Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness

Michael Lysko

Professor of Practice



M.S., Indiana University
3101 University Blvd, Ste.234
Dallas, 75205
214-768-7834
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Michael Lysko joined the SMU faculty in August 2009 as director of the sport management program and lecturer. Michael comes from Intersport in Chicago, where he served as Vice President of Marketing Partnerships. He developed original content for digital and broadcast platforms for Fortune 500 clients for collegiate and high school sports properties such as the ESPN College Football All-Star Challenge, the College Slam Dunk and 3-Point Shooting Challenge, Under Armour All-American Game and the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Football Challenge.

As one of the largest independent producers of sports programming in the United States and six time Emmy Award winners, Intersport is the only producer providing content on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and ESPN. Lysko worked with the television production unit, the digital division and the events group to designs and executes activation programs for the Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, the PGA Tour, and NCAA corporate partners. In 2008, he engineered a title sponsorship agreement between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and Learfield Sports for entitlement of the USA Today/NACDA Directors' Cup program, which recognizes the top intercollegiate sports programs in NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA.

From 2004-2007, Lysko served as the Director of Athletics and Recreation Services for The University of Western Ontario, and was responsible for the operation of 38 men’s and women’s varsity sports, and the largest sports and recreation program in Canada. During the three years under Lysko’s tenure, Mustang teams captured two CIS gold and two CIS bronze medals, 26 OUA gold, 17 silver, and 11 bronze medals – the most of any school in the OUA. Between 2004 and 2007, one in every four student-athletes at Western earned Academic All- Canadian or Ontario Achievement Awards by attaining an average of 80% or better - leading the conference in this category.

Lysko also made impressive strides on the development and facility front with the announcement of a new $35 million Student Recreation Centre that opened in the fall of 2008 and the Michael Kirkley Centre of Excellence, a $2 million varsity training complex at TD Waterhouse Stadium. Significant upgrades were made at TD Waterhouse Stadium, Alumni Hall and Thames Hall for basketball and volleyball, and the refurbishment this of the Metras Museum at Alumni Hall.

As Athletics Director, Lysko established a successful broadcast partnership with Rogers Television which provided broadcast opportunity for more than 50 Mustang home events, the most comprehensive collegiate sports television package in the nation. The programming featured more than 11 different sports including home football games, men’s and women’s basketball games, men’s and women’s volleyball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s rugby, men’s and women’s soccer, swimming and wrestling. In 2006, Lysko secured the a broadcast deal for the Mustang’s 2006 Homecoming Football game on College Sports Television (CSTV), a 24-hour hour sports specialty network owned by CBS. This marked the first time that a Canadian university event had been showcased on the network.

Along creating promotional and ticket sales initiatives that resulted in increased attendance at Mustang athletic events by more than 500%, the Lysko stablished new benchmarks in sponsorship and ticket sales revenue. During his three year tenure, the department increased corporate partnership revenue more than 1,000%, and led Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) in both overall ticket sales and sponsorship revenue. The formation of Mustang Sports Properties in 2004 also led to a increased corporate partnership involvement and activation with partners such Honda Motor Company, Mitsubishi, Dominos Pizza, McDonald’s, MBNA MasterCard, Greyhound, Goodlife Fitness Clubs, Solo Mobile, Vonage, and Coca-Cola. The Mustang Athletics sponsorship marketing efforts were rewarded in May 2007 with a GOLD MEDAL from the Sports Marketing Council of Canada (SMCC) as the top sponsorship program in Canada, the first collegiate sports property to receive this honor.

In May of 2007, it was announced that Western’s Board of Governors had approved Lysko’s plan to re-establish team funding for all 38 varsity teams and the provision of athletic scholarships for 2007-2011. This was a significant achievement given the former tiering system of the varsity program in 2002 which resulted from the elimination of funding for 18 sports.

In October 2000, Lysko was named as the Canadian Football League’s 10th Commissioner. In this role, he directed operations of a $75 million organization including football operations, CFL Club relations and strategic planning, marketing and broadcast rights, corporate partnerships, broadcasting and community relations. He also managed the national radio and television contracts (including the U.S. television deals), the CFL/NFL Cooperative Relationship, the collective bargaining with CFL Player Association, licensing and merchandising, new media/internet operations.

Lysko won several awards for his leadership and his success in repositioning the CFL brand in the professional sports marketplace, including an Honorable Mention for '2001 Sports Industrialist of the Year’ by The Sports Business Daily, being selected as a 'Top 10 Marketers that Mattered’ in 2002 by Marketing Magazine, and was ranked #11 in the Globe & Mail’s 'Top 25 Sports Leaders in Canada for 2001. He also oversaw the development of the 'CFL Rivalries’ television advertising campaign, which was recognized by Marketing Magazine as one of the year’s best - winning one gold and two silvers at the 2002 PROMO Awards, and a nomination for the Cannes International Advertising Festival.

He led the league’s expansion effort when he welcomed the Ottawa Renegades back into the CFL family for the 2002 season. He also oversaw all elements of the transfer and sale of the Calgary Stampeders for $9 million, the largest franchise transaction in league history.

In 1998, Lysko was named as Vice President, Sports Marketing and Managing Director of the Chicago office of The GEM Group (Global Experiential Marketing), an Atlanta-based global marketing and communications agency. In this role, Lysko provided strategic counsel on sponsorship evaluation, contract negotiation and activation for such clients as Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Molson Breweries, Sears, Roebuck and Co., and UPS for their involvement with NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, the ABC/ESPN Bowl Championship Series, the NCAA and USOC.

As Senior Director of Business Development for Molstar Sports and Entertainment in Toronto from 1996 to 1998, Lysko worked with the various brand groups in evaluation, strategic planning, negotiation and integration of the brewery’s extensive sports portfolio, which included professional leagues and teams, emerging sports and a wide range of national sport governing bodies.

In 1996, Lysko served as the Director of Marketing for the World Cup of Hockey, and led the negotiation and fulfillment of all North American and European broadcast and corporate sponsorship agreements. From 1988 to 1996, Lysko held positions with both Toronto-based Branada Sports Inc. and Sports Marketing Strategies, where he oversaw marketing and promotional initiatives for clients such as General Motors, Gillette, Molson Breweries, Nissan, Procter & Gamble and Reebok. At Branada, he created and launched the 'Streetball’ 3-on-3 Basketball National Tour, which became one of the largest basketball events in North America, and was named the #1 grassroots sports event in Canada in 1992 by Strategy Magazine.

Lysko has completed the Strategic Persuasion program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and the Strategic Negotiation Program at Harvard University. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Executive Leadership Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario. Lysko holds a Master’s of Science degree from Indiana University, an Honours B.A. from the University of Waterloo and a Sports Administration Diploma from Durham College.

He resides in Dallas with his wife Kathryn and 4-year old daughter Kelly and 2 1/2 month old Max.