Ryan Merrill has climbed the ranks of the sports and entertainment industry, working in nearly every facet of the business, including ticket and hospitality sales, sponsorship sales, marketing, promotional activation, graphic design, and media/broadcasting. He’s worked in minor league, major league, and college sports.
As Vice President, Sales for Impression Sports & Entertainment, Ryan manages an active roster of sales and consulting projects and engages with numerous entertainment and sports properties as part of one of the leading sponsorship sales and consulting agencies in North America. Impression represents a number of entities in their naming rights, title sponsorship, and other high-profile corporate sponsorship efforts and have generated millions of dollars in new revenue for its clients.
In his time at Impression, Ryan has grown the company by creating relationships with the Independence Bowl, Conference USA and the Bahamas Bowl, the Battle 4 Atlantis, Indiana Farmers Coliseum and the Indy Fuel, and the Miami Beach Bowl. In 2014, Ryan secured the Title Sponsorship for the inaugural Bahamas Bowl with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which became a cornerstone of Popeyes’ marketing platform and one of the most talked-about college sports sponsorships of 2014. Ryan also facilitated sponsorships for the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Colorado Rapids, the ECHL, the American Hockey League, and the Greenville Arena District this past year.
Ryan’s career began with the Utah Grizzlies minor league hockey club, working in numerous roles with the team, including ticket and sponsorship sales, partnership activation, design, and broadcasting. This was followed by six years at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Rapids (MLS), and Colorado Mammoth (NLL), and multiple venues and media properties. As a member of the sponsorship sales group at KSE, Ryan generated new sponsorship and media partnerships for all properties and managed numerous corporate partners such as Pepsi, Delta Dental, GEICO, MillerCoors, UPS, Bridgestone, and Tires Plus. Ryan also successfully sold one of the largest multi-team partnerships at KSE with a multi-year, seven-figure partnership with AT&T. After KSE, Ryan joined international sports and entertainment agency IMG. As part of IMG’s college sports multimedia rights group, Ryan helped start their newest property at the United States Air Force Academy.
An Ogallala, Nebraska native, Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a Master of Business Administration degree from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Ryan, his wife, and two sons make their home in Denver, Colorado.