Fellow – Susan Cohig – SVP of Business Affairs and Integrated Marketing, National Hockey League

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As the NHL’s Senior Vice President, Business Affairs & Integrated Marketing, Susan Cohig is responsible for working across all business areas of the League office, including digital media, events, integrated sales, marketing, and broadcasting, and in collaboration with the legal team. In her role, Cohig evaluates opportunities, issues and agreements and assesses their impact on the organization, including all 30 NHL Teams, in order to ensure the continued advancement of the League’s business priorities and strategic objectives.

Cohig also negotiates licensing of the use of League and team properties across various platforms including television and film projects; manages League and team policy and compliance matters; and regulates internal business units to maximize value. In this role, Cohig also works to elevate League business and marketing activities through a continued partnership with NHL teams and their support of key League initiatives, including organizing and producing the annual Club Business Meetings where League and team executives gather to analyze and discuss best practices, issues and opportunities affecting all business units, including relating to sponsorship, marketing, ticketing, and digital media.

Prior to taking on her Business Affairs role, Cohig was most recently responsible for overseeing the management of the League’s U.S.-based national partnership marketing relationships. In that role, Cohig successfully influenced the elevation of NHL partner awareness by incorporating significant activations at the League and team levels through various avenues, including broadcasts and events. In 2013, the Sports Business Journal ranked the NHL higher than the other four major sports organizations in fan loyalty when it comes to corporate partners. NHL fans not only recognized who NHL partners were more than other fans, but also indicated they were more likely to choose those brands over its rivals. Under Cohig’s direction, brands such as Geico, Verizon, Coors Light, Honda, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Discover have seen double-digit percentage growth in brand awareness. Cohig also led the U.S. team in the upselling and renewal processes, and was responsible for leveraging and transforming single-year deals into multi-year renewals, deepening partner investments in hockey and providing increased opportunities to engage with NHL fans.

Cohig also spearheads efforts associated with the NHL’s women’s hockey initiative, working to elevate and support women’s hockey by using the NHL’s assets to spotlight the women’s game. Cohig connects the NHL’s business with all levels of women’s hockey –from grassroots to professional—as well as providing greater visibility by integrating editorial coverage on NHL.com and incorporating visits, and Q&A sessions at key League events.

Cohig was named a 2014 Marketing Hall of Femme honoree by Direct Marketing News. In 2013, Cohig was acknowledged as a “Game Changer – Women in Sports Business” by Sports Business Journal, which recognizes the contributions of women to the success of the industry; and as one of Globe & Mail’s “Power 50” List Of Canadian Sports Figures in 2013, joining many powerful movers and shakers in the sports industry.

Before joining the National Hockey League in 1996, Ms. Cohig spent several years with Ascent Entertainment, overseeing the sales and servicing of corporate partner relationships of the NHL Colorado Avalanche and the NBA Denver Nuggets. While with Ascent, Ms. Cohig was a part of the management team responsible for the move of and introduction of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team to the market.

Cohig graduated the University of Denver with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She received her law degree from the New York Law School, where she graduated cum laude.

Twitter – @secohig

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