Business Affairs – Corporate and Consulting in 2017. She was promoted to her current position as Head of Sports Business Affairs in 2020. Duberstein graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in Political Science and Communications, and Northwestern University School of Law with a J.D.

Joanna Levy; Lecturer; Director of Sportsbook Analytics, DraftKings: Joanna Levy is the Director of Sportsbook Analytics for DraftKings. In this role, she identifies, through data, improvements to the Sportsbook product, oversees the building and execution of testing initiatives for new features in the Sportsbook app and desktop platforms, and owns core product KPIs tracking and monitoring. Previously, Joanna served as Director of the Strategy and Analytics team for Comcast Spectacor, the parent company for the Philadelphia Flyers, the Philadelphia Wings, and the Wells Fargo Center. In this role, she provided data-driven, strategic analysis for decisions across different teams and business lines under the Comcast Spectacor umbrella. Her specific focus was on forecasting and budgeting event operating income, optimizing ticket pricing, and providing insights and data visualization through a reporting suite. Other areas of focus included marketing and fan engagement through survey design and analysis, corporate partnerships, and operations and strategic planning. Joanna earned her MBA from Wharton, with concentrations in Business Analytics and Management, and graduated cum laude with her B.A. in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the race director for David’s Old Silver Swim, a race based in Cape Cod that raises funds to support Compassionate Care ALS.

Michael Parker; Lecturer; Director of Financial Operations, New York Yankees: Michael Parker is the Director of Financial Operations for the New York Yankees. In this current role, Parker oversees the Yankees budgeting and forecasting processes, as well as all financial submissions to Major League Baseball (MLB) and other outside agencies. This includes responsibility for the MLB revenue-sharing audit, debt service compliance certifications, and confirmation of the team’s luxury tax payroll. Further, Parker manages the Club’s game-used memorabilia program and partnership with Fanatics. Prior to joining the Yankees, Parker spent over five years in the assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers; auditing the MLB revenue-sharing plan and postseason gate receipts. Other clients included large entertainment & media companies such as Showtime Networks, CBS Radio, and Mediacom Communications.

The elite returning faculty and classes for the fall include: Rosner (Foundations of Sports Management), full-time professors Len Elmore (Athlete Activism and Social Justice in Sports and Internship), Grant Son (Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Sports, Sports Marketing, Supervised Research Project: Advanced Marketing - FC Bayern Munich) and LJ Holmgren (Supervised Research Project: Olympians as Brands), as well as adjuncts Chris Lencheski (Foundations of Sports Management and Sports General Management), Joe Favorito (Strategic Communications), Tom Richardson (Digital Media and Marketing in Sports), Joe Rosales (Baseball Analytics), Carla Varriale (Sports Law and Ethics), Rob Gerbe and Adam Raiken (Sports Accounting and Finance), Bill Squires and Bill Wiswesser (Sports Facilities & Events Management) and Tracy Belmear (Sports Sponsorship & Sales).

Additionally, the fall program course associates include: Natalie Olsen (Romine), Kerry Scalora, Gregory Guerman, Jacqueline Bartolomeo, Angeli Feri, Mandeep Brahmbhatt, Josh Orenstein, Jason Mulholland, Ilan Bielas, Eli Steinfield, Jennifer Dick, Micah Day, Joshua Wyseman, Alexis DeGroot, Layden Williams, Thomas Cerny, Killian Lewis, Meghan Roxas, Shannon Elliot, Valisha Graves, and Andrew Descovich.

This semester’s incoming class will have 74 students from 16 countries and includes individuals
from diverse backgrounds such as college athletics, college coaching, sports media,
consulting, finance, sales, law, and professional sports leagues.

Recognized as one of the top ten global programs, Columbia University's master's degree program in Sports Management, available part-time and full-time, trains professionals in all sectors of the sports industry by teaching specific management skills in the areas of finance, analytics, digital media, entrepreneurship, leadership, law, marketing, sales, communications, and facility or event management. This combination of broad-based and specific skill training is a hallmark of the program and is evident in both the content and sequencing of courses. www.sps.columbia.edu/sports

Contact: Joe Favorito, 917-566-8345, joefavorito2 [[at]] gmail [[dot]] com