Chris Brennan, B.S.’88

NBA Retail Star

By Nick Muscavage, B.A.’16
Chris Brennan

While Chris Brennan has kept busy working for the National Basketball Association for the past 20 years, he always finds time for his alma mater.

Brennan, who graduated from UAlbany with a degree in communication and marketing and later earned an M.B.A. from St. John’s University, is senior vice president, overseeing the Retail Partnerships Group at the NBA. He is responsible for activating and managing the marketing and promotions for all NBA operations and relationships. 

In 2016, Brennan returned to UAlbany to deliver the commencement address to communication and journalism graduates. “It was a lot of fun,” said the 52-year-old Staten Island native, who now lives in Westfield, N.J. His speech highlighted the motto he embraces: “Professionalism, Patience, and Persistence.” 

“Those are my “three P’s, and I’ve stuck with them pretty much my entire life,” he said. Brennan acknowledged that the “three P’s” have enabled him to pursue opportunities as varied as his first job out of college, at Russ Berrie, maker of the iconic toy trolls; his merchandising job with Foot Locker; and his career with the NBA. 

Brennan speaks to a group of students about the NBA in a conference room
Chris Brennan hosts students interested in learning about his career with the NBA, as well as about internship opportunities.
Brennan poses for a photo with a group of students in a NBA trophy room

Since serving as commencement speaker, Brennan has visited the University several times to talk with students. “I also bring students to the NBA every year. We do a question-and-answer [program], and we talk about professionalism and ask if they would like to be a part of the NBA, at some point,” Brennan recalled.

Two years ago, he was instrumental in arranging UAlbany’s first internship opportunity with the NBA and is “trying to help them apply each year. I do this because I have wonderful friendships that came out of UAlbany,” said Brennan. 

He met his wife, Michelle (Molinelli) Brennan, B.S.’89, at the University, and still takes an annual trip to Dippikill, UAlbany’s Adirondack campground, with college friends.

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