Brown Athletics Unveils Brown Bears Sports Properties As Its Dedicated Corporate Sponsorship Sales Unit

PROVIDENCE, R.I.– Brown University Athletics, in conjunction with Learfield Sports, has developed Brown Bears Sports Properties as its exclusive corporate sponsorship sales unit, as announced today by Director of Athletics Jack Hayes. This dedicated unit is designed to support Brown Athletics’ initiative to enhance the service provided to local and regional businesses and further promote the Brown brand affinity to the corporate community. 


“We are excited about the development of Brown Bears Sports Properties,” said Hayes.  “Learfield Sports is a trusted leader in this field and has long-standing relationships with many college and university athletic programs.  We look forward to implementing the Learfield approach to generate innovative promotional ideas, customized programming and new asset offerings to Brown’s corporate partners.”


Leading Brown Bears Sports Properties is General Manager Augusto “Cookie” Rojas, who most recently served eight years as general sales manager for the Pawtucket Red Sox and taught sports management for nearly five years at Johnson & Wales University. Nelligan Sports Marketing, Brown Athletics’ former marketing partner, was acquired by Learfield Sports in early February. Brown Bears Sports Properties will office on campus, which will allow a close working relationship with the entire Brown Athletics administration. The property manages all aspects of the multimedia rights including venue signage, event sponsorships/marketing, corporate hospitality, radio game broadcasts and coaches’ shows, television and digital sponsorships, including the official athletic website


 “We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Brown and will strive to be terrific partners and representatives by providing exceptional service to the corporate community to enhance the growth of the university brand. We’re excited to be off and running and look forward to building on the outstanding traditions already established here,” said Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown. 


In addition to its core business of nearly 100 collegiate multimedia rights properties which consist of institutional, conference and facility level partnerships, Learfield Sports is involved with collegiate ticketing, licensing and concessions, and titles the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup that annually awards top-performing athletic programs. Its multimedia rights encompass numerous content distribution platforms to deliver the passion of college athletics to fans globally. To learn more about the company’s 40-year history and portfolio, visit

Alumni Spotlight: Bill Almon '75 will feature one former male and female student-athlete each month who has gone on to achieve success in the workplace, as well as exhibit the spirit of Brown University within the community. The monthly installments will provide highlights of the selectees’ athletic careers at Brown and offer a glimpse into their current career paths

Alumni Spotlight – Bill Almon ‘75

Arguably one of Brown’s most successful athletes, Bill Almon ’75 boasts the distinction of being the only Ivy Leaguer to be drafted first overall in any of the four major professional sports.  The Warwick, Rhode Island native was selected by the San Diego Padres with the first pick of the 1974 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, capping a stellar two-year varsity career on the Brown baseball team.  Almon was also a letterwinner for the Brown basketball team during its 14-12 campaign in 1972-73.

At Brown, Almon was an All-Ivy and All-EIBL selection in 1973 and 1974, while earning College Baseball Player of the Year honors in 1974 after batting .350, driving in 31 runs, and swiping 20 stolen bases.  His .623 slugging percentage ranks third, while his .357 career batting average places him fifth all-time in the Brown record books.  Almon was inducted into the Brown Athletics Hall of Fame in 1979.

Almon debuted in the majors with the Padres on September 2, 1974, becoming the first Brown alum to appear in a Major League game since Irving “Bump” Hadley played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1941.  Almon had brief stints in the majors before ultimately earning a starting role as a shortstop on the 1977 Padres squad, playing in 155 games while tallying a .261 batting average. 

Following stops with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets, Almon enjoyed his finest campaign in the 1981 season after signing with the Chicago White Sox, batting .301 with 41 RBI in 103 games.  For his efforts that season, Almon finished 19th in MVP voting, ahead of future hall of famer, George Brett. 

Beginning in 1983 with the Oakland Athletics, Almon showed his versatility in the field, playing every position except pitcher and catcher while knocking in a career-high 63 runs that season.  He closed out his 15-year professional career with stops in Pittsburgh, a second stint with the Mets, and Philadelphia for his final season in 1988.

In 1993, Almon returned to Providence for a three-year head coaching stint with the Brown varsity baseball team.  Since leaving his baseball days behind, Almon has joined the family business, serving as the Vice President of Facilities and Receivables for Claflin Contract Furnishings, a manufacturer of contract furniture products.  He is also an avid volunteer with the Special Olympics of Rhode Island, becoming an inductee into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

Alumni and fans are encouraged to participate in the Alumni Spotlight nomination process by submitting nominees to Nominations should include: notable career achievements, current occupation, location, recent photos, and notable contributions to the community.