UMass Amherst Sport Management Program Presents the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Awards

AMHERST, Mass. - Four University of Massachusetts Amherst sport management graduates have been selected to receive the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus award on Saturday, April 28 during the department’s award ceremony at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

The award is an annual recognition of select sport management alumni for their professional excellence and outstanding achievement in the sports industry, as well as for their dedication to the Mark H. McCormack Sport Management Program at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

Burke Magnus, Wade Martin, Carolanne McAuliffe, and Neal Huntington are the recipients.

"Burke, Wade, Carolanne and Neal are deserving recipients of this award," says Lisa Masteralexis, department head, "Their work exemplifies leadership in the sport industry in the professional and college sport ranks. They are unselfish with their time and dedication to our program."

Magnus joined ESPN in 1995 as a program associate. A little over a decade later, he was promoted to ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming. In that role, Magnus is responsible for the strategic direction of college football, college basketball and NCAA Championships on the various ESPN platforms.

Martin, president and CEO of Alli, a global entertainment business that encompasses national and international action sports tours and events, has pioneered this professional tour for action sports into a multimedia production, distribution and a "consumer-facing lifestyle brand."

McAuliffe, the vice president of marketing for the NBA is responsible for the relationship with the NBA’s advertising, branding and media agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. McAuliffe coordinates media planning as well as budgeting and execution of the NBA’s brand campaign. In addition, she is accountable for the creative production of the league’s 30 teams.

Huntington was named senior vice president and general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007. He and his staff have systematically restructured how the Pirates evaluate, acquire, develop and retain players and staff members with the goal of building the Pirates into a championship caliber organization.

The Mark H. McCormack Sport Management Program is one of the premiere programs in the country. Graduates go on to successful careers working for sports teams and leagues, college athletic programs, national and international amateur-sport organizations, and firms specializing in sport marketing, sport sponsorship, athlete representation, and facility and event management.