View Jim Sofranko's profile on LinkedIn

Add to Technorati Favorites


Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Basecamp Highrise Backpack
    Powered by Squarespace

    I grew up the youngest of eight in a pretty typical midwestern family in rural Iowa. Our town had narry a stoplight or the presence of law enforcement. What we did have was a social community so our parents knew what we were up to before we returned home. Most of the people in the county knew you, your parents or siblings.

    We played a lot of sports and learned how to tend to a big garden, mow lawns for extra spending money and be polite to everyone...well almost everyone. Many a day were spent bonding with friends and family during various hunting and fishing excursions. I still don't think my dad realizes I dragged the tailpipe of the car by driving it across a plowed corn field during one of our pheasant hunting trips...I was 10.

    Poker was big before it became vogue with "Texas hold 'em" and we knew what "dead man's hand" meant before Deadwood on HBO. Pitch, cribbage and pinochle were the other games of choice amongst friends.

    For my college education, I matriculated to Iowa State and graduated with a degree in business. I belonged to a national fraternity, Theta Delta Chi, and during my undergraduate years became involved as an elected official of the governing board and then spent three years post graduate helping run the national office in Boston. I met numerous individuals along the way many of whom are still good friends.

    in 1990 I moved to Chicago to begin pursuing a real career, at the time I had no idea what it would be, but I leaned towards the sports industry as that was one thing I truly had an interest and passion. By chance, I met Peter Wirtz, the son of the long time owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, who also ran the concession company in the Chicago Stadium and now in the United Center.

    He asked me to join his company and help him revamp their retail operation for the Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls. Three Bulls Championships, a Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals and an NHL All Star game didn't hurt business during those first four years. This success lead to a position overseeing the sponsorship business directly with the Blackhawks which evolved into oversight of all sales and marketing functions for the team.

    During the last ten years with the Blackhawks my passion turned to the digital side of the business and how technology was helping fans get closer to their favorite professional sports teams.  A big part of the excitement with this area was the fact that it was new ground and nobody in the organization had experience or the curiosity to figure it out, so I was charged with creating our strategy and overseeing the digital efforts.

    We were one of the first teams to conduct in-arena text promotions on the jumbotron, the first to do a weekly podcast for the team, the first to do a live streaming "town hall meeting" on the internet with real time questions.  We also took a leadership position with the National Hockey League as they continued to develop their digital strategy.

    I left the team in early 2008 to explore my passion in the digital media business. I am currently working with a long time friend, Jim Coudal, on his ad network The Deck which is the premier digital media company reaching the creative, web and design culture. The Deck is not abut reach or CPM, it's about influence and attention or "cost-per-influence." I am excited to continue learning about the digital media business and have a particular interest in the location based ability of mobile and applications that are currently being developed to exploit these technologies.

    Additionally, I am consulting with a client in the sports industry on revenue and digital strategies.

    My interests outside of work are family, food, wine and of course sports.

    I am twenty five years removed from my last chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's...I guess that makes me a cancer survivor!