The Durkin Agency is a leading marketing, communications and sponsorship firm. We help launch, build and refresh brands – from startups to legacies. Sports and entertainment, golf, health and wellness, diversity and inclusion and nonprofits are among our key industry areas of expertise and influence.
• Brand development
• Corporate communications
• Public relations
• Content development
• Sponsorship sales
• Strategic planning
• Sports and entertainment
• Health and wellness
• Diversity and inclusion
Karen Durkin is a senior executive with 20+ years experience leading business and brand strategy, integrated marketing communications, sponsorship and fundraising for several prominent and emerging brands from consumer to startups and non-profits. In 2013, Karen founded The Durkin Agency LLC as a leading marketing firm specializing in strategic planning, brand positioning, sponsorship sales and consultancy, fundraising and all aspects of corporate communications, including: public relations, thought leadership, messaging, content development, editorial services, media relations, social media and media training.
Karen has deep experience leading brands through organization redesign, brand repositioning and broad-based growth strategies to increase awareness, stakeholder engagement and revenues. She is a confident and highly collaborative leader with a proven track record of delivering measurable and meaningful results for her clients.
Prior to the The Durkin Agency, Karen was Chief Executive Officer of the Women's Sports Foundation founded by Billie Jean King and also served in executive leadership positions with the National Hockey League (EVP Communications and Brand Strategy) and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (EVP/Chief Marketing Officer).
While at the LPGA (1995-2006) she held various roles of increasing responsibility in the areas of sponsorships, business development, global retail licensing, and marketing and communications. Following the LPGA's 50th Anniversary, Karen helped lead one of the LPGA's most comprehensive strategic repositioning efforts, resulting in double-digit fan and sponsorship growth and the highly successful "These Girls Rock" campaign to rejuvenate the LPGA brand and unify the organization.
Following the LPGA she joined the National Hockey League as Executive Vice President of Communications and Brand Strategy and played a key role in the league's rebuilding efforts following the 2004-05 lock-out. Working directly with the NHL Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, Karen's key NHL responsibilities included: strategic messaging; integration of all key NHL communications functions; event PR (inaugural Winter Classic, Stanley Cup television tune-in, etc.); league-wide awareness and issues; and player branding initiatives.
Karen began her career at New York-based Cohn & Wolfe Public Relations, a Burson-Marsteller and Young & Rubicam company. Throughout her career she has received several awards and honors: Shape Magazine's Women Who Shape the World (2009), Sports Illustrated's Most Influential Women in Golf (2005) and Golfweek Magazine's Forty Under 40 as among those likely to shape the game and the business (2002).
Karen serves as a board member of the Positive Coaching Alliance's New York chapter. Previously, she served as a board member of the Susan G. Breast Cancer Foundation's Central Florida Race for the Cure and the Executive Women's Golf Association. Currently, she serves on the event committee for the Wilderstein Historical Site in Rhinebeck, New York.
A Rhodes scholar candidate, Karen is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester where she majored in music, studying at the Eastman School of Music, and minored in English. She has a master's of science from Northwestern University‘s Medill School of Journalism. While at Medill, she worked for the school's Washington D.C.-based Medill News Service, reporting for The Hilton Head Island Sun covering South Carolina's elected officials (Strom Thurmond, Fritz Hollings, etc.) and other Capitol Hill news.
Forever an "outdoor kid," Karen resides in New York's idyllic Hudson Valley.
Karen was named with nine others, including First Lady Michelle Obama, to the magazine's Women Who Shape the World.Link
Karen is featured in an extensive Q&A on sports and marketing.
Karen was named #3 on a list of 10 topped by Annika Sorenstam.Link
Karen speaks regularly at important corporate and industry events on a variety of topics including: leadership, marketing and branding. Contact us.