Jerome C. Cifarelli ’77
ANC Sports Enterprises LLC

Jerome Cifarelli has spent more than 40 years in marketing and advertising sales, including 30 years in the sports marketing industry. The Sports Business Journal hailed him as a pioneer of sports signage—publisher Abe Madkour said, “When you watch a baseball game, a football game, any sports event on television, and you see signage around the venue, well, you can thank Jerry Cifarelli…all those venues, all that signage in venues, all gets pointed back to one of the pioneers in the business, Jerry Cifarelli”.  

Upon his graduation from Iona, Jerry began his career in traditional advertising as a media supervisor at Saatchi & Saatchi before moving on to Katz Communications, where he served as Vice President, National Sales Manager. 

Intrigued by the potential of the then-new rotational signage technology being introduced to the sports industry, in 1991 Jerry signed on to establish Madrid-based signage company Dorna in the US market and rose to become President & Chief Executive Officer of Dorna USA. Jerry has played a prominent role in the adoption of digital signage in sports—after placing rotational signage on the majority of National Basketball Association courts across the US and Canada, he introduced the concept to Major League Baseball, and established home plate advertising with the support of the MLB commissioner’s office and prominent team franchise owners. 
After steering the sale of Dorna USA to Van Wagner, and with the support of David Stern and the NBA, Jerry founded ANC Sports in partnership with well-known former sports executives, including Alan N. Cohen, whose initials contributed to the company name. Cohen was former Chair of the NBA Board of Governors, co-owner of the Boston Celtics, and formerly CEO of Madison Square Garden, which owned the NY Knicks and NY Rangers. 

Beginning with the New York Yankees and the brand-new WNBA, Jerry began building a brand that would transform the sports marketing industry by expanding the use of digital signage, not only for advertising, but in ways to revolutionize the in-game experience for fans and attendees.

After the death of Alan Cohen and in anticipation of continued growth of the business, in 2009 Jerry sold ANC to Palladium Equity Partners (PEP) while remaining CEO and maintaining an equity stake in the company.  

After three years under the umbrella of PEP’s sports marketing platform Celeritas Management and meeting the challenges of working under the new ownership, Cifarelli joined with former NBA senior vice president Bill Daugherty and Paul Salem, co-founder and senior managing director of Providence Equity, to form Rivard Partners and bought back ANC from PEP in 2012.  Bill Daugherty characterizes Cifarelli: “Jerry stood out from the others because of his warmth and sincerity. Also, he was a deal bulldog. No one could close a deal like Jerry Cifarelli…he built ANC Sports from the ground up. He was still selling, but he was doing so much more. He was creating, inventing, and through his dedication and talent, he willed the signage industry into existence”. 

During Rivard Partners’ ownership, Jerry launched ANC to new heights as a digital signage technology innovator by embracing LED (light emitting diode) video display technology and advocating its use in new and creative ways, including spearheading innovations such as 360 degree LED ribbon, video courtside signage systems, LED field-level signage within North American soccer and professional football, and match-side LED in professional tennis.  By 2015, he had parlayed this experience into non-sports markets, implementing video spectaculars in retail and transit hubs. 

With its fast-track growth under the new ownership, ANC drew the attention of Providence Equity Partners’ portfolio company and college sports media rights holder, Learfield, which purchased a 51% interest to ANC in 2015.  Learfield completed the purchase of the remaining 49% in 2018.

Constantly exploring growth opportunities, Cifarelli spearheaded the development of strategic alliances with global Fortune 500 companies such as Mitsubishi, while expanding ANC’s market presence from sports venues to retail and transportation facilities—in New York alone, the company provided digital signage spectaculars at Westfield World Trade Center, Fulton Center, Moynihan Train Hall, South Street Seaport, JP Morgan Chase’s flagship at Madison & 44th Street, and many more throughout the U.S. Partnerships such as these developed ANC into a full-service marketing and technology service provider, with a US staff of 120 employees and annual revenues exceeding $70 million upon his exit from the company at the end of 2021.

Under Jerry’s leadership, ANC Sports became an industry leader in team and venue services for sports and commercial facilities. Jerry has headed some of the most high-profile digital media deployments in the world, such as the University of Notre Dame and Westfield World Trade Center, as well as the revolutionary kinetic scoreboard at Wells Fargo Center. 

Considered an expert in sports signage, Jerry is often quoted in media outlets such as the SportsBusiness Journal and has been featured in CNBC, Bloomberg TV, BusinessWeek and many others. Jerry’s son, Jerry Jr, after working at ANC for eight years, built on the family legacy in digital technology service by forming his own company, C10 Media, in 2021 and quickly established C10 as a market leader in the industry.  So quickly, in fact, that after just one year in business, Jerry Jr negotiated the purchase of ANC from Learfield, restoring the company to a family business where he will lead as president & chief executive officer and his father will return as chairman. 

Jerry Cifarelli is a long-time resident of Rye, where he and his wife of 38 years, Ellen, raised three successful adults, Amanda, Jerry Jr., and Abigail.  They also recently welcomed their first grandchild, Cooper, the daughter of Jerry Jr. and his wife Maggie.