Jim Rocco is a Senior Consultant and Director of PRCG | Sports. Jim has a broad background in sports marketing, branding and public relations across a range of sports industries. He has also been active in crisis communications in sports and entertainment matters and is an accomplished sales professional.
Jim’s experience includes more than 15 years at HBO Sports, working on a myriad of sports-related issues, including boxing, football, golf and other programming. He worked with programs such as Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Inside the NFL, On The Record With Bob Costas, and Hard Knocks. He managed numerous outside agencies in all phases of sports marketing, branding and promotion, and liaised with talent, their representatives and HBO’s creative team on a range of issues, including appearances, negotiations and crisis and other sensitive issues.
Jim also served as Director of Marketing at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, one of the premier sports and entertainment destinations in the tri-state area. In that role, he devised innovative sports marketing campaigns for a variety of events, including boxing matches and college basketball tournaments such as the Men’s NCAA basketball tournament and the ACC championship. He has negotiated with boxing promoters and the Commissioners of athletic conferences, and coordinated public relations and paid media in print, television, digital and emerging technologies.
In the golf arena, Jim has been involved in numerous golf events, including tournaments, sponsorships, appearances and golf-related documentaries.
Jim is a graduate of Long Island University, with a B.F.A., Cum Laude, in Communications.
James F. Haggerty, President and CEO of PRCG | Sports and its parent company, PRCG | Haggerty LLC, is a communications consultant and author with more than twenty-five years of experience counseling corporate, nonprofit and individual clients. With areas of expertise ranging from sports & media matters, to financial and professional services, to healthcare and the environment, Jim is frequently called upon as a trusted advisor in all manner of sensitive domestic and international reputation management issues.
For more than a decade, Jim has been the chief strategic communications advisor and spokesman to businessman, philanthropist and golf entrepreneur Howard Milstein, former owner of the New York Islanders. Among Milstein’s current holdings are the Nicklaus Companies (in partnership with Hall of Fame golfer Jack Nicklaus); GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com; legendary Japanese club maker Miura Golf; True Spec, the global leader in brand agnostic club fitting services; and GolfLogix, the most-downloaded GPS app in golf. He has also worked for legendary European media entrepreneur Leo Kirch—at the time the owner of the Formula One racing circuit—and for numerous brands in their sports-related promotions, including a large home improvement retailer, biotech company, apparel and footwear retailers, and others.
An attorney by training, in the area of high-profile crisis communications matters, Jim is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts. In addition to sports-related issues, Jim has consulted on numerous legal disputes, including the some of the largest product liability, intellectual property, antitrust and employment cases in history. He has also worked on numerous matters in the U.S. and globally involving government investigations, insider trading and financial fraud, sexual harassment, product recalls, accidents and workplace violence.
Chambers & Partners, the prestigious international directory, recently named Jim one of the top communications professionals in the United States, calling him a “powerhouse” who “thinks on a different level than most PRs,” bringing a “double barrel of legal and PR experience” to his work. PR News also recently named Jim to its list of 50 Game Changers of PR for his work as a “trailblazer” in litigation communications.
Jim’s experience includes working for Native Americans in the largest class action lawsuit ever filed against the United States government; representing a New Jersey grandmother in the largest single-family Holocaust restitution claim in history; and working with a minority-owned bank that was unfairly targeted with mortgage fraud allegations by the New York District Attorney. He has also worked on the Jonathan Pollard spy case, Leo Kirch’s long battle against Deutsche Bank over the destruction of Germany’s largest media empire, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike against the commercial advertising industry, and for Consumer Reports in two high-profile defamation cases: the Suzuki Samurai rollover case, and a product disparagement lawsuit brought by The Sharper Image Corporation over the Ionic Breeze air cleaner.
