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Alum Makes His Mark in Sports, Fashion and Pop Culture Branding

Patrick Joyce
Alum and distance runner Patrick Joyce has built a successful career around his love of sports.

During his days as a student at NC State, Patrick Joyce spent hours under the guidance of track coach Rollie Geiger, learning lessons on running, leadership and life.

These days, Joyce is using those lessons learned from Geiger as he takes on a new career challenge. After a decade at Reebok International, Geiger became director of licensing and brand development for IMG, which represents some of the world’s biggest sports figures, fashion icons, companies and events, in January.

Joyce, 40, graduated from NC State in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government and in 2000 with a master’s degree in sports management. He also ran for NC State’s track and field and cross country teams.

Though IMG’s headquarters are in New York City, Joyce will continue to work in Boston. He lives in Concord, Mass., with his wife and two young children.

Joyce’s career, so far, has focused on sports. At Reebok, he was senior manager of global sports marketing. There, he found athletes and events that Reebok could sponsor to promote the athletic footwear and apparel company. That job took Joyce around the world — to two Olympics, numerous world cross country championships and other events.

Patrick Joyce
Alumnus Patrick Joyce (Poli Sci ’98)

At IMG, Joyce will not only be working with leading sports figures and teams, he’ll also be negotiating in the world of fashion, entertainment and popular culture. IMG’s many clients include the likes of National Geographic, actor Sylvester Stallone and boat maker Chris-Craft.

“You have to be extremely creative working for your clients to increase the brand and increase revenue,” Joyce says. “It’s a little bit different than what I’ve been doing and the variety of clients can go the spectrum.”

Joyce’s success today, he says, comes directly from the guidance he received from Geiger and Bobby Purcell, Wolfpack Club executive director and senior associate athletic director. Joyce worked as the director of annual giving for the Wolfpack Club for five years after he received his master’s degree.

The Chicago native and distance runner was recruited by midwestern universities in high school, but opted for NC State instead. Geiger’s winning record over his long-running coaching career lured Joyce to Raleigh.

“When I met him in person and talked to him, it’s like he became a father figure to me when I was there,” he says. “He really took me in and he just really cares for you as a person, not just as an athlete. I knew when I left NC State and didn’t run anymore, he’d still continue to be such a great friend of mine. I probably call Coach Geiger once a month.”

Says Joyce: “I would say, hands down, my time at NC State was just wonderful and influenced who I am today.”

–Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

This post originally appeared in the NC State Alumni Association’s Red and White for Life Blog.