In nearly 20 years of working in professional sports, Bill Hawker saw how talent, commitment, teamwork and quality can create a winning – as well as a championship — formula. He was an executive in the front office of the Green Bay Packers when they won the Super Bowl in the 2010 season.
Hawker is now enhancing the winning tradition at Elevate97, where he started Sept. 12 as its Director of Business Development.
“Green Bay is buzzing with football season underway, and we are just as enthusiastic about the expansion of our Elevate97 team by bringing a proven winner on board with Bill,” said Kate Burgess, owner and CEO of Elevate97. “Bill’s expertise in the corporate world of sports for cultivating strategic business partnerships and building brands aligns perfectly with our longstanding mission of partnering with and showcasing world-renowned brands in retail and beyond.”
Hawker joined Elevate97 after spending the last two years with the Detroit Lions as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships.
He oversaw all corporate sales and partnership activation/service for the Lions of the National Football League (NFL), which included new business planning/sales, retention/growth of existing corporate partners, and department revenue and strategy. During Hawker’s time with the Lions, the organization’s corporate partnerships team ranked in the top 10 of the NFL’s 32 teams for year-over-year revenue growth (YOY) – by percentage and in dollars.
Prior to joining the Lions, the 44-year-old Hawker served as the Manager of Corporate Partnerships for the NFL’s storied Green Bay Packers for 10 years.
“For me and my family, we had a good time and learned a lot during the Lions experience, but we really missed living here in Green Bay,” Hawker said. “We missed being a part of the community we were a part of for 10 years. My wife, Sara, grew up 2 hours north of here. Our son, Nick, was born here, and we raised our daughter, Hannah, here. This is home for us. We’re excited to be back.”
Hawker’s decade of working for the Packers resulted in substantial victories on the business side of the football operations. He guided the sales team as it secured three new gate-naming partnerships at Lambeau Field, the Packers’ iconic stadium, with Bellin Health, Shopko and American Family Insurance.
“Bill has impressive credentials in corporate sales and business development,” Burgess said. “We have witnessed the many fruits of his labor right here in Green Bay and certainly throughout his NFL 20-year career. Now, we couldn’t be more excited by the relationships Bill will introduce to Elevate97 as we expand our full-service offerings worldwide by being a single provider for what brands need to get to consumers: print, fulfilment, technology and design.”
Having also worked for seven years with the NFL’s Chicago Bears as their Corporate Sales Manager before he joined the Packers, a team approach to selling excites Hawker. He lives the “Anywhere. Anyhow” credo of Elevate97, which works for brands such as Carhartt, Pandora and, of course, the Packers.
“At the end of the day, when you peel it back, it’s all about relationships to start with. It really boils down to the relationships that you develop and being able to deliver on what you said you’re going to deliver,” Hawker said. “At Elevate97, we have a lot of different capabilities and service areas that I don’t think people know we deliver. From that standpoint, I’m going to be able to go out and tell that story to brands and prospective partners for Elevate97.”
A native of Bourbonnais, Illinois, Hawker received a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Sports Administration from Northern Michigan University in 1995. He resides in Howard, Wisconsin, with his wife and their two children – Hannah, 19, and Nick, 12. Hawker enjoys spending time with his family at their cottage in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and traveling that includes side trips to breweries with his wife.