Vice President, Business Operations
Mike grew up in Wayne, New Jersey, about a thirty minute drive from New York City and sports have always been a big part of his life. Even at a young age his parents remember him running outside to grab the newspaper so he could take a deep dive into the sports section. He played just about every sport growing up, but by middle school, he knew his dreams of playing professional sports were not going to come true. So he decided to do the next best thing...become a sportscaster. He pursued that passion by enrolling as a Broadcast Journalism major at the prestigious Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. From there, he landed internships at WFAN and SNY in New York before graduating Syracuse Magna Cum Laude in 2007. His first paying job out of school was as an Editorial Producer at MLBAM, Major League Baseball’s digital platform.
Mike spent a year and a half at MLBAM managing websites such as SNY.tv, AVP.com, YESNetwork.com and WCSN.com (now Universal Sports). In addition to working at MLBAM, he hosted a very popular Mets podcast called NYMetscast. Mike’s co-host at the time was Ted Berg, who’s now a featured writer on USA Today’s website and a frequent guest on the MLB Network.
Mike parlayed his job at MLBAM into an opportunity late 2008 managing all of the websites for the state agency known as the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA). While there he was responsible for answering all customer inquiries from the websites and managing the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages for each property. The most popular question asked on the website was, “Where is the best seat for this event?” He then decided to do some digging and stumbled across a company called IOMEDIA in New York. They had developed a 3D Virtual Venue of Yankee Stadium that allowed fans to see 360-degree views of the stadium seats virtually, from the comfort of their own homes.
While negotiating with IOMEDIA to build a Virtual Venue of the IZOD Center in New Jersey, the owners of the company asked Mike if he’d join their team and help launch their Sports & Entertainment division. The Yankees were IOMEDIA’s only Sports client, but Mike believed in the product and company. He decided to take a leap of faith and join the digital agency in 2009.
With no prior sales experience his role early on was simply to book as many meetings as possible. Over time, he started presenting the benefits of the product, and before long, Mike was leading the entire sales process. What started as just one local client turned into over 100 global clients throughout Mike’s seven and a half years at IOMEDIA. He helped the company form a partnership with Ticketmaster and led the Sales & Account Management team his last two-plus years at the company.
Mike was introduced to Bob Hamer through a mutual friend and the two immediately clicked. Mike and Bob spent several hours talking about how to grow Sports Business Solutions (SBS), including a dinner during a March 2017 blizzard in New York City. They agreed to work together shortly thereafter and Mike couldn’t have been more excited to join the growing SBS team. Now, as the new Vice President of Business Operations at SBS he is responsible for leading all new business development and creating new revenue streams to complement the company’s growing portfolio of products and services. He’s looking forward to helping Sports Business Solutions grow into a powerhouse agency that becomes the industry standard for sports business consulting.
Full name: Michael Jason Rudner
Nickname(s): Mike, Mikey, Ruds
Favorite activities: Playing and watching sports (especially my Mets), watching TV and movies, going out with friends, bar games, traveling
Favorite food: Italian
Favorite color: Orange (Mets, Knicks, Syracuse)
Favorite candy: Raisinets and Butterfingers
Favorite TV shows: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Leftovers, Veep, Breaking Bad, Ray Donovan, Modern Family
Favorite travel destinations: Anywhere there’s a beach
Places I'd like to visit: Hawaii, France, Italy, Amsterdam, Australia….and Austin, Texas
Favorite sport: Football, then Basketball and Baseball
Magazine Subscriptions: Sports Business Journal
Favorite Movies: Step Brothers, 40 Year Old Virgin, Old School
Favorite type of Pizza: Meat Lovers
Favorite music: Pop
Something most people don't know about me: I was the co-captain of my high school bowling team and bowled competitively in college