Rock and Sock ’em Network Team
RockandSock’em is committed to offering clients a full-service, highly-accomplished network team of lifestyle marketing, PR, social & digital media, event management, content production specialists considered among the most respected and successful professionals in the sports marketing, branded entertainment and public relations industries. That all-star network team includes:
CEO and Founder
Newport Coast, California; Westchester County, New York
John has spent more than 25 years creating award-winning sports and entertainment marketing and PR programs, events, sponsorships, new product launches, commercial endorsements, cause marketing campaigns, crisis management efforts and media relations programs for many of the world’s leading corporations, governing bodies, universities, entertainment properties and star personalities.
He has forged a successful career on both the corporate and celebrity talent sides of the negotiation table, with a proven track record as:
- President and CEO of leading advertising agency Grey Global Group’s global entertainment division, Alliance (famous for the e*Trade baby, NFL, DirecTV and Procter & Gamble’s Cover Girl brand campaigns).
- A senior commercial endorsements talent agent with the world’s #1 talent agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
- Senior Vice President and founder of leading PR firm Hill and Knowlton’s global sports marketing practice. During his 14-year tenure with Hill and Knowlton, he also forged a joint venture called BrandStruck with WPP sister company J. Walter Thompson, serving as its Chief Creative Officer.
- Vice president and co-founder of the U.S. Sports Marketing Division of #1 global PR firm Edelman Worldwide.
- However, he considers “Dad” the only title that matters, as the proud father of Isabelle (19), Jake (16) and Juliet (13). He is an honors graduate of Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, native “South Side” Chicagoan, diehard White Sox fan and lifelong serial rock concert-goer.
Sports and Entertainment Talent Senior Counsel, Event Producer
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Randy Ryan is a nationally known sports and entertainment entrepreneur and executive. He’s worked with some of the world’s top sports and entertainment celebrities, executives, and organizations, including head coaches of NCAA Championship and professional sports teams; owners and executives of professional sports teams and leagues; executives of sports venues (arenas and stadiums) and television networks; professional athletes; movie and television personalities; and elite global corporate brands.
Randy was the Founder and President of the Inaugural 1994 John R. Wooden Classic, a globally televised basketball event. While featuring four of the top five ranked teams in America, the five-hour event was televised live nationally on NBC, and televised globally to 84 countries. In addition, the event was broadcast live nationally on the American Sports Radio Network, and broadcast globally on the Armed Forces Radio Network. A sold-out audience of 18,307 at the Honda Center joined countless celebrities to view the event. Legendary coach John Calipari commented, “Randy created the greatest invitational event in college basketball history. The Wooden Classic had the atmosphere of a Final Four.”
Randy was also a Vice Chairman of the prestigious John R. Wooden Award, which is presented annually to college basketball’s most outstanding men’s player. Ryan grew up in the City of Anaheim. He formerly served his childhood community as a member of the Anaheim YMCA Board of Directors. Randy has been a client (John R. Wooden Classic), business partner and family friend of RockandSock’em’s John Eckel for more than 20 years.
PR, Media Relations, Media Training & Crisis Management Counsel
San Francisco, California
Steve Hawkins provides strategic media counsel, media relations and media training to clients based on a 30-year career focused on media relations, messaging, corporate communications and crisis communications. Steve regularly provides executives and spokespersons with individualized media coaching, presentation training and message development. He focuses on strategic media relations counsel for a variety of industries and non-profits.
Recent clients include corporate spokespeople for Amgen; Merck; Procter & Gamble; MindSpeed; California State Department of Public Health Nutrition Network, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; Proxy Parent Foundation, Treatment Advocacy Center (mental health nonprofits); Experian; PIMCO; Aflac; Allstate Insurance; Farmers Insurance; Duracell; and many non-profits and leading Fortune 500 corporations.
Steve has been a senior practioner at leading public relations agencies including PainePR, Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton, Los Angeles. He was also Director of Public Relations at Amgen.
A former journalist and a former vice president of corporate public relations, Steve was West Coast News Manager/Los Angeles Bureau Chief of U.S. News and World Report Magazine. He was also a correspondent for McGraw-Hill World News writing and reporting primarily for Business Week, Engineering News-Record, Oilgram and a variety of trade and technical publications. He began his journalism career at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, Ca., where he was assistant city editor and business editor.
Prior to joining public relations firms, Steve was Vice President of Public Relations at Great Western Financial Corporation/Great Western Bank where he led corporate public relations, investor relations, employee communications and a variety of corporate communications activities.
Steve received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a masters of international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management with emphasis on international business, economics, and Spanish.
