Greg Downey appointed to USA Ultimate Board of Directors

Posted: December 16, 2010 01:32 PM



Boulder, Colo. (December 16, 2010)--The appointment of Greg Downey to the USA Ultimate Board of Directors was announced today by the sport’s National Governing Body. The selection is the result of a unanimous Board vote and completes the process conducted to fill the 12th and final seat for 2011.
Downey is a sports and entertainment executive with an illustrious career that boasts nearly 20 years of high-level experience, having filled senior-level roles at several major companies and organizations . With a résumé that dates back to the early 90’s and lists significant contributions to employers or affiliates such as the NFL, the United States Olympic Committee, NBC  and Coca-Cola, Downey brings to the Board a tremendous amount of expertise as a television and entertainment strategist, business development executive, professional athlete representative and sports marketing professional.
Currently, Downey is the President of Saratoga Road, LLC, an Atlanta-based consulting company that specializes in building brand awareness and affinity through entertainment and sports properties. Downey recently founded the firm after previously serving as Group Director of Entertainment Marketing for Coca-Cola. For nearly five years, Downey oversaw all aspects of Coca-Cola’s North American marketing endeavors related to entertainment, including movie tie-ins, television sponsorships, branded entertainment, celebrity endorsements, music initiatives and gaming.  
Prior to his tenure at arguably the world’s most recognizable brand, Downey was Vice President of Branded Entertainment for NBC Universal – one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. While in this role from 2003-06, Downey established one of the first divisions dedicated to integrating corporate branding and messaging into the content of broadcast and cable television.
In the non-profit spots sector, Downey began the decade as Director of Business Development and Entertainment Properties for the U.S. Olympic Committee. While directly serving in the Olympic movement for several years, he developed and managed various corporate partner marketing programs, such as event sponsorship, television and motion picture properties, and National Governing Body initiatives. A skilled negotiator, Downey also played a major role in securing the largest broadcast contract in sports history – a $2.2 billion deal for the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games – and brokered the rights agreement with Disney’s Buena Vista Motion Pictures for the production of the 2004 film, Miracle. He also led a team which managed the exclusive licensing of all Olympic footage in the U.S. 
Prior to his appointment to Director of Business Development and Entertainment Properties in 2000, Downey was a Senior Marketing Manager at the USOC where he developed $75 million in NGB corporate sponsorship and marketing agreements. Additionally, he facilitated and developed endorsement arrangements between Olympic athletes and corporate partners.
In addition to high-level experience with a Fortune 500 company, a major broadcast television network and the USOC, Downey spent six years as an NFL Player Agent, representing amongst others, Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl quarterback Jim Kelley of the Buffalo Bills. As Vice President of Jim Kelley Enterprises from 1992-97, Downey negotiated player contracts, represented clients to advertising agencies and corporate partners, developed and implemented merchandising and licensing programs between manufacturers and NFL Properties, and created strategic integrated marketing alliances between consumer goods companies and sports properties/athlete endorsers.
After graduating Salutatorian and Summa Cum Laude with Honors from Penn State University in 1990, Downey attended the State University of New York School of Law, earning his J.D. in 1993. He is currently a member of the New York State Bar.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to assist USA Ultimate with its growth and brand building,” commented Downey. “The sport has a very strong future and potential given its low barriers to entry and a sizeable participant base whose demographic composition is highly appealing to many sponsorship categories and brand segments.”
“We are extremely excited to have a candidate of Greg’s caliber join the Board,” commented John Terry, Chairman of the Nominating Committee. “There were several quality candidates that were recommended and considered for this seat, which made for a difficult decision. But after careful and thoughtful deliberations regarding each candidate, the Nominating Committee supported the addition of Greg. He will no doubt bring an enormous level of expertise and insight into the room which will help fuel the continued growth of our sport on several levels.”
“The credentials, knowledge and experience that Greg has accumulated over the years will bring a very unique and valuable perspective to future Board discussions,” said Peri Kurshan, USA Ultimate Board of Directors President. “As our sport continues to evolve, the continued integration of high-level professionals such as Greg into our planning and decision-making will help us in multiple ways.”
The next USA Ultimate Board of Directors meeting will be held January 15-17 in Colorado Springs and Boulder, CO.