Frankly speaking, our team is a group of hard-working, engaging, passionate people with the goal to guide our clients to success, however they define it. We are a close-knit company because we know that collaboration is key and together we hit the right balance of creativity, strategy, and grit.
Get to know us. Click on a photo.
Founder & CEO
Ben Shapiro launched PIVOT Agency after 12 years as an executive with the Golden State Warriors and upon discovering a preference for the dynamism of start-up culture over corporate employment. While with the Warriors, Ben was recognized with 12 NBA Awards for his production efforts and 100%+ revenue increases in the areas of group sales, suite sales, season ticket sales, and sponsorships. He also led point on brokering Gold Alliance sponsorship agreements with Visa, Clorox, Kaiser Permanente and Jawbone. And it’s this experience that has allowed Ben to strategically developed PIVOT into a reputable, full-service agency over the last 4 years. As leader of the company, Ben is an example of hustle and passion that inspires the whole team. He guides the company’s strategic direction and works closely with each department to ensure success at every turn.
While PIVOT services clients throughout the continental U.S., Ben has ensured PIVOT maintain a focused commitment to the Bay Area community since its inception. From partnering with Bay Area clients that service the community to recruiting at local colleges and universities, PIVOT proudly represents the Bay. Most recently, Ben led the charge in PIVOT raising over $150,000 in donations for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, naming Ben “Man of the Year” of the Monterey Bay Chapter. Suffice it to say, giving back to the community has always been a priority of Ben’s and one that is engrained in the fabric of PIVOT culture. With the recent move to Walnut Creek, Ben plans to continue this commitment and already has charitable fundraising plans in motion.
Coming from an entrepreneurial family, the ambition to start his own agency developed even in the nascent stages of Ben’s career. When time came to launch, he knew success was in the cards, but not without herculean effort and the support and patience of his family. Looking back at the start of his venture, armed with limited resources and a young, yet driven, staff, Ben considers the evolution of PIVOT into a thriving agency his greatest professional achievement.
Outside of the office Ben is a husband to Sarah Shapiro and father to daughter Abby and son Noah.
Favorite Sports Moment: The Warriors: We Believe – During the 2007 NBA Playoffs the Warriors became the first 8 seed team to ever beat a 1 seed team.
Senior Vice President, Travel
Norbert Mede is a 30 year veteran of the hospitality industry from his early days of starting a party staffing company and a brewery tour company to his extensive hotel General Manager experience in independent and boutique properties to his work as a consultant, speaker and educator working to improve the guest experience. Norbert is a consummate industry professional with a passion for contributing to the creation of an environmental sustainability, spiritually fulfilling and socially just world.
Vice President, Travel
Travis comes to PIVOT with six years of experience in the NBA working for the San Antonio Spurs. With an extensive understanding of everything operations-related from a team side, he is now set to lead PIVOT’s Travel division. Travis is a creative and resourceful leader with proven success implementing effective processes in highly competitive environments while maintaining interpersonal relationships.
An enthusiast of all things outdoors, Travis is a gardening guru who also enjoys a wide range of sports including ping pong and shuffleboard. Travis graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio and still resides in the Alamo City with his wife Samantha and their Golden Doodle, Beau.
Account Executive, Business Development
Aaron M. Burks is a Sports Industry Entrepreneurial Consultant. He worked with the AC Milan Jr. Camp and contributed to their successful first youth camp in New Zealand. Aaron has played both contract advisor and client servicing roles for professional athletes with sports agencies. Aaron’s primary focus has been implementing post-career strategies for athletes. Prior to earning his M.A. in Sports Management from the University of San Francisco, Aaron attended Indiana University on a football scholarship where he played defensive back for the Hoosiers during 2006-2010 seasons. In 2017 Aaron became a published author in the book “International Cases in the Business of Sport” where he wrote a case study covering FIFA & CONCACAF Strategic Repositioning: ‘Rebuilding Trust in the ‘Beautiful Game’.
