Derek Russell

Manager, Global Sponsorship Activation, United Airlines

Derek Russell is the Manager of Global Sponsorship Activation at United Airlines, charged with exploring, negotiating, strategy setting, and activating United’s sponsorships across the globe. Derek has built a career on building strategic, relevant, and successful cross-functional sponsorship programs; from initial conversation, deal structure and negotiation, through asset management and leading cross-functional campaigns.

In 7 years at United, Derek has led activation strategy for United across 10+ of United’s sponsorship properties including the NYC Marathon, Team USA, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, and several others. Most recently, Derek has overseen the award-winning United Airlines – Golden State Warriors Franchise Fund program which supports minority owned businesses in the Bay Area with the training necessary to work with enterprise-level corporations. The program has won awards at the club and NBA level in inclusive innovation.

Prior to working at United, Derek was employed at TSMGI, a sports, events, and promotional marketing agency in Deerfield, IL. While at TSMGI Derek held various account management roles supporting several clients, including Valvoline, USG, Aon, Motorola Solutions, and Bosch.

Derek holds an MBA in Management from DePaul University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He lives in the Jefferson Park Neighborhood of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.