Noted New York public relations executive John Cirillo celebrated his second decade of Cirillo World, the sports and entertainment publicity firm “exceeding client expectations for 20 years.” The firm was launched in 1997 following a successful 13-year stint with the New York Knicks and at Madison Square Garden.
The Brooklyn-born longtime Westchester resident has also been an adjunct professor in communication and media studies at Fordham University, his alma mater, for that same time period. Cirillo served as broadcast agent for CBS Sports play-by-play broadcaster Spero Dedes and managed his career from 2000 to 2007. Says his fellow Fordham alumnus:"As broadcast agent and a tremendous advisor and confidant for the first seven years of my career, John deftly took me from my student days at Fordham’s WFUV Radio to opportunities at WFAN, YES Network, CBS Sports and my 'dream job' with the Los Angeles Lakers at the age of 26. He leaves no stone unturned to insure a successful journey. I owe so much to John."
The impressive Cirillo World client roster includes: Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway for the Rooney family, where he began his career as the raceway’s director of publicity in 1981 under Tim Rooney; Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia; the historic Grand Central Oyster Bar; the Vizion Group, for which the Diamond Resorts Invitational celebrity golf tournament is a lynchpin; the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner benefit for AHRC New York City Foundation; and WFUV Radio’s annual Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in sports broadcasting, which honors iconic sportscasters.
Cirillo is now in his third decade as a leader in sports, culinary, and not-for-profit public relations and special events in New York, the world's media capital.
Cirillo and his staff specialize in print and broadcast media placements, event management and consultation, staff management, liaison with athletes and executive clients, and creative awareness.
Recognized as one of the "Go-to Guys" among the New York and National sports media, he is a former New York Knickerbockers and Madison Square Garden senior public relations officer from 1984 through 1997. He was cited three times as NBA Public Relations Director of the Year during his Knicks tenure. Cirillo brought championship boxing back to the Garden in 1995 with six title fights in the span of seven months.
Following the 1997 opening, Cirillo World has past clients have also included Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing and champion prize-fighter Oscar de la Hoya, Emmy Award winning sports broadcaster Bob Costas, the late, great Mets Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, Fordham University Athletics, Gallagher's Steak House, the Boys and Girls Club of Mount Vernon's 100th Anniversary Gala, world heavyweight boxing champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko,DiBella Entertainment, which promoted such world champion boxers as Jermain Taylor, Andre Berto and Paulie Malignaggi, the Atlantic 10 Conference (basketball), and Fairfield University Athletics.
As adjunct professor at Fordham at Rose Hill, he has shared his prolific life's experiences with over 2,000 undergraduates, among them sports broadcasters Spero Dedes (CBS Sports), Ryan Ruocco (ESPN/YES Network), Tony Reali (ESPN Around the Horn) and Connell McShane (FOX Business Channel), just to name a few.
Cirillo says with a laugh that he is the "second most famous" sports product of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn's St. Mark's Parish, the first, he says, being “light years in front” -- the iconic Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.
Phil Mushnick, the New York Post senior columnist, perhaps sums it up best: "JC, you've done it all!"
When not juggling balls for his clients and students, Cirillo writes sports columns, song lyrics, is an avid amateur chef, and enjoys great food and wine with his wife Fran at their favorite restaurant haunts.