Bachelor of Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 1980
Sports Marketing; Sponsorship and the Olympic movement; Professional League Management; Fantasy/Video Gaming; Sport in Literature, the NCAA
SPM 225 - Managing the Sport Organization
SPM 356 - Olympic Sport Management
HNR 340 - Honors: Baseball and American Culture
SPM 324 - Sport Sponsorship and Promotion
David B. Falk Endowed Professor
Faculty Athletic Representative to the ACC and NCAA
Rick Burton is the David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management in Syracuse University’s David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. He is the co-author of the textbook Global Sport Marketing: Sponsorship, Ambush Marketing And The Olympic Games and recently finished a book for SU Press on his collected opinion columns from Sports Business Journal titled “Sports Business Unplugged: Leadership Challenges from the World of Sports.” During the last 20 years, his scholarly research and commentary has been published in Sport Marketing Quarterly, the International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Journal of Applied Sport Management, Journal of Sport, Nine, SAIS Review, Marketing Management, Journal of Brand Strategy, Journal of Marketing Communications, Industrial Marketing Management, International Marketing Review, Football Studies and Journal of Sponsorship, among others. He is Syracuse University’s Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) to the NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), teaches in Syracuse’s Renee Crown Honors Program and has served as a visiting professor at Kufstein Tirol University in Austria as well as the International Olympic Academy (IOA) in Olympia, Greece. He was selected as the Falk College Faculty Member of the Year for Teaching in 2011 and 2013.
Prior to his appointment at Syracuse in August 2009, Burton served as the chief marketing officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, where he directed the USOC’s partnerships for International Olympic Committee (IOC) and USOC sponsorship activation at the world’s largest sporting event.
From 2003-07, Burton was the Commissioner of Australia’s Sydney-based National Basketball League (a two-continent league with teams in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore) and was responsible for every aspect of the NBL’s development and growth, including securing broadcast rights fees, naming rights sponsorships, player and referee collective bargaining agreements and league profitability. By placing a team in Singapore, the NBL became the first western sports league to place a team in Asia.
From 1995-2003, Burton led the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to international prominence serving as both its director and executive director (1998-03). During this time, Burton initiated Oregon’s engagement with Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and worked closely with Nike as it developed business efforts in China. While at Oregon, Burton also created the Burton Marketing Group working almost exclusively in league management and sponsorship for entities such as IMG, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Japanese Pro Soccer League (J-League), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Australian NBL, Visa, Oakland Raiders, FedEx, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Professional Bull Riders, Sport Accord, and TSE.
In the mid-1990s (1993-95), Burton supervised numerous clients ranging from the NFL, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Gillette, Sprint and Universal Studios while serving as a vice president for sports and entertainment marketing agency Clarion Performance Properties in Greenwich, Conn.
During his varied career, Burton has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Ad Age, Sports Business Journal, SI.com, Sport Business International, and Stadia and hosted a sports business television show in Portland, Oregon. He has provided national radio network commentary for the Sporting News Radio Network and is in frequent demand as a commentator on the sports industry. A frequent conference host/moderator and inspirational/motivational speaker, Burton’s most recent engagements have included Intel, Chip Ganassi Racing (NASCAR and Indy Racing), the Association of Luxury Suite Directors and Real Salt Lake (MLS).
Burton began his career as a sportswriter in Syracuse before moving to Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, where he worked for 12 years in brand management and sports public relations. He served as national advertising manager for Miller Lite’s award-winning “Less Filling – Tastes Great” advertising campaign and also as a brand manager (Sharp’s and Lowenbrau).
Burton’s first novel, a WWII/Cold War historical thriller called The Darkest Mission, was published in May 2011 by Long Reef Press.
- Burton, R. and O’Reilly, N. (2016, in press), Sport Business Unplugged: Leadership Challenges from the World of Sports, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, N.Y.
- Burton, R. and O’Reilly, N. (2016), “In a two-nation NHL league, why is only one alive in postseason?”, Sports Business Journal, May 30-June 5, Vol. 19, No. 8, page 21.
- Burton, R. and O’Reilly, N. (2016), “Rio 2016: Pending doom or standard pre-Games bashing?”, Sports Business Journal, April 18-24, Vol. 18, No. 51, page 33.
- Burton, R. and O’Reilly, N. (2016), “IOC’s Rule 40 has potential to be sponsorship game changer”, Sports Business Journal, March 7-13, Vol. 18, No. 45, page 23.
- Burton, R. and O’Reilly, N. (2016), “How athlete decisions can lead to a sponsorship revolution”, Sports Business Journal, February 15-21, Vol. 18, No. 42, page 27.
- Burton, R. (2016), “Loving the Game … Inside and Out”, Memories and Dreams, Vol. 38, No. 3, Summer 2016, 46-47.
- Burton, R. and Powell, T. (2016), “Syracuse University student-athletes do go to class, care about academics,” Syracuse Post-Standard/Syracuse.com, May 3. http://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/05/syracuse_university_student-athletes_do_go_to_class_care_about_academics_comment.html
- Burton, R. (2015), “Don't Be Shocked There's Gambling Going on In Here”, U.S. News and World Report, October 6. http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/are-daily-fantasy-sports-gambling/dont-be-shocked-theres-gambling-going-on-in-here
- Burton R. (2014), “Australia, Baseball’s Diamond in the Rough”, New York Times, March 10, D1, D5. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/sports/baseball/australia-baseballs-diamond-in-rough.html?ref=sports
- Burton, R. and O’Reilly, N. (2017), “A look Down Under shows special strategy in launching a league”, Sports Business Journal, April 17-23, Vol. 19, No. 50, page 34