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Step Up Your Game: Lessons in Sports Marketing

May 17, 2019 @ 11:45 am - 1:00 pm

$10 – $25

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AAF Northern Illinois is excited to host a panel discussion exploring the wide world of sports marketing, featuring experts from our own local teams. The panel will be moderated by Dan Cohen, weekend sports anchor at WREX-TV.

Panelists are:
Morgan James, Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing & Game Experience at Northern Illinois University
Mike Peck, Director of Business Operations at the Rockford IceHogs
Nick Povalitis, Director of Sports Development at the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau


Mexican Fiesta: Chicken fajitas and beef tacos, salsa, refried beans and Spanish rice with all of the toppings.

About the Panelists

Morgan James
Morgan James is the Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing and Game Experience at Northern Illinois University. He earned bachelor’s degrees in Sports Administration and Business Finance from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, and a Master of Professional Studies in Sport Industry Management from Georgetown University. He has worked for NIU Athletics since January 2017 and previously was a marketing assistant at the University of Tulsa.

Mike Peck
The upcoming 2019-20 season is Mike Peck’s 19th overall with the Rockford IceHogs, including 13th during the team’s AHL era.

Mike oversees the IceHogs’ Business Operations, which includes the ticket and corporate sales, game operations and communication departments. Prior to assuming the role of Director of Business Operations, Mike served as the IceHogs play-by-play broadcaster and Director of Communications. Mike received the AHL’s Ken McKenzie Award in 2016, awarded to the AHL executive who accomplished the most during the season in promoting their team. He was also the recipient of the 2005-06 United Hockey League Public Relations Director of the Year Award and the 2004-05 UHL Broadcaster of the Year Award.

The St. Paul, Minnesota native attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications. Mike was also a four-year varsity athlete at UWSP, competing in cross-country and track and field.

The 40-year old attended Rockford Jefferson High School. Mike enjoys sports, music and working out and is an avid Minnesota fan (especially the Twins!). Mike, his wife, Andie, daughter, Madeline, and sons, Michael and Grayson, reside in Rockford.

Nick Povalitis
Nick Povalitis is a 2002 graduate (B.S., news-editorial journalism) of the University of Illinois. Povalitis is responsible for developing the sports market for the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, which has been named the NASC Sports Tourism Organization of the Year twice in the last three years. His duties include booking new events, bid process management and execution, sports marketing and sales strategy, and partnership development locally and externally. He also has overseen the Bureau’s comprehensive Bring Your Game 2 Rockford (BYG2RKFD) campaign, which includes trade publication advertising, content development, public relations outreach, brand consistency and event productions. He came to the RACVB after working five years as a route manager at G&K Services. Prior to G&K, Nick worked in athletic media relations at Washington University in St. Louis from 2003-07.

Moderator: Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen began his on-air career with WREX in February 2014 as the station’s weekend sports anchor. You can also find him reporting in the area during the week, covering local teams and athletes.

Dan graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse and Falk Schools in December 2013, earning Bachelor of Science degrees in Broadcast & Digital Journalism and Sport Management. He worked as an anchor, reporter, and play-by-play announcer for CitrusTV, WAER-FM, and WJPZ-FM, covering every team in Orange.

Dan says his career choice began at an early age. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to the unifying force of sports, and the stories that come from those games and events. They bring people together from all backgrounds, and at all levels. That’s pretty powerful.”

Dan is new to the Midwest, and he is excited to be a part of the Rockford community.