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UGA Alumni Sports Industry Council

UGA Alumni Sports Industry Logo

The UGA Alumni Sports Industry Council is an external advisory board that serves the student population in the UGA Sport Management and Policy program. The Council is a group of sport industry veterans that foster important links between the program and the sports business community. The Council provides student support in the areas of professional mentoring, and internship and employment placement. The Council also provides a number of services to the program including guest lecturing and scholarship support.

Listen to a 33N83W Podcast about the Council

Chair: Michael Cheney

  • Current: Sr. Director of Partnerships at Punchh, Inc.
  • Previous Experience: Coca-Cola, Visa, Symantec

Michael Cheney provides proven leadership in developing business strategy, developing and negotiating comprehensive commercial agreements, developing integrated marketing plans and building cross functional teams while creating value for internal and external relationships. Mr. Cheney has developed partnership marketing and sponsorship strategies and activation plans for Coca-Cola, Sprite, PowerAde, Evian, Visa, Symantec, Norton, BMW, and Wyndham, among others. He has negotiated with the IOC, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB Media, and multiple sports teams across all major US Sports, the US Open, Pebble Beach, IMG College and many more.

Chris Brearton

  • Current: Chief Operating Officer / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., (MGM) & Chair / USA Swimming

  • Previous Experience: Latham & Watkins

Christopher Brearton, Chief Operating Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., (MGM), joined the company in February 2018 and oversees MGM’s global business operations as well as the legendary studio’s business development and strategic growth initiatives.

Brearton came to MGM from the entertainment powerhouse law firm, Latham & Watkins, where he was the Managing Partner of the firm’s Century City office. His tenure there saw Brearton build an internationally acclaimed Entertainment, Sports and Media practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, strategic joint ventures, complex financing transactions, media rights licensing, and overall business and operational counseling.

Brearton has been recognized for his work with many accolades over his career, such as The Hollywood Reporter’s “Power Players,” Sports Business Journal’s “Elite” list as well as their “Forty Under Forty” award, and has been recognized as one of Variety’s “Hollywood’s Top Dealmakers,” and on their “Game Changing Entertainment Attorneys” list.

He is Chair of USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States.

Brearton received his J.D. from the University of Virginia and his bachelor degree from the University of Georgia, where he was also a student athlete and competed as a collegiate varsity swimmer.

Chip Caray

  • Current: Play-by-Play Announcer / Atlanta Braves & Fox Sports South
  • Previous Experience: Orlando Magic, Orlando SunRays, TBS, WGN, Chicago Cubs

Chip is a nationally recognized sports broadcasting veteran and current play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Braves on Fox Sports South. Chip previously served in a similar capacity for Braves games broadcast on TBS Sports. He has called postseason and World Series games on FOX as well as national games on TBS. Previous to his time in Atlanta, Chip was the play-by-play announcer for Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs broadcasts.

Sarah Davis

  • Current: Senior Vice President of Account Services / MELT
  • PreviousExperience: Atlanta Dream, Coca-Cola

Sarah Davis has extensive event and account service experience working with both brands and properties across sports and entertainment. Ms. Davis is widely known for her creativity, execution, and leadership, especially in the sports marketing space. At MELT, Ms. Davis manages and oversees MELT’s full roster of clients, events, experiential programs, and brand initiatives. She had the opportunity to work locally in Atlanta to help launch the Atlanta Dream franchise, though her accounts and activities have taken her around the world.

Brian Doud

  • Current: CMO / Thompson Tractor Company
  • Previous Experience: Caterpillar, Synovus Financial, Lawler Ballard Van Durand Agency, Coca Cola

Brian Doud is the exclusive distributor of Caterpillar Equipment in Alabama and NW Florida, and the largest distributor of Hyundai Forklift Equipment in Georgia. He is responsible for the strategic planning for customer strategy, communication process and execution, advertising, and all other marketing and promotion-related functions for more than 20 brands and product lines. Mr. Doud provides world-class counsel on sponsorship marketing and marketing services which include college sports, video games, theme parks and spectacular signage.

Becca Elliott

  • Current: Product Track Lead, Mobile Applications at Carvana
  • Previous Experience: Seattle Kraken

Susan Goodenow

  • Current: Vice President of Marketing and Communications / Chicago Bulls
  • Previous Experience: Boston Red Sox, MLB Office of Commissioner, American Red Cross

Susan Goodenow is responsible for developing and managing the team’s branding strategy and marketing efforts, coordinating and integrating all team communication, and directing the team’s community outreach efforts. Susan oversees broadcasting, BullsTV, community relations, corporate communications, creative services, digital, entertainment, marketing, and public & media relations and also works closely with Chicago Bulls Charities.

Bryan Johnston

  • Current: Managing Partner / Adjacency Partners
  • Previous Experience: GoPro, Nike, UFC, Adidas-Salomon

Bryan Johnston is a proven executive leader with world class product development, global brand marketing, digital and social strategies, and sales & distribution expertise.

