Vice President, Corporate Partnerships
Ryan Smith leads Premier’s Chicago office with a dual focus on growing the company’s portfolio of rights holders and securing commercial revenue for existing clients.
Previously, Smith served as vice president of sales for GroupM’s global sports & entertainment agency, ESP Properties. During his tenure at ESP, Smith helped secure key property representation rights with NFL and NBA teams, in addition to leading sales efforts on behalf of ESP’s portfolio of clients. Most recently, Smith negotiated one of North America’s largest multi-year race entitlement partnerships of its kind between Banco Popular and New York Road Runners.
Prior to ESP Properties, Smith spent four years as general manager with Legends Global Sales, a joint venture between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. As an early member of their growing Global Partnerships division, Smith helped lead Legends’ efforts in negotiating partnerships that resulted in long term revenue for a wide range of rights holders. Notable were his involvement in naming rights to Chicago’s Wintrust Arena; the NCAA Women’s College World Series’ first-ever founding partnership, with Integris Health; and naming rights and foundation partnerships for Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena, one of the nation’s busiest venues.
In addition to his agency roles with Legends, ESP Properties and Octagon, Smith’s career includes significant experience on the team side, with a strong track record as a leading revenue producer across the NBA, NHL and MLS. Among the many multiyear deals negotiated by Smith were partnerships with Toshiba, Visa, ConocoPhillips, ADT, State Farm, Frontier Airlines, Kaiser Permanente, MillerCoors, and PepsiCo.
Smith is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing.