KYLE BOWLSBY | FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL
Over the past decade, Kyle Bowlsby has become one of the most reputable consultants in professional sports and intercollegiate athletics. Built on consensus building, transparency and industry expertise, Kyle has established an impressive track record of serving clients spanning multiple sports industries and has earned a strong reputation for client service by strategically advising clients with their long-term goals in mind.
Prior to founding Bowlsby Sports Advisors, Kyle oversaw the Intercollegiate Sports Division at Korn Ferry International, the preeminent global management consulting firm in the world. At Korn Ferry, Kyle focused his executive search and advisory efforts within intercollegiate athletics as well as professional sports. During his four years with Korn Ferry, Kyle served clients spanning multiple sports including professional franchises within the four major US sports leagues, colleges and universities, and several United States Olympic national governing bodies.
Prior to joining Korn Ferry, Kyle oversaw business development efforts for 4FRONT (formerly SportsDesk Media), the premier data targeting, management and media delivery platform for the sports and entertainment industries. His partial client list included UFC, Hendrick Motorsports, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, Florida Panthers, NCAA, Atlantic Coast Conference, Mountain West Conference and 25 college athletic departments.
In addition to his duties at Bowlsby Sports Advisors, Kyle has been a speaker at the LEAD1 Institution, Women Leaders in College Sports, and the Collegiate Athletic Leadership Symposium.
Kyle graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Sports Management and a Business Minor in Entrepreneurial Management. He received his Masters of Sports Administration from Northwestern University.
Chris Bevilacqua | Advisor
Over the past 30 years, Chris Bevilacqua has established himself as a leader in the sports and media business, including being at the forefront of two transformative eras in sports media history. Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures (BHV) represents a continuation and expansion of business he previously conducted as founder and CEO of Bevilacqua Media Company (BMC).
In the early 2000's he set about founding and creating CSTV, the first-ever 24-hour cable TV network dedicated to college and amateur sports. CSTV was then followed by the launch of Fox College Sports and ESPNU.
His vision and efforts for CSTV led to the acquisition of the digital media company OCSN (Official College Sports Network), which eventually became the industry-leading CSTV.com portal. After raising $100 million in private equity financing from blue chip investors during the period of 2002-2005, CSTV was acquired by CBS Corporation in early 2006 for $325 million and is now known as the CBS Sports Network.
Additionally, in 2006 as part of CSTV's efforts, Bevilacqua created the first-ever 24-hour collegiate conference sports network, the MountainWest Sports Network, which served as a model for the highly successful and subsequent Big Ten Network, Pac-12 Networks and SEC Network.
Armed with the experience of successfully creating, developing and operating media businesses, Bevilacqua was able to identify yet another forthcoming transformation in sports media. Towards the end of the first decade of the 2000's, with over $200 billion of infrastructure investments by cable, satellite and telco companies and massive media industry consolidation well underway, the subscription TV business had grown to a $150billion/year industry. With new platforms built out and consumer behavior demanding content anytime, anyplace, anywhere there was dynamic change and an increasingly competitive environment within the media ecosystem. With the dominant media incumbents focused on protecting the critical subscription TV business, there were many genres of programming being distributed outside of the subscription TV business with the exception of one genre: sports.
With that in mind, Bevilacqua focused on this transition and was able to bring his past experiences into the media advisory business. His efforts began in 2008 and culminated during an 18-month period in 2010-11 whereby he led a slew of critical sports properties into agreements that broke conventional wisdom. First, the record-breaking Texas Rangers deal with Fox Sports, which at the time was the largest local rights TV deal in MLB history, more than tripling what the Rangers were previously receiving and clearly setting a new benchmark for future agreements. Second, came the San Diego Padres and their new RSN with Fox Sports, which debuted in the spring of 2012.
Thirdly, Bevilacqua was the architect of the Pac-12 Conference media strategy, including the FOX/ESPN media rights agreements-- the largest and most comprehensive in college sports history at that time. He also quarterbacked the groundbreaking Pac-12 Network agreements with Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and Brighthouse. The Pac-12 achieved over a 500% increase in their media rights agreements, launched their own media company which it controls 100% equity in, and at the same time altered the landscape of collegiate athletics by igniting the re-alignment by other conferences over the last several years.
Bevilacqua is a 1986 graduate of Penn State University where he was also an NCAA All-American wrestler. In 2012 he was elected into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, OK.
KEN LUCE | ADVISOR
Ken Luce founded LDWW to be a pioneering agency in the digital era, creating high-impact campaigns and communications strategies that build brands, protect reputations, and inspire action among the audiences that matter most to clients.
