2011 Forty Under 40 Winner: Ryan Grant
Friday, March 18, 2011 7:00 AM
Age 39 | General manager, Cyclone Sports Properties/Learfield Sports
As an Iowa State University alumnus with a passion for college athletics, Ryan Grant is living the dream.
Since 2005, Grant has managed Iowa State’s sports rights for Learfield Sports, whose corporate motto is “Build the team, grow the company, have fun.”
“It’s the best job that I ever could have,” said Grant, who is responsible for overseeing the production and distribution of all radio and television broadcasts of Cyclone sporting events, a $50 million annual business. His first job out of college was director of ticketing and sales for the Iowa Barnstormers. He joined Clear Channel Sports - Cyclone Sports Marketing in 1999, which led to his current job.
Based in Plano, Texas, Learfield Sports manages multimedia rights for 54 colleges, including Iowa’s three state universities.
“My strict responsibility is Iowa State, making sure that we do a good job at Iowa State,” said Grant, who manages a five-person staff. Besides production and distribution rights, he is responsible for managing corporate sponsorships as well as maintaining good relations with Iowa State’s athletic department.
“In his professional career, he touches the lives of many, especially young people,” wrote Gene Meyer, who nominated Grant. “In his volunteer life, he places the greatest emphasis on those who suffer from the cruelest of diseases, cancer.”
As a board member of Coaches vs. Cancer, “Ryan has helped make both the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Charity Golf Classic and Hoops for Hope Gala huge successes,” wrote Chuck Reed, public relations manager for the American Cancer Society’s Iowa chapter. “These two events have helped raise over $500,000 towards the fight against cancer with his help.”
Grant also serves on the Des Moines Area Sports Commission and coaches youth basketball.
He and his wife have lived in Greater Des Moines for the past 15 years. “We just love it,” he said. “We love to see it grow and develop. The community is great for raising families. My wife is a schoolteacher, so we’re entrenched in Des Moines.”
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