Brian Thornton

PLNU Senior Associate Athletic Director
Adjunct Faculty, MS-Kinesiology

Brian Thornton is in his second year with the PLNU athletic department after joining the Sea Lions' staff in March 2014.

Thornton oversees all aspects of marketing and branding for the athletic department, specifically connecting with the internal and external PLNU community, including corporate sponsors.

Thornton spent the previous three years as the vice president of marketing for Relativity Sports in Beverly Hills, where his company established brand strategies and developed marketing platforms for over 200 high-profile professional athletes, including NFL players Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Crabtree, Devin Hester, and Ndamukong Suh.

Prior to joining Relativity Sports, Thornton served as the senior director of marketing and corporate development for Ripken Baseball, as the director of marketing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento River Cats, and as the special events and ticket marketing manager for the San Diego Chargers.

Thornton grew up in a Navy family and attended school locally at Coronado High School and the University of San Diego. He and his wife, Janet, who is also a native of San Diego, have two sons, Sam and Jack.


  • B.A., University of San Diego

Courses Taught

  • Marketing, Promotion and Public Relations in Sport – KIN 620
  • Internship/Practicum in Kinesiology – KIN 688

Experience in Field

  • Vice President of Marketing for Relativity Sports in Beverly Hills
  • Sr. Director of Marketing and Corporate Development for Ripken Baseball
  • Director of Marketing for the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Director of Marketing for the Sacramento River Cats
  • Special Events and Ticket Marketing Manager for the San Diego Chargers