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.

Brad Watters

Brad Watters, Managing Partner

AWB Strategic Branding Co.


Age: 34
New title: Managing partner, AWB Strategic Branding Co.
Previous job: President, Ottawa Renegades
First job: Delivering Canada Dry soda
Education: Bachelor of science, economics (1990), University of Western Ontario
Family: Wife, Lynda; daughters, Kaitlyn and Lauryn; son, Mark
Resides: Toronto
Grew up: Toronto
Executive most admired: Paul Beeston, former Toronto Blue Jays CEO
Brand most admired: Under Armour
Favorite vacation spot: Jupiter, Fla.
Last book read: “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown
Last movie seen: “Hitch”
Favorite band: Toby Keith

Brad Watters loves working in the sports industry and also loves facing new challenges. He will be able to do both as he starts his own strategic branding, licensing and marketing company. He recently took time to talk to SportsBusiness Journal about his career in sports and his new company.

What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
Convincing companies and events that this type of branding and licensing is needed and is quickly moving forward.

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Selling my business with Merrill Lynch to go into the sports industry. Some people could not believe that anyone would do such a thing, but I wanted a new challenge and to go into something I loved.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Running the 2004 Grey Cup. It is the CFL’s biggest event by far and took us three years to plan for it. … We were able to give it a different twist and make it more youthful. Both the fans and the sponsors were thrilled with the way it was produced.

What is your biggest professional disappointment?
The failure of the professional lacrosse teams in Montreal and Ottawa. I believe lacrosse will make a huge comeback, especially in Montreal. We were just a couple of years too early.

What career advice do you have for people?
Do something you love to do. I liked my jobs at Molson and Merrill Lynch but did not love them, so I decided to get into something I loved.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?
The development of extreme games. They are doing it the right way by going after a younger crowd. I am also watching the disconnect that is growing between kids and professional sports. Today kids would rather play video games than watch professional sports.

This Career spotlight is courtesy of the Sports Business Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.

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