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Bentley Magazine

Joanne Borzakian Ouellette ’85, P ’20 ’23 embraces Shaq

Joanne Borzakian Ouellette ’85, P ’20 ’23 attended her first Boston Celtics game as a baby. And a few years later when she and her father went to pick up season tickets, she got to meet legendary Celtics leader Red Auerbach. 

“He hugged little me and shook my dad’s hand and said, ‘Welcome to the family.’” Borzakian Ouellette did, indeed, join a family — both as a fan and a professional. 

In fact, she became a basketball powerhouse whose smart marketing plays put up big points for her career and many NBA players, including Shaquille O’Neal and Dominique Wilkins. 

“I wanted to work in the game I love — that was my goal,” Borzakian Ouellette says. Her experiences as a lifelong basketball fan and preteen player at Celtics summer camps set her up for a job in the sport. However, Borzakian Ouellette credits her rigorous Bentley business education and diligent work ethic for her success at building a standout career.

Joanne Borzakian Ouellette ’85, P ’20 ’23
I was blessed with the career of my dreams and I’m so thankful to have been able to touch so many lives doing that work.
Joanne Borzakian Ouellette ’85, P ’20 ’23

After graduation, Borzakian Ouellette joined Reebok, eventually becoming global marketing director for NBA Basketball. While there, she boosted Reebok’s brand recognition, increased product sales and created unique marketing initiatives to help players engage in community endeavors aimed at positively impacting lives in the U.S. and around the world.

Borzakian Ouellette left Reebok in 2001 and started her own sports and entertainment marketing and events firm, JBO Marketing, but she is still very much part of the basketball family. She works and remains friends with many players and continues the decades-long family tradition of holding Celtics season tickets.

“I was blessed with the career of my dreams,” she says, “and I’m so thankful to have been able to touch so many lives doing that work.”

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