- North Carolina State University, B.A. Business Administration, 1989
- Georgia Southern University, M.S., Sports Management, 1991
Stephen Ponder serves as the director of strategy and development for Balch Sports. He has spent more than 25 years working in collegiate athletics and previously served as the deputy director of athletics at The University of Mississippi. Stephen's background working in collegiate athletics administration provides him with a unique perspective in athletics consulting, development and ticketing to media relations and the entire fan experience that benefits Balch Sports clients. His combined regional and national network along with his knowledge of the industry is a value to the Balch Sports team. With methodologies informed by years of experience, he positions Balch Sports clients to succeed in staffing decisions, financial and resource planning, strategic and communications planning and fund development. Stephen develops tailored roadmaps that guide Balch Sports clients in achieving their strategic visions and goals.
Having worked in athletic departments at NC State, Arizona State and Ole Miss, I have seen firsthand how challenging it can be to accomplish the intended goals. In my role as a consultant, being able to personally identify with what clients are going through on a day-to-day basis helps me to better advise others in similar situations. In this role, I can stay focused on the task at hand and not be pulled in so many directions as my peers on campus are on a daily basis.
College athletics is a thriving enterprise across the country however, every campus faces their own unique issues that center around generating revenue, customer service and the game day experience for their student athletes, staff and fans. I see an increase in demand on departments to focus their attention on daily needs which takes time away from long-term goals. Having someone with a fresh perspective can help them identify problems and solutions to streamline short-term work into long-term goals.
I love the relationships that are formed while working alongside clients. I enjoy partnering with clients to find solutions to the small and large issues they face as well as supporting them when new opportunities arise.