SBJ/November 10 - 16, 2003/Forty Under 40

Ones to watch

John Brody
Age: 31
Executive vice president of marketing
Boston Celtics

As one of the youngest team marketing chiefs in the NBA, Brody has the advantage of selling one of sport's most venerable brands in the Celtics, but the disadvantage of having limited marketing inventory to sell with the team, since the Celtics do not own the FleetCenter. That's a situation that calls for creativity — and marketing partnerships that can be activated outside the arena.

Faust Capobianco IV
Age: 31
Majestic Athletic

By awarding all on-field apparel rights to Majestic Athletic in its recently redone $500 million licensing contract, Major League Baseball gave a solid endorsement to a licensing company renowned for its agility, but one that's relatively minuscule compared to its competitors. Capobianco must confirm MLB's vote of confidence by showing that a family-owned company can successfully compete with heavyweights like Nike, Russell Athletic and Reebok, all of which bid against it for the rights.

Epstein (left), Kennedy
Theo Epstein and Sam Kennedy
Ages: 29 and 30
Senior vice president and general manager; vice president of sales and corporate partnerships
Boston Red Sox

They grew up in the shadows of Fenway Park in Brookline, Mass., became best friends in high school, worked together in the San Diego Padres' front office after college and returned home to work for the Red Sox in March 2002. Epstein made headlines when he became the youngest GM in MLB history. Kennedy oversees ticket sales, premium-seating sales and sponsorship sales and services for one of baseball's most valuable properties.

Kevin Plank
Age: 31
President and founder
Under Armour Performance Apparel

Plank got tired of sweating through undershirts as a captain of the University of Maryland football team in 1995 and founded Under Armour a year later after developing what has become the best-selling performance undergarment of its kind, according to independent auditors. He will see his company grow to more than $100 million in revenue this year, double last year. Savvy marketing — like a trade-out that gives his brand exposure on the ESPN show "Playmakers" — is typical of the company.

Rob Simmelkjaer
Age: 32
Vice president and assistant to the president

Although he has only two years under his belt with ESPN after a stint in corporate law, Simmelkjaer now finds himself in the center of all the action as ESPN President George Bodenheimer's right-hand man. A smooth operator and quick study, Simmelkjaer was an aspiring sportscaster while an undergrad at Dartmouth but scrapped plans to pursue that as a career to attend Harvard Law School instead. His first stint with ESPN was overseeing the new NBA contract. Now there's hardly a facet of ESPN's vast business that he doesn't touch.

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