Sport & Recreation has new associate director of business & marketing

Richard Parkinson will become York University Sport & Recreation’s new associate director, business & marketing come Aug. 1. In this new position, he will be responsible for marketing and business strategies designed to enhance and promote Sport & Recreation at York.

As an award-winning marketer and a coach of national and provincial champions, Parkinson brings to this new position a unique combination of marketing experience and an understanding of the Sport & Recreation Department at York. In addition to his 19 years in consumer marketing, he has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Lions track & field team.

Right: Richard Parkinson

“I am very excited about this new position because it is the perfect combination of my two passions, marketing and sport,” says Parkinson. “I believe I can add value for the student-athletes, coaches and support staff and I am also looking forward to rekindling relationships with York students and alumni. We are an untapped resource that has the ability to change people’s lives in the community, and as a marketer I am excited about this phenomenal opportunity at the third-largest university in Canada, located in the biggest media market in the country.”

With over 20 years of marketing and agency experience, Parkinson has been a proven catalyst for change, with a focused understanding of consumer insights and a talent for strategic thinking. He has orchestrated successful brand revitalizations and identified numerous global market breakthrough opportunities for corporations like Spalding Sports, GlaxoSmithKline, Dare Foods, Foot Locker and Wrigley.

At Wrigley he was the director of marketing for six years, first in Toronto and then at the global head office in Chicago. While there, he identified and developed the global rebranding plan for all products, creating Hubba Bubba as Wrigley’s “fun” global master brand. He also led the global revitalization of the Juicy Fruit brand through the award-winning, guitar-smashing “Sweeeet” campaign.

“Parkinson is a highly innovative and creative pure marketer with an exceptional track record of taking on brand challenges and producing major results,” says Jennifer Myers, director of Sport & Recreation. “The addition of Richard to our team adds a depth and dimension which will create new opportunities to grow. With his impressive marketing background and winning track record, we look forward to seeing what he can accomplish here at Sport York.”

As an assistant coach with the Lions track & field team, Parkinson works closely with the throws athletes and in just two seasons has seen the program grow considerably. His work has resulted in six Ontario University Athletics (OUA) top-eight placings, one OUA champion, three OUA all-stars and one Canadian Interuniversity Sport bronze medallist, as well as eight York interuniversity throws records. Under Parkinson’s guidance, three York Lions have recently been named to Ontario’s Canada Summer Games team and one to Canada’s Pan American junior national team. He will continue to work with both the interuniversity student-athletes and the York University Track Club athletes in the coming season.

Parkinson can be reached at ext. 33730 or