Brent Stehlik Named to Forty Under 40 for 2013

April 03, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Mount Union graduate Brent Stehlik ’99, executive vice president-chief revenue officer for the Cleveland Browns, will be honored on Thursday as one of Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 for 2013.

According to sportsbusinessdaily.com, the awards program was initiated in 1999 to identify and honor the most promising young executives in sports business under the age of 40. The program will take place on Thursday in Naples, Fla.

Stehlik, who majored in sport business at Mount Union, was named to his position with the Browns in January after working for the San Diego Padres as senior vice president for business operations since May 2010. Stehlik previously held positions with the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Diamondbacks, Frisco RoughRiders and Tampa Bay Lighting.

The Lakewood, OH native credits his experience at Mount Union for giving him a well-rounded start in the sport sales industry. A graduate of Lutheran West High School, Stehlik chose Mount Union for several reasons: his father, Arthur Stehlik ’68 attended Mount Union, the sport management program was a good fit and he was recruited to play basketball his freshman year.

“I had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people at Mount Union,” Stehlik said. “The ability to do a number of different things and meet a variety of people was a huge impact for me.”

During his time at Mount Union, Stehlik enjoyed learning from Dr. James Kadlecek, associate professor and chair of the Department of Human Performance and Sport Business. He also gained experience working in the sports information office during his four years on campus.

“Dr. Kadlecek was one of the reasons I got my first job in sports,” he said. “He knew that I was willing to move anywhere and wanted to get out of Ohio, and he thought of me first.”

When Stehlik took his first job in Tampa Bay, it was his class experience at Mount Union that ultimately helped him succeed.

“I always knew I wanted to work in sports, but the sport business program prepared me because we did a lot of presentations and talking in front of the class,” he recalled. “When you’re in a leadership position in sports, you have to be able to do that. I was much more prepared when I got to Tampa because of that.”

Throughout his sport business career, Stehlik said it was the relationships he formed that helped him move to the next level.

“How you treat people – every interaction you have, is important,” he said.

Because Stehlik had previously worked with Cleveland Browns president Alec Scheiner and had formed a good working relationship with him, he was first in line for the executive vice president-chief revenue officer job with the Browns.

“The job here is an unbelievable opportunity,” Stehlik said. “It’s a great opportunity to come in on the ground floor, change things from the ground floor and be part of a group that hopefully turns the franchise around.”

Stehlik said his new position has kept him busy but he has enjoyed being part of rebuilding the business side of the team. His duties include overseeing all revenues, marketing, sponsorships, media sales, the website, ticket sales, suite sales, service, retention, concessions, retail and catering.

“If the Browns don’t win, none of this will matter,” he said. “The first goal of the organization is winning. My job is to make sure we have a really good business culture here, to continue to drive revenues and drive the fan experience. We have to make the fan experience at the stadium the best in the NFL.”

Stehlik is married to Molly and the couple has three children – Sophie, 5; Boone, 3; and Griffin, 1. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports, spending time with his family and exercising.

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