Sports Career Spotlight

We've been featuring executives from the sports industry since 2001. Naturally, some of these executives have moved onward and upward in their sports careers. We believe these profiles remain relevant and valuable because they highlight the hard work, dedication, brilliant successes, and lessons learned in a variety of career paths through the sports industry.

Joann Klonowski

Joann Klonowski , Business Development



Career Spotlight: Joann Klonowski

Joann Klonowski has held management positions with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Galaxy, World Cup and Paralympic Games, among others. Klonowski has also been an industry wide marketing consultant and executive director of the 1993 Grammy Awards, and she is a sports management professor at the University of San Francisco. At PrimeSport, Klonowski will help develop new business for the company’s sports event packages and corporate hospitality services.

New title: Business Development, PrimeSport
Previous job: Chief Executive Officer, Music Center Speaker Series
First job: Marshall Mortgage
Resides: Los Angeles
Grew up: Cleveland
Executive most admired: Alan Rothenberg, former U.S. Soccer Federation president
Favorite vacation spot: Caribbean Islands
Last book read: “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century,” by Thomas Friedman
Last movie seen: “The Kingdom”
Favorite movie: “The Wizard of Oz”
Favorite musician: Frank Sinatra

What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
It is always generating more income or revenue and developing product lines and business development.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
I worked several years on my own when I had my own business and worked on a series of different events. It gave me great diversity and knowledge in all sorts of jobs and entities.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Probably working on the World Cup in 1994. It was really successful and I was in charge of marketing for nine different cities.

What is your biggest professional disappointment?
I don’t know if I have any. I just look at an activity that I go into as never going to be unsuccessful, because they all are successful. I always tell my students that you should work for a team that is in the basement. When I was working for the Indians they were always in the basement, and you always learn the most when you are working for a team that struggles.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?
Most people are afraid to sell. But with everything in life you sell, the way you dress, talk, everything you do is selling.

What is one element that you would like to change about the industry?
It would be great if all athletes in any sport conducted themselves in a professional manner. They are the people young people emulate.

This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.

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