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Volume 21 No. 1
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Forty Under 40

For all of the people who claim that high schools represent the next sports marketing frontier, few have made a bigger bet on it than Peter Fitzpatrick, president of Cleveland-based Home Team Marketing.

Fitzpatrick’s company has been aggregating the multimedia rights to high school athletic associations all over the country for the last few years, and now has the rights to 21 state associations and close to 10,000 schools.

Home Team Marketing monetizes those rights by selling sponsorship packages to companies for state championship and playoff events.

The former Fox Sports and Host Communications executive says high school sports marketing “is still in its infancy, but there are only good things to come.” Fitzpatrick has endeared himself to the cash-strapped state associations and high schools by returning a share of the revenue to the schools.

“You’re starting to see a much greater focus on high schools, even from the major networks like Fox and ESPN,” Fitzpatrick said. “You’re seeing the new USA Today sports group putting a huge focus there. There are going to be ups and downs, but it’s vital to do it the right way and that means working in conjunction with schools and administrators. It’s an exciting future and we’re as well-positioned as anybody to be a leader in that space.”

Fitzpatrick’s leadership and vision has led to several new deals recently, including a blockbuster 15-year TV arrangement with Time Warner Cable in Southern California for the California Interscholastic Federation of high schools.

“This is a benchmark right situation that took the better part of a year,” Fitzpatrick said. “High school programming is that perfect connection to the community. We take a lot of pride in that deal.”

Age: 40 (turned 40 on Feb. 8)
Title: President
COMPANY: Home Team Marketing
Education: Cornell University, 1994
Family: Wife, Jennifer; children Peter (9), Emily (7), Grace (5) and Jayne (3)
Career: GM Mediaworks (1995-96); Busch Media (1997-98); Fox Sports Net (1999); Cornell University (Host Communications) (1999-2000); started HTM in 2001
FIRST JOB: Paperboy, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Last vacation: Hutchinson Island, Fla.
what's on your ipod? Van Morrison, The Who
Guilty pleasure: A night at a great steakhouse
Best stress release: Excercise
Pet peeve: Constant complaining
Fantasy job: Rock star — sold-out stadium, one night
Business advice: Work hard, be honest.