Jim’s latest book, Chief Crisis Officer: Structure and Leadership for Effective Communications Response (ABA Publishing), was released in 2017 and has been positively features in the Harvard Business Review, Fortune and Entrepreneur magazine, among others. His first book, In The Court of Public Opinion, is widely considered the most influential book in the litigation communications field. Now in its second edition, In The Court Of Public Opinion is a groundbreaking look at the use of communications and public opinion strategies during lawsuits. Financial Times, called In The Court of Public Opinion “… the perfect handbook for this age…” The book was also positively featured in publications including The Boston Herald, The New York Law Journal, American Lawyer, Law Society Gazette, The Washington Post, The Holmes Report, PR Week and O’Dwyer’s PR Newsletter.
Jim holds a B.A. in Political Science and English Literature and Rhetoric from Binghamton University, and studied Law at Fordham University in New York and Stetson University in St. Petersburg, Florida (J.D.). He is admitted to practice Law in New York and Florida, and is a member of the New York City and New York State Bar Associations. Jim’s articles and other writing have appeared in USA Today, The New York Times, Forbes, The National Law Journal, the New York Law Journal, Law Practice Management, PR Week and numerous other publications.
Isaac Benjamin is an Account Supervisor at PRCG. Isaac has a passion for sports communications, reputation management and branding and positioning strategy. He has worked on numerous accounts in the product and media space in sports such as golf, as well as crisis and legal matters, including in horse racing and antitrust claims.
Jim came to PRCG from the American Society for Yad Vashem, where he managed communication efforts across traditional and digital platforms. He has previously developed creative messaging campaigns for advocacy groups and startups, and is currently heavily involved in PRCG’s sports and legal-related public relations.
Isaac holds a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies, and Political Science from Rutgers University. As an Undergraduate Associate of the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Isaac interned on Congressman Joe Kennedy III’s first congressional campaign. He also spent a year volunteering abroad in Israel.
Based in Los Angeles, Eric Rose is a Senior Consultant to PRCG and a Partner with EKA PR, one of the largest public affairs firms in Southern California. Eric has a deep background in media, crisis and positioning issues, including in sports-related matters.
Among his sports-related experience, Eric was retained by the owners of an NBA franchise to handle both national and local media. He created and implemented a strategy that allowed the owners to maintain fan loyalty and win respect from business partners and ultimately sell the team for a record profit.
In addition, Eric has worked on messages for the new owners of a Major League Baseball (MLB) team while adhering to MLB rules that forbid owners from comment directly about future baseball operations. Eric has also worked with clients on significant NCAA and Title IX issues, #MeToo and abuse allegations, and on issues facing the horse racing industry.
Eric is a respected court-qualified expert witness and has testified across the county on matters relating to crisis communications, defamation, damaged image, and reputation prevention and repair.
Called on regularly by major broadcast and cable networks to comment on communications issues and breaking news, Eric has become a media “go to” for perspective and comment. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California as well as to groups of public relations professionals.
Thom Weidlich is a PRCG Managing Director specializing in litigation communications, crisis management and media-relations strategy. He is also chief content editor of PRCG's CrisisResponsePro "Confronting the Crisis" blog.
Thom joined the firm from Sitrick & Company, a nationally known crisis and bankruptcy communications firm. Prior to this, Thom was a longtime reporter for Bloomberg News, where he covered the trials of Enron’s Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling and of media mogul Conrad Black. He also covered bankruptcy, securities cases, structured-finance litigation, and the federal courthouses in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
A journalist for more than 20 years, Mr. Weidlich previously had been a reporter at The National Law Journal, where his beats included law firms and employment law; PRWeek magazine, which covers the public-relations industry; and Direct, a direct-marketing publication. He also had been a freelance journalist, writing for The New York Times, ABA Journal and other media outlets. Mr. Weidlich holds a M.A. in History from Columbia University and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from The New School in New York. He was a 2010 fellow in the Journalist Law School program at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. In 2001, he won the Bertrand Russell Society book award for his book on the British philosopher, published the previous year.