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Alumni Spotlights

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson

BBA '15

Merchandise manager, Adidas Team Sports
Portland, Oregon


Region: West

Kelly Johnson uses her passion for sports to create industry and community impact

Kelly Johnson (BBA ’15) knows firsthand the planning, coordination, and strategy it takes to land a team jersey on the shelf at the local sports retailer. As merchandise manager of Adidas Team Sports, Kelly oversees the key operations—sales, marketing, supply and demand, and more—that connect consumers to their favorite products.

A role with that many moving parts requires her to be creative and think on her feet, which are just a few of the skills she gained while earning her undergraduate degree in finance at WSB. Kelly also leverages the skills she acquired through her UW–Madison leadership certificate to create new opportunities in the sports industry.

“Even though I’m not a pro athlete, I can be that inspiration for those younger females,” she says. “We need more females who can lead in this industry.”

She also strives to her use her lifelong passion for sports, specifically tennis, to create lasting impact in her community.

During her sophomore year at WSB, Kelly founded her own nonprofit to provide extracurricular and academic support to Wisconsin high school students. The Kelly Johnson Foundation, which has since expanded nationwide, has awarded 17 scholarships and provided sports equipment to four high school teams.

“I realized that I wanted to give back and be more involved in the community. I stayed persistent, stayed focused on the goal, and hit the ground running with it.”

Read Kelly’s profile in Update magazine.

Learn about the Wisconsin Undergraduate Program.