PODCAST: S2:EP36–Chris Hartweg–Team Marketing Report

Join us for S2:EP36 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Chris Hartweg, publisher of the Team Marketing Report sits down with our host, Roy Kessel, to discuss his long career in sports business, cause marketing and sponsorship.

Chris Hartweg is the owner and publisher of Team Marketing Report (TMR), overseeing the complete overhaul of the original sports business information company since he acquired the company at the end of 2017.

TMR, an industry leader since 1988, is best known for its Fan Cost Index reports, as well as the SportsSponsor FactBook, TMR Insider newsletter and numerous books.

Hartweg brings a true 360º sports marketing perspective to TMR members with nearly 30 years of experience working for agencies, financial institutions, non-profits, live entertainment companies, automakers–and himself.

Through all this, he learned the ins-and-outs of numerous functions and skill sets from PR to sponsorship sales, experiential marketing to publishing and strategic planning to crisis management.

In particular, Hartweg gained a deep understanding of the convergence of partnerships, events and experiential marketing–and maximizing revenue from them. He loves the challenge of combining strategy with creative, of balancing big dreams with tight budgets.

It all boils down to connecting. And to that point, he founded Painless Networking in 2003. Now nearing 8,000 members on LinkedIn and the Painless.Network site, Painless offers sports, event and cause marketing pros ways to painlessly connect, share best practices and eliminate degrees of separation.

Brands and properties he has worked directly with include: AARP, ADA, adidas, Blackberry, Bud, Cadillac, Chevy, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Marathon, Chicago White Sox, Dallas Mavericks, DiGiorno, ditech, EA Sports, Glenlivet, LaSalle Bank/ABN AMRO, Lions Clubs, Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Miller Lite, Motorola, NASCAR, New Balance, Nestle, Nike, Nokia, Northwestern University, Playstation, P&G, Sony, US Navy, Verizon, VW and Xbox.

Past leadership roles include:

  • client service teams who evaluate, negotiate, activate, integrate and maximize both cause marketing partnerships and lead gen programs (at Wunderman)
  • experiential and “retailtainment” campaigns (Marketing Werks)
  • live event sponsorship sales (Huddle Pro, Clear Channel)
  • dealer sponsorship/promotion strategy, budgeting and execution (GM) 
  • partner marketing and PR (Chicago Marathon/LaSalle Bank)

Hartweg, who bleeds orange and blue as a 1992 graduate of the University of Illinois (Communications), his wife, Kelly, and their three children reside in Chicago’s Galewood neighborhood.

There, he serves on Ald. Chris Taliaferro’s Galewood Economic Development Committee. When he has spare time he enjoys running, golfing, coaching his children’s sports teams and volunteering for various charities.

Chris Hartweg joins our host Roy Kessel on S2:EP36 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:30 Background in sports and sports marketing
  • 05:30 Creation of Painless Networking group
  • 11:00 Cause Marketing campaigns
  • 15:00 Measuring impact of campaigns
  • 20:00 How TMR is making an impact
  • 25:00 Challenges athletes face in making and impact
  • 30:00 Positive examples of athlete’s charitable work
  • 35:00 Pitfalls in some of the athlete events
  • 40:00 Role for TMR in the Sports For Good world
  • 41:00 Chris as the Commissioner of MLB

Here is a special discount code for non-profits to subscribe to the Team Marketing Report: “nonprofit1for12”

It takes 91% off a TMR membership.

Here’s a link that will take you directly to the registration page with the code populated.

You can pick the level you want to subscribe to: either “All-Star” (currently $199 annually full price) or “MVP” (currently $349 annually full price, going up to $499 after sports resume).

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
Sports Philanthropy Network

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