Patrick brings almost 20 years of professional sports experience to PIVOT. Having served in multiple capacities during his career, he leads PIVOT’s Sports Property division. Pat is a passionate teammate, creative advocate and true believer in the dynamic and powerful message that can be delivered to fans through sports.
Pat’s leads the further development of PIVOT’s Property Sales division including the representation of teams, properties, players and brands in the negotiation of sponsorship agreements. During his tenure in the NBA & MLB, he sold seven figure partnerships, founding partnerships in addition to naming rights agreements with companies including Visa, Esurance, Jawbone, Oracle, Travis Credit Union and Google. After spending more than 8 years with the Golden State Warriors overseeing sponsorships and premium seating, Pat most recently partnered in a new venture catering design focused and custom furniture to tech firms and sports venues. Clients include Airbnb, Levi’s Stadium, the Golden State Warriors, Publicis Groupe, Salesforce and the RealReal.
Pat has coined the hashtag #tallguyproblems as his 6’7 frame travels around the country. Pat resides in Alameda with his three kids and wife.
Vice President, Business Development
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brian joined the PIVOT team with fifteen years of media, sports marketing and sponsorship experience. A graduate of San Jose State University, Brian also spent time studying global marketing at London’s Middlesex University. After college, Brian began his sales career selling radio and broadcast TV. After a very successful five year run at the Bay Area’s KTVU Fox 2, Brian was hired on to the San Francisco Giants as the senior manager of media sales. In that role, Brian was not only accountable for closing sponsorship and naming rights deals, but growing the teams media sales including digital, general market and Hispanic radio sales. After the Giants, Brian became the Director of Corporate Sponsorship for the Sacramento Kings as they transitioned into the Golden 1 Center.
Brian is a passionate believer in the power of sponsorships and sports marketing. His clients love working with him because of the honesty and transparency he brings to the negotiation process. His love of sports is second only to his love of family with his wife Kim and daughter Madison. In fact, his daughter was named in honor of Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.
Director of Strategy
Aaron brings over a decade of business development and partnership experience in sports and entertainment. Having started his career with AEG and the LA Kings, Aaron quickly developed a passion for using the excitement of live events to help drive business opportunities for his partners. After establishing himself as a leader in corporate development and driving new revenue, Aaron helped lead sales efforts behind the LA Kings first ever Stanley Cup and the opening of LA Live. After 7 years at AEG, Aaron was able to transition to prominent business development roles with both the PGA Tour and the Pac-12 Networks, gaining additional expertise in event sponsorships as well both TV and digital media. Now with PIVOT, Aaron looks forward to driving new partnership and revenue opportunities for our existing properties, as well as growing our brand and sports property portfolio.
Favorite Sports Moment: Being part of the LA Kings first ever NHL Championship and getting to celebrate on the ice with the Stanley Cup.
Tim joined PIVOT Marketing Agency in March 2018 as their Design Coordinator and is responsible for creating presentations, renderings, mocks, and merchandise designs for all of the current and future clients.
Tim brings six years of graphic design and video production experience to PIVOT. He produced all of the marketing materials for the SF Deltas, the 2017 North American Soccer League champions. The campaigns used TV commercials, live event highlight packages, and MUNI bus-side ads to build fan awareness and fill thousands of seats at Kezar Stadium.
Favorite Sports Moments: When the 2006-07 “We Believe” Warriors defeated the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs… And when the San Francisco Deltas’ fans invaded the field at Kezar Stadium after winning the NASL Championship in 2017.
Becky brings a decade of sports sponsorship and marketing execution experience. She joined the growing team at PIVOT Marketing Agency in December of 2016 as their Vice President of Brands and Marketing in San Francisco where she leads all brand initiatives that have included work with Kingsford, Brita and Glad.
