October 10-12, 2017
Atlanta, GA

Back to Speaker Faculty


Group Director, Sports Management, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY

John Cordova has spent more than thirty-four years in the sports business industry, beginning in the early 1980’s when sports marketing burst onto the scene as the newest trend in breakthrough brand marketing strategy.  As a result of a wide variety of sports roles within league, team and sponsor organizations, John has been fortunate to construct one of the more diverse resumes in the business.

Originally employed at Texas Instruments (Lubbock, TX), in its fledgling home computer division, John began his sports business career as a member of the Executive Development Program at the Major League Baseball Commissioners Office (New York) in 1983-84.  At the Commissioner’s Office he was given the opportunity to experience and excel in many aspects of the “business” of sports ranging from public relations, player records, minor league operations, licensing, corporate sponsorship and television production.

At the conclusion of the 1984 MLB season John joined the Miller Brewing Company (Milwaukee, WI) as Coordinator, Sports Marketing.  As a part of the Miller Sports Marketing team John managed Miller’s sports marketing efforts with Major League Baseball, the United States Football League and the Major Indoor Soccer League.  After a successful stint managing those properties, John was promoted to Manager, Pro Sports Marketing where he directed all of Miller’s pro sports marketing efforts against the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, PBA Tour and Olympics. 

In 1988, John was recruited by former Major League Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, to join the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club with a vision to “redesign” the club’s marketing efforts in preparation for new Miller Park.  John joined the club as a Director, ultimately earning the title of Vice President, Marketing.  During his tenure with the Brewers, the club embarked on many new marketing initiatives which included the preliminary planning on Miller Park, as well as the pioneering of the first home plate signage concept in MLB.  

Since 1994 John has been an integral part of The Coca-Cola Company’s (Atlanta, GA) domestic pro sports marketing efforts.  Serving in various roles ranging from Director, Sports Marketing to his current role as Group Director, Sports Management; John has been a key player in the reinvention and continued development of Coca-Cola’s strategic approach to sports business partnerships.

A native of Denver, Colorado, John graduated from New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM) with a BA in Business Management (1981) and an MBA (1983).  

John earned a football scholarship to NMSU, played for the Aggies from 1976-79 and was an All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and team captain in his senior year.  After his playing career he served as NMSU’s assistant offensive line/strength coach during the 1980 and 1981 football seasons.

In 2006, John was inducted into the New Mexico State University College of Business Hall of Fame. He currently serves on the NMSU Foundation Board where he was the past Chairman, and also served on the board of New Mexico State Sports Enterprises, Inc.