Steve has worked closely with RockandSock’em’s John Eckel for more than 8 years while colleagues at leading PR firm Hill and Knowlton, and most recently on RockandSock’em client projects for AVP and Sage Hill School. Whether you want to generate big time national news or manage tough issues or crises, Steve is one of the best in the media business, and RockandSock’em’s “go to” guy.
Sports & Entertainment Event Production, Management; Travel & Tourism
Diane McGraw has served as one of America’s leading executives in the sports, entertainment and travel/tourism industries over the past 30 years, representing 4 major cities across the U.S. and the state of Pennsylvania in their bids to host national and international sports and entertainment events and in the process provide economic development and enhance brand image as ideas travel and tourism destinations.
Her sports industry experience includes serving as the Founding President of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission, President and CEO of the Orlando Area Sports Commission, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Sports Congress and President of the Greater Louisville Sports Commission.
Diane recently served as Director of Tourism for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Office of Innovation & Investment.
Her expertise includes day-to-day operations management, solicitation of sports and entertainment events that stimulate city and state economies, city image enhancement as ideal event destinations, negotiation of venue contracts, marketing and sponsorship development, board development, fundraising and government relations.
Diane was also one of the founding directors and Past Chairman of the National Association of Sports Commissions, and industry association which is now represented by over 350 cities across the U.S.
Diane has been a client (Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission), recent RockandSock’em business partner (McGraw Productions, Red Eye Entertainment, client Wildwoods, New Jersey Tourism, the Wildwoods “Celebration of Heroes” Memorial Day Weekend Festival and Animal Care Sanctuary) and close friend for more than 20 years.
Chief Giving Partner. Cause Marketing, Strategic Philanthropy, Investor Relations
Laguna Beach, CA
Nancy Christiano is a master connector and visionary focused on fundraising, stakeholder and community commitment, and project development for environment and societal improvement. She has depth in management and coalition building at the grassroots, state, national and international levels in the business and non-profit sectors.
Nancy is a powerful leader with a proven track record in event and foundation management, philanthropic strategy, media and community relations, and public outreach. She has access to major corporate donors, private family foundations, people of influence including personal relationships with international speakers who focus on peace, justice and sustainability and is instrumental in connecting them to philanthropic organizations, universities and others.
The list of high profile individuals that Nancy has assisted with their causes includes Sir Branson, The Dalai Lama, Charlize Theron, Queen Noor, Geena Davis, Ted Danson, and Sam Waterston. Over the years, Nancy has had the unique opportunity to participate in honoring such influential people as Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Sting, Trudie Styler, Glenn Close, and President Bill Clinton.
Nancy enjoys international business and is licensed to take people to Cuba; is on the board of Guatemala-based MesoAmerican Reef Fund; is engaged in creating a bridge for sustainability between the U.S. and Mexico for FMCN.org; assisted a Japanese cosmetic company in creating a critically acclaimed skincare line; was instrumental in obtaining financing for Marula.com, a skincare product created by the Dr. Louis Leakey family of Kenya that resulted in the employment of 2300 Masaii women; and is currently raising funds for Cuipo.org to purchase rainforest and "The Seed," a movie about Monsanto, supported by Willie Nelson and Farm Aid. As an expert in sustainability Nancy assisted Governor Schwarzenegger's 2009 Global Climate Summit.
Media Relations, Sports Marketing, Talent relations
Jeff Fellenzer has more than three decades of experience as an entrepreneur, journalist, writer/editor, TV/radio commentator, sports business and media training consultant, and college professor. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His “Sports, Business, Media” class, which he has taught since 1999, averages between 150 and 200 students each semester. In a 2012 survey of students, “Sports, Business, Media” was voted the No. 4 most popular class at USC. In April 2014, Jeff was featured in Annenberg TV News’ series on “USC’s Most Inspirational Professors."
Among the prominent sports figures Jeff has interviewed in his class are: John Wooden, Jerry West, Bill Walton, Pete Carroll, Al Michaels, Scott Boras, Keyshawn Johnson, Larry Scott, Ned Colletti, Pat Haden, Kevin Love, Jeanie Buss, George Raveling, Casey Wasserman, Sam Cunningham, Jamaal Wilkes and World War II hero/U.S. Olympian Louie Zamperini (“Unbroken”). Jeff has also been a guest lecturer on sports business panels at UCLA, Caltech, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, University of San Francisco, Long Beach State and Southwestern Law School.
Jeff has been a Heisman Trophy voter since 2007, one of only 43 in California and 929 nationwide who have been invited to participate in the selection process for the most prestigious individual award in collegiate sports.
