Ben Sturner is the founder and CEO of Leverage Agency, a premier brand, sports and entertainment company focused on working with leagues, teams, events, stadiums, athletes and television shows.
Mr. Sturner began Leverage Agency from his New York City apartment. Through his vision, Leverage has emerged as a leading agency for clients in sports and branded entertainment industries. In 2010, SportsBusiness Journal recognized Leverage as a top-five agency in sales, property consulting and client services.
Over the past five years, Mr. Sturner has been responsible for securing more than $30 million in sponsorship deals. Leverage has worked with brands and properties such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, the ACC Conference, Top Rank Boxing, Ironman, KFC, Gillette, Progressive Insurance, Southwest Airlines, EA Sports, Comcast, Anheuser-Busch, Nivea, Quiznos, Fremantle Media, NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice and the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Prior to starting Leverage, Mr. Sturner was the director of marketing for Bennett Global Marketing Group. While at Bennett Global, he worked on sponsorship deals and event marketing for clients that included Dunkin’ Donuts, Reebok, Manchester United and Level Vodka.
Mr. Sturner’s career began at Lycos, where he initiated and managed the company’s marketing endorsement with Anna Kournikova, which led to the creation of the World’s Most Searched For Athlete award. At Lycos, he also worked on endorsement deals with John Elway and Mark McGwire for an integrated national advertising and promotional campaign with Fox Sports called “Watch a Championship with the Champion,” which was sold to Taco Bell and Verizon as part of the Lycos Network.
Entrepreneur Magazine and TrueNYC.com have both regarded Mr. Sturner as one of the top entrepreneurs in the sports and entertainment marketing industry. He has made television appearances on ESPN, NBC, CBS and CNBC. Mr. Sturner has been quoted in some of the nation’s top newspapers, including USA Today, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Besides handling the day-to-day operations at Leverage, Mr. Sturner has served as an adjunct sports marketing professor at New York University and Columbia University. He is on the board of advisors for a variety of organizations such as Brooklyn’s High School of Sports Management, Carnegie Sports & Entertainment, Ivy Sports Symposium and the Sports Executive Association. His philanthropic efforts include volunteering for the Manhattan Jewish Experience Foundation and the William J. Clinton Foundation. He also enjoys mentoring students and others who aspire to work in the sports business, and has founded Manhattan Sports Business Academy, a sports-business leadership program.
Mr. Sturner earned his bachelor’s degree with cum laude honors from Boston University’s College of Communications and played as the No. 1 singles player on BU’s Division I men’s tennis team. He resides in New York City with his wife, Kimberly, and spends as much free time as possible exercising and enjoying Central Park.