President, Business Operations
Ishwara Glassman Chrein was announced as President of Chicago Fire Football Club on May 20, 2021. A highly accomplished business executive with close to 20 years of experience – both inside and outside of sports – Glassman Chrein oversees all aspects of the Fire’s business operations.
Prior to joining the Fire, Glassman Chrein was the Head of Sports Partnerships and Business Development at Yahoo Sports / Verizon Media, where she led relationships and negotiations with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, BetMGM, and NBC, as well as other sports leagues, broadcasters, streamers, data companies, and technology companies.
While at Yahoo Sports / Verizon Media, she also oversaw gaming strategy, evaluated sports rights acquisition deals across the globe, and worked with sports technology start-ups. She began her career at McKinsey & Company and Lehman Brothers, before spending nine years at WME IMG Sports, Entertainment and Media, most recently as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Sales Operations and Strategic Planning.
She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a degree in economics and political science and received her Master in International Affairs (International Finance) from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
Glassman Chrein was a 2020 recipient of the Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award. She lives in Lincoln Park, Chicago, with her husband, two kids, and one enormous golden retriever. She is believed to be only the fourth woman in league history to serve in this role.
What do you love about your current job?
I love the passion of the fans. Every day, I’m fortunate enough to work on something that people truly care about. It’s a lot of responsibility, but there’s nothing like the energy of Solider Field on game day.
I also love that in the role of president, I get to touch so many different parts of the business: ticketing, marketing, sponsorships, real estate developments, budgeting, hiring, government relations, etc. Every day is different and fun. I wake up and love going into work.
What advice would you give to women seeking a position in the sports industry?
Figure out what you are uniquely good at. You will always be best at things you enjoy doing. Touch the money, drive revenue for your organization if you can, and, of course, ask for what you want. Work hard, know your worth, and ask for it, be it a promotion, a raise, or more responsibility.
Who or what inspires you, and why?
My favorite moments are when I get to walk out onto the field at the Fire Pitch and talk to the young female soccer players that are a part of our youth programs. Being an inspiration to girls who are the same age as my kids is such an honor and a responsibility. So many of them didn’t know that this was a career they can pursue. My kids still don’t think I’m cool, but, for a little bit of time, I love chatting with these girls. I love to ask them who their favorite players are, why they play soccer, why their brother is annoying, etc. The opportunity for them to see someone like them leading a major sports team is something that I hope they take with them as they grow up and take on the world.