Jeff is a frequent media commentator on sports business issues, having made live, in-studio appearances on the KTLA-TV Channel 5 News in Los Angeles. He also has done segments for ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” National Public Radio and KNX News Radio, and has been quoted in publications including Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and MSNBC.com.
Jeff also serves as a communications consultant for USC Athletics, working with players and coaches in developing social media awareness, understanding the media, brand building, media training and improving academic performance through his “Keys to Success in the Classroom” from a professor’s perspective. He addressed the USC football team in August 2013, and has mentored and advised hundreds of college students throughout the country who are seeking guidance on careers in sports.
Jeff developed and hosted his own hour-long sports TV interview show, "One on One," for Charter Communications in Long Beach. In-studio guests included John Wooden, Tommy Lasorda, Pete Carroll, Scott Boras, Fred Claire, Dan Guerrero, Stan Morrison and Jim Lampley.
Jeff was the founder and president of the Pete Newell Challenge, a college basketball doubleheader held annually in the Bay Area from 1997 to 2006 that honored the late Hall of Fame coach and teacher. The event still holds the record for the largest crowd ever to see a college basketball game in California. On Dec. 21, 2000, a sellout crowd of 19,804 at The Arena in Oakland watched No. 3-ranked Stanford defeat No. 1-ranked and eventual national champion Duke, 84-83.
Jeff is the current president of the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Education Foundation. He worked as an editor/writer at the Los Angeles Times for eight years (1988-1996) before leaving to launch the Pete Newell Challenge and start his own company, Innovative Sports Management. An avid runner and theater-goer who officiated his first wedding ceremony in July 2013, Jeff is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, having appeared in two sports-related films: “Blue Chips” (1993), with Nick Nolte and Shaquille O’Neal, and “Cobb” (1994), with Tommy Lee Jones.
Event Management, Hospitality, Experiential Marketing
Karen Hansen is a 25-year veteran of the event management and hospitality industries. Before founding and managing Phoenix, AZ-based ENHANS Events, Karen served as the Senior Manager of Corporate Events for Arthur Andersen LLP (Chicago, IL). She also served as an account supervisor with the Chicago headquarters of leading PR firm Edelman Worldwide, concurrent with RockandSock’em’s John Eckel’s tenure with the firm, and the two have remained business associates and friends since.
ENHANS is an events management company specializing in sports hospitality and special events. It was founded on the premise that strategically planned events and experiences shared in business and life foster deeper connections between individuals, which will lead to enhanced communications and stronger relationships. From intimate gatherings of 10 to complex sports and entertainment experiential special events for thousands, ENHANS and RockandSock’em work collaboratively to design and execute memorable, entertaining guest experiences for corporations, non-profit organizations and private clients. Each is a highly individualized project in which we work diligently to exceed client expectations, deliver bottom line objective impact beyond the experience -- keep costs in line in the process.
Account Executive, Business Affairs Manager
Los Angeles, California
Tracy was hotly recruited by RockandSock’em from her position as 1st Assistant to Liz Dalling, the President and CEO of Beverly Hills-based Special Artists Agency, one of the top commercial talent agents in Hollywood.
Her diverse professional skill set ranges from managing the specialized needs and services required by celebrity talent to event management logistics on photo/video production shoots and production budgets to final stage papering of deal memos, endorsement deals, sponsorship agreements and client contracts. Tracy is RockandSock’em’s day to day “go to” pro.
She recently graduated from Southwestern Law School and passed the July 2016 California Bar Examination.
Assistant account executive, Cause Marketing, Social Media, Event Logistics
Newport Coast, California; Dallas, Texas
Isabelle is currently a sophomore at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and is pursuing a major in Advertising with a minor in french.
Isabelle has been an asset to the RockandSock’em team by contributing her exceptional digital and social media skills to assist in the process of creating and developing our website. She also has experience with event planning and client outreach.
the Brand AMp
In a move to further expand its services, social media and client service offers, RockandSock’em has teamed up with Orange County’s leading PR firm, The Brand Amp.
Renowned for award-winning work for such notable clients as TaylorMade-adidas Golf, DirecTV, Mattel and Mitsubishi Motors, The Brand Amp represents a natural fit with Rock’em in terms of both service offers and culture. Key members of both executive leadership teams have worked together extensively over 14 years while founding and managing Hill and Knowlton’s global sports marketing practice.
The joint collaboration is already making beautiful music on new client work for Animal Care Sanctuary, XBand Sports and LoveMyGasPrice.com, among others.