David Koonin

  • Current: Agent / Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Sports
  • Previous: UGA Athletic Association, MELT, CSE

David Koonin is an Agent in CAA’s Sports Media practice, where he represents more than 45 sports media talent clients, including Fox’s Erin Andrews, YouTube superstars Dude Perfect, ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Dan Orlovsky, Rece Davis, Doris Burke, Jalen Rose and Field Yates; Turner/CBS’s Grant Hill; Turner’s Allie LaForce; and NFL Network and CBS’s Scott Pioli, among others.

In his dual role as Head of Endorsements and Marketing for CAA Sports Media, he oversees a team of three Agents who work on behalf of CAA’s roster of more than 200 clients. This role includes managing the endorsement and commercial portfolios of his own clients, in addition to such sports media stars as Mike Greenberg, Desmond Howard, Adrian Wojnarowski, Malika Andrews, Laura Rutledge, Mina Kimes, Marty Smith and Joe Buck, to name a few.

Koonin is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and has worked out of the CAA New York office for the past six years. Koonin is a graduate of the University of Georgia and earned a Master’s of Sports Administration from Ohio University. He lives in New York City with his wife Jessica and their daughter, Vera.

Patrick Lally

  • Current: Manager, Operations / Crimson Tide Sports Marketing
  • Previous Experience: Pittsburgh Penguins, Georgia Bulldogs Sports Marketing, Georgetown Sports Properties, Charlotte Knights, Gwinnett Braves, United States Senate, United States House of Representatives

Patrick Lally’s primary responsibility as the Operations Manager with Crimson Tide Sports Marketing is to serve as liaison between designated Business Developers and their corporate partners associated with the University of Alabama Athletic Department. Patrick also manages the Partnership Services and Property Assistant staff and game day operations that are specifically involved with “fan fest” areas, hospitality, and corporate activations. In addition, he oversees designated special events and Crimson Tide Sports Radio Network “Coach’s Shows”.

Before moving to Tuscaloosa in May of 2023, Patrick worked as a Partnership Marketing Manager with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and served in various partnership activation capacities at Georgia Bulldogs Sports Marketing, Georgetown University Athletics (Fox Sports College Properties) and several stops in Minor League Baseball.

Prior to pursuing a career in the sports industry, Patrick worked in government, serving as a Congressional Aide in the United States House of Representatives and as a Senior Adviser in the United States Senate.

Patrick earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and an M.S. in Sport Management & Policy from the University of Georgia. A native of Winthrop, Massachusetts, he currently resides in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Mike Pine

  • Current: President & Founder / Talon Partnerships & Events
  • Previous: UFC, WWE, FanDuel, Ironman Triathlon

Mike Pine is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and innovative Senior Executive with 20+ years experience previously holding Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) / Head of Global Sales & Partnerships positions with four (4) separate multi-billion dollar properties - UFC, WWE, FanDuel and Ironman Triathlon.

Pine is currently the President & Founder of Talon Partnerships & Events, a multi-functional consulting, brand partnership and event marketing company servicing reputable athletes, entertainers, brands, properties and businesses globally.

Pine is involved with numerous boards and is often asked to lead speaking panels at sports and entertainment industry events (e.g. Sports Business Journal, AdWeek, etc.). He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO earning his B.S. in Behavioral Sciences and also holds an M.B.A in Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University.

Vince Thompson

  • Current: Founder, Chairman, CEO / MELT Atlanta

Vince Thompson was named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Most Admired CEOs.” He is an award-winning brand builder and one of the country’s top sports marketers. He found MELT and has grown the company into one of the nation’s largest sports/culinary/entertainment marketing agencies. MELT represents the Coca-Cola Company and has activations for the Final Four and ESPN’s College GameDay. MELT works with major sports properties such as COPA, FIFA, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHRA, PGA and the Olympics.

Percy Vaughn

  • Current: Vice President / Kia Motors America; Chairman / Chick-Fil-A Bowl Board; Board of Trustees / Chick-fil-A Corporation
  • Previous: Ford, Hyundai

In 1995, Percy Vaughn opened the Southern Region for Kia Motors America where he was the Executive Director, and now serves as the Vice President of the Southern Region. Mr. Vaughn also serves as the Board Chairman for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. He oversees the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors which manages the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge Charity Golf Tournament, and the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award. In recognition of his contributions, Mr. Vaughn was inducted into the 2018 class of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Hall of Fame. Mr. Vaughn was also named the 2013 Father of Year by the American Diabetes Association and was awarded the Martin Luther King Unity Award in 2018.

Scott Williams

  • Current: Senior Director of Multi-media Sales / SEC Network
  • Previous Experience: ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears

Scott Williams is a successful media executive for ESPN’s SEC Network. He was a member of the 1980 UGA Football National Championship team.

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