John Sweeney is head of the advertising specialization and director of the Sports Communication Program.

Sweeney has developed and taught numerous undergraduate courses at UNC. He has won 10 teaching awards during his tenure and has taught workshops on advertising creativity for companies as diverse as IBM, the Martin Agency and Aetna Insurance.

Before his university career, Sweeney was an associate creative director at Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago. He has built on his experience in industry with consulting and can claim professional experience on more than 40 national brands in all facets of marketing and advertising. This experience includes promotional work tied to the Olympics, National Basketball Association and the NCAA.

Sweeney has been involved with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the American Academy of Advertising for more than 20 years. He has published more than 40 columns and articles in publications such as Advertising Age, Journalism Educator, Adweek and the Journal of Advertising Education. He has written more than 25 commentaries on the sports business broadcast on North Carolina public radio. He has made more than 30 academic presentations at national conventions and programs.



  • M.Ed., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.S., Northwestern University


  • 2013 The State of the Portfolio in Advertising, Refereed panel at the American Academy of Advertising, April 5, 2013, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 2013 The Storm and Light Report on leading sports in America: Baseball, Football, Soccer, Golf, Mountaineering, Summer movies, Blues, Broadway, Congress, Miami Beach, Las Vegas, Egyptian tourism, Newspaper industry, Floral industry, California wine industry.
  • 2013 “Digital Assignments for Professional teams,” Invited to refereed panel. AEJMC National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, August 8, 2012
  • 2013 “Interviews with master teachers,” Invited to the refereed panel as a master teacher. AEJMC National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, August 11, 2012
  • 2013 “The Strategy behind Sports Advertising,” Insert for tenth edition of Advertising: Principles and Practice, Wells, Moriarty, Mitchell. 9th Edition