An award-winning industry expert, Ken is known for his unique abilities in helping companies of all sizes achieve successful business outcomes. His reputation has made him one of the most sought-after strategists in the industry.
Ken’s experience spans various high-profile client engagements in business sectors including aviation, real estate, consumer marketing, automotive, oil and gas, travel, and tourism. He has led international product launches, brand campaigns, and some of the most complex crisis campaigns and thought leadership programs for leading brands. He has particular expertise in sponsorship activation, and consumer and digital marketing campaigns.
Prior to founding LDWW, Ken was the chief operating officer at H+K Strategies. Before that, he held senior management roles at Weber Shandwick and is widely credited with developing and managing the firm’s Client Relationship Leader program, which has been featured as a Harvard Business School case study and is still being used today to as a model for client service in large consulting firms.
His client engagements include American Airlines, ExxonMobil, Ford, Dean Foods, US Airways, Sprint, DISH Networks, Big 12 Athletic Conference, General Motors, and Omni Hotels & Resorts.
His work has earned more than 200 communications industry awards, and recognition by PR News as PR Professional of the Year and PR Week as a PR Professional of the Year finalist.
PAT RICHIE | ADVISOR
Very few individuals in the sports industry have the track record and experience of building internally cohesive and externally competitive cultures as Pat Richie. Three times he has been awarded Super Bowl Rings for his speaking and consulting in the NFL. Using the models found in the New York Times best-selling books, “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business” and “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by his colleague Patrick Lencioni; Pat Richie combines his 30 years of experience, touching all four major professional US sports, to provide leaders outstanding, practical insights that drive results.
From sports leaders like the Los Angeles Chargers, Cincinnati Reds, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, UCLA, Duke, University of Texas, Notre Dame, University of Alabama, ESPN to corporate leaders like Genentech, Intel, ConocoPhillips, P&G, SC Johnson, Verizon, Bank of America, WellPoint, ITT, and General Dynamics the outcomes have been superior.
He is a principal consultant at the Table Group, a consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders in business reach higher levels of effectiveness and success. For over 30 years, Pat has been teaching on the subjects of teamwork, leadership and business ethics to corporate presidents, team owners, national broadcasters, star athletes, and college educators. Pat Richie has been quoted by: The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Fox Sports, the BBC and GQ Magazine.
ERIC FERNANDEZ | ADVISOR
At its core, 4FRONT incorporates four core competencies: Analytics, Digital, Innovation and Partnerships. Started in Chicago in 2007 as Property Consulting Group, 4FRONT expanded its business in a 2011 merger with Fernandez’ then-agency called SportsDesk Media. Together, the two firms became PCG SportsDesk and later rebranded as 4FRONT, to offer clients the complete sports marketing experience.
Combining PCG’s innovation with SportsDesk’s marketing expertise allowed the company to excel in helping clients drive revenue through digital media and analytics. 4FRONT boasts a variety of sports and entertainment clients such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, Hendrick Motorsports, UFC and Richmond Raceway.
Prior to 4FRONT, Eric was Senior Vice President at MediaLink, a strategic advisory firm specializing in media and marketing. MediaLink helps Fortune 100 clients navigate and profit from the evolving media/marketing landscape; emerging tech and media companies hire MediaLink to accelerate their growth and define new business strategies; and private equity and VCs bring us in to advise on investments and acquisitions.
From 2008-2013 Eric led engagement teams working with clients Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, AT&T, GOGO Inflight Internet, Microsoft, JCPenny, Major League Soccer, Sports Media Ventures, SponsorHub, Skype, Millennial Media, Clear Channel and Bazaarvoice.
Prior to joining MediaLink, Eric spent 14 years with AT&T in various marketing and advertising positions. Eric spent the final 6 years as the Executive Director of Sponsorships and Events where he oversaw global sponsorship strategy, contract negotiations and development and implementation of industry-leading marketing activation programs. Eric oversaw an organization of 50+ people, a sponsorship portfolio of 55+ best-in-class partnership and an annual operating budget in excess of $150M. Partnerships led by Eric included the US Olympic Committee, The Masters, NCAA, Williams Formula One, PGA Tour and numerous MLB, NFL, NBA and NCAA team properties and Music and Entertainment partnerships.
Eric holds a BBA in Finance/International Business from Baylor University. He is on the executive committee of the advisory board for Baylor’s Sports Sponsorships and Sales (S3) major and is on the Advisory Board for Sports Media Ventures.