Adam Kempenaar

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Adjunct Instructor
Sport and Recreation Management
End Degree:
M.A. Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Iowa

Adam Kempenaar is an accomplished broadcaster, instructor, and award-winning digital professional with more than two decades of experience driving audience engagement in sports, film, and media. He returns to the University of Iowa, where he earned an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.A. in Communication Studies, as an Adjunct Lecturer after 20 years with the Chicago Blackhawks, most recently as Vice President of Marketing and Content.

Adam is a pioneer in sports and film podcasting. In 2005, he hosted and produced HawkCast, the first podcast for a professional sports team. Additionally, that same year – after starting in film criticism as a reviewer for The Daily Iowan and hosting a movie talk show on KRUI – Adam co-founded the acclaimed Filmspotting, which was recently named the ‘#1 podcast for the movie buff’ by the New York Times.

For almost a decade, Adam has been a committed UI Sport and Recreation Management industry partner. He hosted nine summer practicum experiences with the Blackhawks and hired, managed, and mentored multiple SRM students and alumni as interns and employees. In 2022, Adam earned the Dr. Michael Teague All-Star Award in honor of his significant contributions to the Sport and Recreation Management program experiential learning initiatives and unyielding support of student development.

Adam was part of three Stanley Cup championship teams during his tenure with the Blackhawks and oversaw the growth of the Digital Content department from a one-person operation to a staff of over 20, encompassing creative, social media, video, website, mobile, photography, email marketing, and business analytics.

He was instrumental in launching and evolving the club’s digital platforms, including NHL-leading social media channels,, and the trailblazing video production brand Blackhawks TV. He is a recipient of four Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards for Sports Programs Outstanding Achievement: Single Spot/Campaign (2021); Documentary (2020); and One-Time Special (2018, 2016).

A producer on the Blackhawks’ two championship Blu-ray releases, “17 Seconds” and “Hat Trick,” Adam also served as Editor-in-Chief of Blackhawks Magazine and Blackhawks Publishing, which self-produced three hardcover championship books.

In 2016, SportsBusiness Journal recognized the Blackhawks’ highly successful “What’s Your Goal” marketing campaign as one of five finalists for Best in Sports Social at the Sports Business Awards, and, in 2009, Mashable awarded the Blackhawks for Best Brand Use of Twitter.

Prior to joining the Blackhawks, Adam spent three years at Marion-based Frank N. Magid Associates, where he aided in consulting local TV news clients as Creative Projects Coordinator.

A member of the Chicago Film Critics Association, Adam also holds a B.A. in English from Grinnell College.