Rocky Harris joined Sun Devil Athletics in February 2012 as the Sr. Associate Athletics Director for Communications. He was named Sr. Associate AD for External Relations in June 2012, promoted to Chief of Staff in May 2014, and has since been named Chief Operating Officer. As Chief Operating Officer, Harris directs overall strategic planning, implementation, administration, direction, supervision, and day-to-day operations of Sun Devil Athletics, facilitating key departmental priorities and managing a wide range of matters of institutional importance on behalf of the Athletics Director. Harris also serves as the liaison with the Pac-12 Conference, as well as University and community constituencies. Harris oversees the department business plan and leads fundraising, communications, outreach, capital programs, and supervises multiple sports.
As the Sr. Associate AD for External Relations, Harris supervised media relations, marketing, customer service, and revenue generation, including ticketing, sponsorships, and the Sun Devil Club (SDC). Under Harris’ direction, the SDC has broken numerous fundraising records, including $86 million in donations for FY15, $49.96 million in FY14 (compared to $7.47 million in FY11), and memberships have grown from 7,800 to over 16,000 individuals. Harris oversees Sun Devil Athletics’ involvement in the development of ASU’s 330-acre Athletics District to utilize and monetize ASU land into mixed-use facilities that generate revenue for the university, athletics department and provide assets for the community.
Harris arrived at ASU after serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo and AEG Global Partnerships. In his tenure with the Dynamo and AEG, Harris helped initiate a $110 million stadium project in downtown Houston, and assisted in doubling the season ticket base and sponsorship revenue. He also managed the MLS All-Star game communications, marketing and sales plan that resulted in the fourth highest attended all-star game across all sports in United States history.
Before the Dynamo, Harris was the Director of Sports and Marketing Sponsorships at Reliant Energy, an NRG Energy, Inc. Fortune 500 company, where he oversaw the largest naming rights deal in the National Football League and helped create the Reliant Energy Scholarship for Champions. He also was a member of the Houston World Cup Host Committee, Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee, as well as an NFL Media Representative for Super Bowls XXXVII, XXXVIII, and XXXIX.
Harris' other work on the professional sports level includes the Director of Communication with the Houston Texans and the Media Relations Coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers. Prior to joining the NFL, Harris worked at a web-marketing agency in San Francisco and a sports marketing agency in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Alongside his business initiatives, Harris helped create the foundation "Dynamo Charities," and serves on the Board of Trustees for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which recognized him as the 2010 Houston Man of the Year. He has also been awarded the Houston Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award, the Major League Soccer Marketing Executive of the Year Award and the Pete Rozelle Award for overseeing the NFL's top public relations staff.
Harris is currently teaching a graduate-level course for ASU’s Sports Law and Business program while pursuing his Ph.D. in Community Resources and Development. He attended management programs at Rice University and Purdue University and received his master's degree in sport management from the University of San Francisco (USF) where he graduated summa cum laude and earned the 2002 Director’s Award for being the top graduate student in the program. Prior to USF, Harris earned his bachelor's degree in communications from Arizona State University. Both his mother and father earned their bachelor's and master's degrees from ASU. His father was an ASU student-athlete and his mother was an ASU professor. Harris and his wife Elizabeth have three daughters, Hope, Grace and Ruby.