Marty Kaufmann was named Assistant Director of Athletics in April 2004. In his role, Kaufmann oversees the areas of corporate sponsorship, licensing, video operations and the Illini Sports Radio Network. In addition, he manages the contracts for several revenue-generating programs, including the department's website network provider and merchandise sales.
As a part of his duties, Kaufmann is responsible for maintaining relationships with the university's existing corporate sponsors as well as acquiring new partnerships with both Fortune 500 companies and regional business leaders. He sells sponsorships on the Illini Sports Radio Network and maintains agreements with a collection of nearly 40 radio affiliates covering the State of Illinois. Kaufmann also is the executive producer for all Illini Sports Network programming and the Fighting Illini Insider weekly television show.
Kaufmann graduated from the University of Illinois in 1993 with a degree in business administration/marketing. He worked in the Illinois Sports Information Office for six years before moving over to assist in corporate sponsorship and licensing operations in 1999. Marty is a native of Jacksonville, Ill. He and wife, Jennifer, reside in Savoy along with their son, Nate and daughter, Emma.
Fighting Illini Memory
One of my favorite DIA memories was really tied to an overall campus event that several of us on the DIA staff were called into action to help. President Clinton and Vice President Gore made an appearance at University of Illinois on January 28, 1998. The pair made a speech at State Farm Center (then Assembly Hall). At the time, I was an assistant in the Sports Information Office. I was asked to oversee the press covering the landing and departure of Air Force One out at Willard Airport.
The Sunday before the visit the Fighting Illini men's basketball team hosted 16th-ranked Michigan during a nationally-televised game. The White House staff were given media credentials, and I remember talking to them and hosting them at the game, however, they were never introduced to others as being with the White House. They wanted to remain under the radar and just enjoy the game. The Illini upset Michigan in front of a crazy, sold-out arena. The White House staff loved the environment.
Finally, the most memorable aspect of the trip occurred when Air Force One got stuck in the mud in the grass at Willard while trying to depart. The pilot "missed the turn" and the leader of the free world was a sitting duck for about 45 minutes until a new Air Force One could be flown in to take President Clinton away. I had a front row view of the precautions taken to protect the President while waiting for a new plane, including sniper teams on the grass at full attention. The media asked me what was going on, and I had no idea. I was just a wrestling and track SID waiting to get back to the office. The White House advance guy looked at me, threw down his cigarette, and said "Don't look at me. I'm just the advance guy. My job is done." He walked away.
To date, this job remains the best "duties as assigned" moment of my time at the University of Illinois.
Updated November 2013