President & CEO, Mizuno USA & Chairman, Mizuno Canada
Special Session: Business of Sports
Mr. Mark M. O’Brien is a transformational and purpose-driven executive with a relentless focus and commitment to people, planning and execution. He is revered as a positive, passionate and proactive leader, a true team builder and motivator dedicated to focusing team energies on disciplined strategic efforts, while generating quantifiable results that meet or exceed business goals and financial objectives. O’Brien is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mizuno USA Inc., as well as the Chairman and Officer of Mizuno Canada, Ltd. He is responsible for leading the North America business of Mizuno, one of the largest global sporting goods manufacturers in the world and adhering to the 110-year legacy of the brand and business in partnership with the global headquarters based out of Osaka, Japan.
O’Brien, who has extensive expertise in revitalizing brands and businesses throughout his career, joined Mizuno in 2015 as Vice President, Brand Marketing & Management and was tasked with reinvigorating the brand and business in North America. In 2016, Mark was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and led all aspects of the Mizuno brand, products and sales leadership.
Prior to joining Mizuno in 2015, O’Brien served as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President for Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), the leading youth development organization in the world. During a four-year period before joining BGCA, O’Brien served as one of four officers for HoneyBaked’s Executive Team. During this time, he successfully helped lead the organization to three consecutive years of revenue growth, achieving EBITDA targets each year. Prior to HoneyBaked, O’Brien held a variety of progressive leadership roles at Johnsonville Sausage, a privately-held global company of category leading products sold in more than 30 countries. He ascended to his dual role as Johnsonville’s Director of Marketing and co-General Manager of its largest business unit and helped drive a revitalization of the brand and business. O’Brien also enjoyed a successful eight-year run with the Miller Brewing Company where he led national, regional and local marketing efforts, strategic brand planning and consumer promotions as he served in a variety of progressive leadership roles locally and nationally for Miller Lite, Icehouse and Miller Genuine Draft.
After graduating from St. Norbert College, he pursued his Master’s in Sports Management from Georgia Southern University, which led to a diverse array of opportunities in sports including his role as General Manager of the Tyler WildCatters; as well as roles with the NBA’s Houston Rockets and GMR Marketing, the leading global sports and experiential marketing agency.
O’Brien serves the industry and community in a variety of roles including his support of the SFIA, NSGA, Georgia State University Marketing RoundTable, the Atlanta Sports Council, an advisory board member for 48in48, and his service with Advice for Good, where he volunteers his time to non-profit, other charitable causes and individuals seeking professional support or expertise. He and his bride, MJ and their four daughters are avid Packers fans and reside in Milton, GA.