President & CEO
Ben Sturner is the CEO and Founder of Leverage Agency. In 2005, Ben started Leverage in his apartment and immediately brokered a 5-year, multi-million deal with Reebok that kick-started the sponsorship growth of the National Lacrosse League. Twelve years later, Ben’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion have propelled Leverage to leadership status in sports and entertainment with global initiatives, owned-and-operated events, world-class clients and a one-of-a-kind mentorship program. .
Over the past 18 months, Ben and Leverage have been at the forefront of sports and pop culture through strategic and opportunistic endeavors. Ben made international news during American Pharoah’s electrifying Triple Crown run by facilitating high-profile sponsorships with Monster Energy & Wheels Up. Leverage then managed a major partnership between soccer legend Diego Maradona & Puma, worked with Grammy Park on their first ever live music experience, brought world-class cricket to America, facilitated an endorsement deal with Lady Gaga & Intel, signed Rolls-Royce as sponsor at Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Cup, and arranged major sponsorship visibility for Paramount Pictures at the “fight of the century” between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
In addition, Ben has also added numerous properties and clients to the Leverage roster including Jimmy Kimmel Live, Celebrity Apprentice, Major League Baseball, Dancing with the Stars, Red Bull Arena, Squaw Valley, Extra at the Movies, German soccer team FC Schalke 04, International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), Nitro World Games, Electric Zoo, WTA, Mysteryland and People’s Choice Awards. Ben and his team have also secured numerous partnerships working with blue chip global brands such as MasterCard, KFC, Nivea, State Farm, Turkish Airlines, Pepsi and many others.
Now going on its fourth year, Ben created the owned-and-operated “Rivalry on Ice,” which features match-ups at Madison Square Garden between college hockey rivals including Harvard, Yale, Quinnipiac, Army and Navy. Games have been broadcasted nationally on NBC sports, and have featured hockey legend Mark Messier and former Secretary of State John Kerry as ambassadors.
Ben elevated his passion for mentorship by creating the “Manhattan Sports Business Academy” in 2014, which brings students to NYC for internships with premium sports organizations and immersion into the sports business world. He secured partners such as Gatorade, Fila, MLB, NBA, MLS and NFL. The inaugural class featured 25 students and applications are in the hundreds for this year’s class.
Ben and the Leverage team were featured in the January 30, 2017 issue of AdWeek with the headline “Leveraging the Moment: From the Super Bowl to the Celebrity Apprentice, Leverage Agency has become a Major Player in Sports and Entertainment.” He has made television appearances on ESPN, NBC, CBS and CNBC, and has been quoted in top newspapers and trades including USA TODAY, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AdWeek and Sports Business Journal.
Prior to starting Leverage, Ben was the Director of Marketing for Bennett Global Marketing Group where he worked on sponsorship deals for clients such as Dunkin' Donuts, Reebok, Manchester United and Level Vodka. Before that, Ben worked at Lycos, which at the time was one of top two most visited web sites in the world. While at Lycos, Ben created several sponsorships including the Olympics.com partnership and the company's marketing endorsement with Anna Kournikova.
Ben got his start working in TV production at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with NBC. He also worked with ESPN at the first-ever X Games in 1995, and at the Australian Open in 1995. He spent a year in Australia working for the Sydney Olympic Committee's media and marketing group in 1998.
Ben sits on the board of advisors for a variety of organizations including Boston University Athletics, Brooklyn's High School of Sports Management, Ivy Sports Symposium and the Sports Executive Association.
Ben earned his bachelor's degree with cum laude honors from Boston University and played on the tennis team. He resides in Westport, CT, with his wife Kimberly and two young sons, William and Cameron.