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Forty Under 40: Katie Bynum Aznavorian

usopc

Since Katie Bynum Aznavorian joined the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee as its chief of staff in 2019, one of her fundamental priorities has been to steward the Team USA brand into the future. That mission has guided her as she’s overseen domestic friends-and-family programming, led promotional and awareness campaigns and, most notably, spearheaded the launch of the USOPC’s Athlete Marketing Platform, the digital sponsorship program built in partnership with Opendorse.

“This was first and foremost about driving value and earnings for athletes, but also in partnership with Team USA partners,” said Bynum Aznavorian. “The manual process existed in the marketplace, but we said, ‘Is there a way to also create a digital marketplace that means you can do this quickly and at scale?’” More than 800 Team USA athletes opted into the pilot program, and AMP has since been the home to over 1,000 deals valued at a total $2.5 million.

Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee

Age: 36
Born: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Education: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, B.A., journalism, sports communication
Family: Spouse, Dave
I get fired up … : Solving puzzles and building things (literally and figuratively).
Pandemic adjustment that will stick around: The satellite “offices” I have so I can work and be close to family.
Advice to my 20-year-old self: Be present, patient, and enjoy the ride.
Guilty pleasure: Pizza.
Causes supported: World Wildlife Foundation and Kids Play International.
The sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Promoting or improving participation for everyone.
Sports business leaders should be more mindful of … : The role sports can play in driving meaningful societal change.
The most adventurous thing I’ve done is … : Backpacked around Africa and Asia for six months after graduating from college (including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro).
You’d be surprised to know that I … : Don’t hate Duke.

Bynum Aznavorian relies on a skill set developed throughout a wide-ranging career that began with an internship at the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting. She later joined Wasserman, where she was employee No. 2 in the agency’s London-based consulting practice, before moving to the property side with a seven-year run at the United States Golf Association. She led commercial partnerships for the USGA and eventually took on oversight of ticketing and hospitality.

She now sits in a vitally important chair as Team USA embarks on a critical stretch through the 2028 Games in Los Angeles — and potentially on to a domestic Winter Games in 2030 or 2034.

“It’s not just on the marketing and commercial side. It’s how do we bring the entire organization behind what LA28 means to the USOPC, and that piece is super exciting,” she said. “We now have some ability and energy to really look ahead, so we’ll be setting a future strategy for the organization and will continue to explore and advance the conversations around Salt Lake and a future Winter Games.” — Chris Smith

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