As a digital director in a previous life, Becky worked with top-tier clients in onsite and online activations including Taco Bell, ESPN, Sony, Allstate and MasterCard. She specializes in client servicing, vendor and developer management and influencer strategy. She also co-piloted the Kaiser Permanente Super Bowl 50 activation in San Francisco where she story-boarded and produced their virtual reality video, “My Two Minute Drill”. Becky served as social media architect in global marketing campaigns with top brands such as Chevrolet, USA Volleyball and the NFL Tight End, Rob Gronkowski before spending time at Google with the Google+ sports team producing digital content on YouTube through Google+ for clients such as Duke Basketball, NiceKicks and the U.S. Armed Forces.
Being a Mainer (Julie the Cat Gaffney from Bangor, Maine), Becky enjoys lobster and saying “wicked” in any West Coast meeting.
Favorite Sports Moment: The NEXT New England Patriots Super Bowl win.
Director, Business Operations
Christi relocated to San Francisco in 2013 after 23 years in central Germany. There she spent the majority of her career applying her business acumen to various roles within the finance industry. Christi joined PIVOT in 2017 as the Business Operations Manager. Though a competitive athlete and sports enthusiast throughout her life, this is Christi’s first foray into the world of sports and entertainment marketing. “Hella” excited about this recent career change, Christi views her new role as the perfect opportunity to combine her lifelong love of sports with her business development experience.
Favorite Sports Moment: Germany’s 2014 World Cup Final win over Argentina…obviously.
Vice President, Business Development
Adam understands the powerful emotion sports and entertainment brings to its consumers. He honed his sports marketing acumen at the University of San Francisco while earning a Master’s Degree in Sports Management. Adam gained additional sales and marketing experience with sport entities throughout the Bay Area before joining PIVOT. Now leading our sponsorship sales and client acquisition efforts as our Vice President of Business Development, he is instrumental in managing and leading our property accounts while bringing new business to our brand team.
Favorite Sports Moment: The Annexation of Puerto Rico – The Little Giants
Tyler is a Brand Development & Intelligence Gathering Specialist with experience in delivering results for C-level Executives in Professional Sports, Fortune 500, Startup and Government Enterprises both Domestically and Internationally. Before Pivot, Tyler Co-Founded Gameplan Sports and Entertainment – a media, entertainment & sports merchant bank. In addition to being a General Partner of Gameplan, he lead the Esports Division where he maintained essential partnerships and relationship with key personnel in the Esports realm globally, lead research while consistently monitoring emerging markets of new technologies and served as a consultant and advisor to endemic and non-endemic corporate sponsorship opportunities as well as Professional Sports Franchise owners.
Favorite Sports Moment: 2007 NBA Western Conference Playoffs when Baron Davis introduced himself to Andrei Kirilenko with one of the most vicious dunks in NBA History.
In 2013, PIVOT was founded by Ben Shapiro as a sports and entertainment agency. The idea behind PIVOT stemmed from the complex and fast-changing landscape of sports and entertainment sponsorship. Over the 25 years Shapiro spent in the sports sponsorship industry, the 12 with the Golden State Warriors, he continued to see recurring frustration, confusion and a wide range of price points for comparable assets. PIVOT was created as an aid to both properties and brands to simplify the overly complicated landscape, while creating a more even playing field for pricing and allowing a more transparent negotiation process. By transforming and streamlining the negotiating process, PIVOT lends its clients more time to focus on their marketing platforms, creative executions and advertising opportunities presented by the hyper-sensitive and acutely aware customers we call fans. During its inception, PIVOT also saw an opportunity to simplify team travel for professional teams and large events, creating a third business vertical within the company. By offering a free 360 degree travel service, PIVOT ensures teams receive money back from their many stays throughout the season. Today, PIVOT continues to serve on those three pillars for brands looking to capitalize on fan passion, properties interested in expanding their sponsorship relationships, and teams and events looking to have their travel operation streamlined.
Who We Are
To create a lineup that is effective at both the number one spot and the ninth spot you need depth, versatility and a wide range of super powers that are called upon at different times. The team here at PIVOT represents just that. From Maine to Wisconsin to Germany, the people that make up PIVOT extend from all over the world and have clocked a wide range of experience both in and out of sports and entertainment. What the team has in common is the want to deliver high-quality service to their clients as they act as an extension of them.