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Susan Cohig

Executive VP, Club Business Affairs, NHL

As the NHL’s Executive Vice President, Club Business Affairs, Susan Cohig is responsible for working across all business areas of the League office, including digital media, events, finance, integrated sales, marketing, partnership marketing and broadcasting, and in collaboration with the legal team, to support Club and League business and policy priorities. In her role, Cohig identifies and evaluates opportunities, issues and related agreements and assesses their impact on the organization, including all NHL Teams, to ensure the continued advancement of the League’s business priorities and strategic objectives.   
 
In this role, Cohig also works to elevate League business and marketing activities through a continued partnership with NHL Teams, including through their support of key League initiatives.  Cohig plays a central role in engaging with Team leadership and managing associated business support, including leading engagement with and among all Teams relating to best practices information sharing and implementation, including being responsible for producing and managing the annual NHL Club Business Meetings where League and Team executives gather to analyze and discuss best practices, issues and opportunities affecting all business areas, including sponsorship, marketing, ticketing, and digital media. Cohig is instrumental in managing the successful onboarding of NHL expansion franchises, including the Vegas Golden Knights for the launch of their 2017 inaugural NHL season, and the pending Seattle franchise, scheduled to begin play in 2021. 
 
Cohig also negotiates licensing of the use of League and Team properties across various platforms including television and film projects; manages League and Team policy and compliance matters; and regulates internal business units to maximize value. 
 
Prior to taking on her Club Business Affairs role, Cohig was responsible for overseeing the management of the League’s U.S.-based national partnership marketing relationships. In that role, Cohig successfully influenced the elevation of NHL partner awareness by incorporating significant activations at the League and Team levels through various avenues, including broadcasts and events. In 2013, the Sports Business Journal ranked the NHL higher than the other four major sports organizations in fan loyalty when it comes to corporate partners. NHL fans not only recognized NHL partners more than other fans, but also indicated they were more likely to choose those brands over its rivals. Under Cohig’s direction, brands such as Geico, Verizon, Coors Light, Honda, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Discover realized double-digit percentage growth in brand awareness. Cohig also led the U.S. team in the upselling and renewal processes, and was responsible for leveraging and transforming single-year deals into multi-year renewals, deepening partner investments in hockey and providing increased opportunities to engage with NHL fans.   
 
Cohig also spearheads efforts associated with the NHL’s women’s hockey initiative, working to elevate and support women's hockey by using NHL’s assets to spotlight the women’s game. Cohig connects the NHL’s business with all levels of women’s hockey, from grassroots to elite and professional, as well as providing greater visibility by integrating editorial coverage on NHL.com and incorporating involvement with key League events. 
 
In 2017 Cohig was identified as a “Woman of Inspiration” by WISE (Women in Sports & Entertainment) for making a positive impact on the business of sports while serving as a positive role model and mentor for other women. Cohig was named a 2014 Marketing Hall of Femme honoree by Direct Marketing News.  In 2013, Cohig was acknowledged as a “Game Changer – Women in Sports Business” by Sports Business Journal, which recognizes the contributions of women to the success of the industry; and as one of Globe & Mail's "Power 50" List of Canadian Sports Figures in 2013, joining many powerful movers and shakers in the sports industry. 
 
Before joining the National Hockey League in 1996, Ms. Cohig spent several years with Ascent Entertainment, overseeing the sales and servicing of corporate partner relationships of the NHL Colorado Avalanche and the NBA Denver Nuggets.  While with Ascent, Ms. Cohig was a part of the management team responsible for the move and introduction of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team to the market.   Cohig graduated the University of Denver with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She received her law degree from New York Law School, where she graduated cum laude. 

Tuesday, September 17

MENTOR/MENTEE EXCHANGE: INSIDE THE RELATIONSHIPS

 

Katie Carew, Sales Director, GumGum Sports
Susan Cohig, Executive VP, Club Business Affairs, NHL
Neil Glat, Former President/ Special Advisor, New York Jets
Nzinga Shaw, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Senior VP, Community, Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena
Guest Moderator: Scott Pioli, NFL Executive, NFL