Richard Burton

Richard (Rick) Burton

Rick Burton is David B. Falk Distinguished Professor of Sport Management in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. Prior to his appointment at Syracuse in August 2009, Burton served as the chief marketing officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics where he directed the USOC’s partnerships for IOC and USOC sponsorship activation at the world’s largest sporting event.

Burton’s research and commentary has been published in many scholarly outlets, including Sport Marketing Quarterly, the International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Nine, Marketing Management, Journal of Brand Strategy, and International Marketing Review. He has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Ad Age, and hosted his own sports business television show in Portland, Oregon. He has provided national radio network commentary for the Sporting News Radio Network and is in frequent demand as a commentator on the sports industry. One of his most recent publications is “Stephen Crane, Baseball, and a Red Badge,” published in Nine.

From 2003-07, Burton was the Commissioner of the Sydney-based National Basketball League (a two-continent league with teams in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore) and was responsible for every aspect of the NBL’s development and growth including securing TV packages, naming rights sponsorships, player and referee collective bargaining agreements and league profitability. By placing a team in Singapore, the NBL became the first western sports league to place a team in Asia.

From 1995-2003, Burton led the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center as both its director and executive director (1998-03). During this time, Burton initiated Oregon’s engagement with Fudan University in Shanghai, China and worked closely with NIKE as they developed NIKE’s business efforts in China.

While at Oregon, Burton also created the Burton Marketing Group whose clients have included the U.S. Basketball Academy, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Japanese Pro Soccer league (J-League), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Visa, Oakland Raiders and Sport Accord.

Burton was recognized for teaching excellence by the Falk College in 2011 and 2013. He was appointed by the Chancellor as the University’s Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA and ACC in July of 2014.

His first novel, a WWII/Cold War historical thriller called The Darkest Mission, was published in May 2011 by Long Reef Press ( He is working on a second.