Featured in Red Penguins

A new documentary by Gabe Polsky. Debuted opening night at the Toronto International Film Festival 2019

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Steven Warshaw
CEO + Managing Director

Steven Warshaw

Steven M. Warshaw has spent his entire career in the world of sports marketing. He has a unique ability to analyze a market, identify opportunities, and implement the strategies and tactics that dramatically enhance the success of each venture. In his early years, he managed minor league baseball, hockey, and basketball teams. It was this experience that led to Steven’s intimate knowledge of team and arena operations, ticket sales, public relations, advertising, sponsorships, merchandising, TV/Radio partnerships, and game-day entertainment. As a GM, Warshaw increased ‘franchise value’ in each city.

Following that early-stage indoctrination, he joined IMG (International Management Group) as Director of Team Sports Marketing, generating endorsement dollars, broadcasting income, speaking engagements, and creating charitable foundations. In this role, Warshaw developed all of the skills and relationships required to market and promote the sportsworld’s premier players, broadcasters, and Hall-of-Famers.

All of these experiences and acquired skills were put to work in the mid-90s, when he joined the Pittsburgh Penguins to manage their investment in Russia’s fabled, but bankrupt, Red Army Hockey Club (ЦСКА). Warshaw’s charge in Moscow was to re-brand and re-energize this downtrodden franchise. Success was measured by attendance, media exposure, plus television, sponsorship, tour, and merchandising revenues. The sportsworld’s first international joint-venture (The Russian Penguins) is chronicled in Gabe Polsky’s new documentary (Red Penguins), with its world premiere on Opening Night of TIFF 2019.

Along with his business activities, Steven enjoys his role as a guest lecturer at Syracuse University’s David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, where he has the opportunity to educate and inspire the next generation of sports executives.

Today, Steven is the CEO of Universal Sports Marketing, an organization dedicated to the success of his clients in the global world of sports!

Team Management:

As a GM and consultant for international and minor-pro hockey, basketball, and baseball teams, Warshaw broke numerous league records for attendance, broadcast rights fees, sponsorship sales, and merchandising revenues. (From Moscow, Russia to Helena, MT … Rockford, IL to Worcester, MA … Pittsburgh, PA to Cleveland, OH)

Athlete Marketing:

During his years as IMG’s Director of Team Sports Marketing, Warshaw generated off-field/off-ice/off-court income for the firm's premier ‘team sports’ athletes, including Joe Montana, Herschel Walker, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull, Jaromir Jagr, Joe Morgan, Earl Weaver, James Worthy, Kurt Rambis, Michael Adams, Dave Cowens, Joe Theismann and Ben Davidson.

International Ventures:

As the EVP of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Warshaw rebranded and launched the Red Army Hockey team in Moscow as "The Russian Penguins,” becoming a major factor in the hockey world. From a standing start, Warshaw secured major  sponsorships with Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Panasonic, Ernst & Young, McDonald's, Kraft, Seagram’s, Baskin Robbins, etc., and outsold three NHL clubs in jersey sales.

Areas of Expertise

Team Management

Team Management

Beyond the logistics of successfully operating arenas and stadiums, is the critical component of occupancy. An empty arena is the death-knell for sports teams. USM prides itself on filling arenas, ballparks and stadiums, providing ownership with league-leading attendance, public relations hits, and increasing the club's franchise value. USM engages the local communities and blends 501(c)(3)s into the marketing mix.

Athlete Marketing

Athlete Marketing

Today’s sports deities have become their own brands and need to be guided through the minefields. USM advises athletes on branding, marketing, endorsements, speaking engagements, and appearances, while implementing a positive PR plan and creating charitable foundations and events. "Image is Everything," and USM will enhance every star's public persona.

Communications and Media

Communications and Media

Understanding the target audience and market it serves (or will serve) is the key to a successful campaign. Demographic analysis and a solid grapevine is essential to making the right decisions, and experience at every level is critical. USM ensures the best media coverage and press relations for its clients: Sports Management Agencies, Olympic Committees, teams, leagues, and athletes.

Event and Tour Production

Event and Tour Production

USM designs and produces investor conferences, tributes, concerts, golf outings, and 501(c)(3) events that contribute to the image of its clients. When executed correctly, the public relations benefits and resulting employee pride is invaluable. Events should be brand-building and memorable, strengthening a company's reputation and industry image.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
— Will Rogers
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