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We are happy to announce that Melinda May and Ralph Straus join our advisory board and will help us shape the future of the Center for Research in Sports Administration.
Both Melinda and Ralph are experienced professionals in the world of sports and have been active in the commercial and marketing field of two of the largest sports organizations, namely the International Olympic Committee and FIFA. Their insights on sports commercialization, marketing, and digitalization will drive our research and education activities forward as they will support us in developing new projects.
Melinda May is a brand and marketing strategist who built her career marketing two of the most iconic brands in the world, the Olympics and Coca-Cola. She consults with commercial and non-profit entities to develop insight-driven marketing and communication plans that build brands, drive growth, empower teams and do good.
Prior, she was Vice President Marketing Strategy & Activation for the International Olympic Committee where she led teams that managed the Olympic brand, supported increased sponsorship and broadcast sales, upgraded client servicing, promoted the Olympic values, engaged fans, had positive social impact, and transformed business operations. At the Coca-Cola Company, she led consumer-focused activities that grew volume and built brand equity through a series of Brand Management, Sports Marketing, Channel, and Field Marketing positions.
Ralph Straus is the commercial director of the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale), the world governing body for equestrian sport, where he oversees all commercial activities for the organization, including partnerships, marketing, digital, and broadcast. He was the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for EXPO 2020 Dubai, responsible for global marketing and communication including B2C and B2B marketing, brand management, media and public relations, digital, and social media. At FIFA, he led the Strategy and Brand Management team, where he was in charge of planning and executing the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup marketing campaigns, spearheading global licensing, eSports, and brand development.