COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Crew interim general manager Mark McCullers announced that Rob Grady has been hired as the Crew's senior vice president of sales & marketing.
"Rob Grady is a significant and strategic enhancement to our senior management team," said McCullers. "He is a seasoned sports marketing executive with diverse sales, marketing and branding experience that, with our current sales and marketing executives, comprises a very compelling team. Rob is well suited to lead this team in our continued pursuit to be the top Major League Soccer franchise in all revenue producing categories while providing the gold standard in sports entertainment experience and service to our fans."
As senior vice president of sales & marketing, Grady will oversee multiple revenue and brand building functions, including ticket sales and service, corporate partnerships, client services, community outreach, marketing and fan development.
"I am extremely excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work with America's hardest working team. The Columbus Crew has always been a first-class organization and I am proud to be a part of it," said Grady. "My family and I are really looking forward to becoming a part of the Columbus community."
Grady joins the Crew from Sharpie/Sanford Corporation in Chicago where he served as director of sports marketing, consumer promotions & public relations. His primary focus there was on the execution and negotiation of Sharpie's multi-million dollar NASCAR investment - title sponsorship of the Sharpie 500 and the #97 Sharpie Racing Team.
Prior to Sharpie, Grady was vice president/general manager for the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League where he designed and managed the full start-up operation of the AFL expansion team in Chicago.
At the collegiate level, Grady has served as assistant athletic director for marketing at the University of Miami, director of marketing & promotions at Northwestern University, and assistant director of marketing & promotions at the University of Michigan. He was also the sports director and anchor at KMTJ-TV6 in Junction City, Kan.
Grady received his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Northwestern in 1988 and his Master of Science degree in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts in 1991. He and his wife, Keyburn, have two children - Griffin (7) and Trevor (5) and are expecting their third in December.