Zags Announce IMG's Spokane Based Staff

July 31, 2008

SPOKANE, Wash. - Kris Kassel, along with Tim Bennett, have been named to the IMG College Corporate Sponsorship team working on behalf of Gonzaga University athletics. Kassel will serve as the General Manager, while Bennett was named the Sponsorship Marketing Consultant. Earlier this month, IMG College, a division of IMG, the world's premier sports, entertainment and media company, announced a 10-year agreement with the Bulldog athletic department to exclusively manage their multimedia rights and sales of corporate sponsorships.

"We are extremely excited about IMG and about the talented staff IMG has brought on board," stated Athletics Director Mike Roth. "Kris as the General Manager brings with him a tremendous wealth of knowledge from other great institutions. We look forward to working with both Kris and Tim."

"I speak for everyone within IMG College in expressing how ecstatic we are to be working with Gonzaga Athletics," said Kassel. "The relationship with IMG provides yet another opportunity for Gonzaga to position itself among the national leaders in a particular area of its operations.

"Personally, I've always followed the Zags and have shared the affinity that much of the country has developed for the unique and special identity this program has carved for itself. Gonzaga is certainly a destination program. My family and I are privileged to have been welcomed so warmly into the Gonzaga and Spokane communities and look forward to working on behalf of the Bulldog student-athletes and fans to provide a stronger financial footing for GU for years to come."

Prior to Gonzaga, Kassel served as the IMG General Sales Manager at the University of Arizona. During his time at Arizona, Kassel guided the sales efforts of the 12-person full-time staff in the growth of UA's Athletics Corporate Partnership program. The Wildcats multimedia rights package value ranks at the top of the Pacific-10 Conference and in the Top-10 nationally.

Kassel joined Arizona from his post as Associate General Manager for the Baylor University-ISP Sports Network. While at Baylor, he helped lead a staff that doubled corporate sponsorship revenue for the athletics program in the first 18 months on the job.

Kassel also served for three years at the Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at the University of Evansville, was a member of the Crimson Tide Sports Marketing team at the University of Alabama and the Tiger Sports Properties at the University of Memphis.

He began his career with the Memphis Redbirds of the AAA Pacific Coast Baseball League as Assistant Promotions Director before moving into the college sphere as Marketing and Advertising Director for Inside Indiana Magazine, a publication devoted to covering the athletics at Indiana University.

Kassel earned his Bachelor's of Arts degree from Indiana in 1998 and received his Masters in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2003 and is a graduate of the prestigious Sports Management Institute Executive Program, a graduate level professional development program jointly sponsored by Notre Dame University and the Universities of South Carolina, Texas, Southern California, North Carolina and Michigan.

Kassel and his wife Lori reside in Spokane and the couple welcomed their first daughter Abigail this past May.

Bennett comes to Gonzaga also from Arizona where he served as the IMG Sponsorship Marketing Assistant for eight months before being promoted to Corporate Development Associate for IMG.

As the Corporate Development Associate, Bennett dealt with corporate accounts, created new local business packages, designed tourism packages and managed the relationship with the Wildcat online store.

During his time as the Sponsorship Marketing Assistant he formatted and scheduled 50-plus Spanish and 25-plus baseball radio broadcasts, along with designing and producing highly visible signage within Arizona's athletic facilities.

Bennett graduate from Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resource management in 2007.

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