Forty Under 40: Kirsten Hunt
Company: IMG Consulting
Where born: Boston
Education: Skidmore College (double major: B.A., English; B.S., exercise physiology)
Career background: IMG Media, 2000-05;
IMG Consulting, 2005-present
Family: Husband, Bryan Icenhower
Favorite apps: Endomondo, WeatherBug, OpenTable.
Favorite way to unwind: Relaxing at the beach or going for a run.
Guilty pleasure: Self-serve frozen yogurt (with lots of toppings).
Worst habit: Altering the chef’s recommended preparation … every time.
Charitable endeavor: The First Tee.
Person in the industry I’d most like to meet: Thomas Bach.
I have a fear of … : Spiders.
Most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.
2014 will be a good year if … : I can find more “me” time.
COURTESY OF IMG
Kirsten Hunt loves competition.
The natural athlete has spent her life finding new ways to compete. After excelling at gymnastics, soccer and golf in childhood, she picked up lacrosse in college and joined the Skidmore College team. After leaving college, she turned to triathlons — and excelled so quickly that she was able to participate in the Olympic triathlon test in Hyde Park two years
Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and project editor Mark Mensheha talk about the Forty Under 40 selection process and the class of 2014.
“I’ve always loved sports and new challenges,” she said.
Hunt brings that love for competition, challenge and sports into her work at IMG. She joined the company after college and worked in its media division for five years before moving into its consulting group in 2005. It was there that she was thrown on to a team that was working on General Electric’s first Olympic sponsorship, for the 2006 Turin Games. The company had exclusivity in 11 categories and wanted to find ways to motivate its 320,000 employees.
IMG Consulting developed a series of employee motivation tools that track everything from sales to cost savings across business units, giving Olympic prizes and awards to top performers. The company has put those tools to work at each subsequent Olympics, helping GE generate $1 billion in sales around the 2008 Beijing Games, 2010 Vancouver Games and 2012 London Games.
The success led GE, with Hunt’s assistance, to expand its sports portfolio, as well. In 2010, it added a PGA Tour sponsorship, which she helped negotiate, and in 2011, it moved into Formula One by sponsoring Caterham F1.
Hunt oversees a seven-person global team devoted to working on GE. She works across different time zones, collaborating with IMG staff in Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. to develop GE marketing initiatives for the Olympics, PGA Tour and F1.
“She’s an invaluable piece of our global marketing capabilities,” said David Abrutyn, who oversees IMG Consulting. “She’s got a relentless drive to find success for her clients. There’s no one who’s going to out-work her. She’s a fierce competitor and brings an athlete’s mentality to the job.”