LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 20, 2013) — Gary Friedman, former Illinois State University director of athletics and University of Louisville senior athletic administrator, has been named general manager for its KFC Yum Center Properties, the entity also known as Louisville Arena Sports & Entertainment Properties (LASEP).
Learfield Sports chose 25-year industry veteran Friedman to lead its local operation overseeing the arena’s advertising and sponsorship sales initiatives for his deep roots in collegiate administration, extensive sales and marketing experience and knowledge of the Louisville marketplace.
Friedman returns to Louisville from Illinois State, where he led the Redbirds to a school record best of placing 82nd overall in the 2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. The athletics department revenues also grew substantially under Friedman’s leadership — more than $800,000 in 2012-13 — through increased sponsorships, ticket sales, fundraising and guarantees. More than $27 million in facility projects were initiated.
Prior to ISU, Friedman served 10 years with the University of Louisville as associate athletic director (2001-09) and senior associate athletic director (2009-11) in which he was involved in many lead efforts for the new KFC Yum Center prior to its opening in 2010 including fundraising, construction and design, and transitioning season-ticket holders. During his time as a U of L Athletics’ senior staff member, Friedman oversaw strategic initiatives and major decisions for the Cardinals involving multimedia rights, marketing, fundraising and corporate sponsorships.
Friedman has been a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), a member of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) and past president of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA).
“Gary’s knowledge of the Louisville market and successful sales and marketing track record made him the perfect choice to lead our newly named KFC Yum Center Properties. His tremendous experience and creativity will be invaluable as we continue to serve the KFC Yum Center,” said Steve Gowan, senior vice president for Learfield Sports, which manages the multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations.