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Huskers Athletic Partners announces four hires

The hires include General Manager Jason Rathe, Assistant General Manager Derek Engelbart,...
The hires include General Manager Jason Rathe, Assistant General Manager Derek Engelbart, Senior Account Executive Heidi Cuca and Senior Account Executive Jamie Linn.(NU Athletic Communications)
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 12:14 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (Press Release) - Nebraska Athletics has announced the hiring of four industry veterans as the leadership team for Huskers Athletic Partners, the newly formed in-house department coordinating multi-media rights and broadcast operations.

The hires include General Manager Jason Rathe, Assistant General Manager Derek Engelbart, Senior Account Executive Heidi Cuca and Senior Account Executive Jamie Linn.

“We are excited to officially launch Huskers Athletic Partners on July 1,” Senior Deputy Athletic Director Garrett Klassy said. “Combined, the leadership team has more than 50 years of experience handling sponsorships at Nebraska. They are all community leaders, passionate about the Huskers and will be terrific ambassadors for our department and our partners.”

Rathe moves into the leadership role with Huskers Athletic Partners after spending the past six years as Nebraska’s Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Fan Experience. Rathe has served as the liaison to previous multi-media rights holder IMG as well as internal corporate partners. Rathe will manage all aspects of the Huskers Athletic Partners day-to-day operations and oversee an eight-person team.

“Jason’s experience on the sponsorship and athletics side will be invaluable,” Nebraska Senior Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and Multimedia Brandon Meier said. “He has worked in this industry his entire career and has a proven background of delivering value and innovative solutions to our sponsors.”

Before his most recent stint in Nebraska Athletics, Rathe served as the Associate General Manager for Husker IMG Sports Marketing for seven years. In that time, he was the main point of contact for corporate partnerships and was the liaison to Nebraska Athletics. Rathe also served as the interim general manager of IMG’s Nebraska property for part of 2015. Rathe is a 2000 graduate of the University of Nebraska.

Engelbart joins Huskers Athletic Partners from the Nebraska Alumni Association where he has served as the Associate Executive Director of Alumni Relations for the past eight years. Engelbart will oversee all fulfillment and proof of performance reports and will be the main point of contact with HuskerVision, Communications, Digital/Social Media and Big Ten Network.

In addition to his eight years with the Alumni Association, Engelbart previously developed a diverse background in sales and business operations. He cultivated relationships during his time in medical and healthcare sales before becoming director of the surgery center at Lincoln Orthopaedic Center. Engelbart is a Lincoln Northeast graduate and earned his degree from Concordia University-Nebraska where he played on the men’s basketball team.

Cuca and Linn join Huskers Athletic Partners as Senior Account Executives after serving in similar roles with the Husker Sports Properties sales team. In their leadership roles with Huskers Athletic Partners, Cuca and Linn will manage all aspects of corporate partnerships including sales, hospitality and new business development.

Cuca has a long association with Nebraska Athletics, including spending the past eight years cultivating sponsorships and brand impressions for Husker Sports Properties as Senior Manager for Business Development, and was also a member of the Chairman’s Club. Cuca previously worked in Nebraska Athletics for 13 years, serving as the school’s first Director of Marketing, then as Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and for one season as Director of Skyboxes. She is a UNL graduate.

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate, Linn has spent more than two decades in sports business marketing working for multi-media rights companies representing Nebraska Athletics. She has been highly successful partnering businesses with the Husker brand. Most recently, Linn was a Senior Manager for Business Development with Husker Sports Properties and was a member of the Chairman’s Club the past two years.

Huskers Athletic Partner offices will be located in the Stadium Drive Parking Garage adjacent to Nebraska’s Athletic Ticket and Development offices.

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