Jake Martinez

Jake Martinez '23 graduates with a major in marketing and concentrations in brand management and innovation. 


Jake Martinez Combines a Passion for Sports with Entrepreneurship

He graduates with a major in marketing and concentrations in brand management and innovation.

Photography by

Christa Neu

Jake Martinez’s '23 passion for sports has touched every aspect of his time at Lehigh. As a member of the Mountain Hawk track and cross-country teams, he set records and joined other athletes in supporting the South Bethlehem community. Now his career path is leading to a graduate program in sports product management at the University of Oregon after graduation. 

A love for running is at the center of it all. 

“What’s so beautiful about the sport of running is that it’s so inclusive,” said Martinez ’23, a marketing major with concentrations in brand management and innovation. “You have people like me who are training very hard to run at an elite level and compete. And you have the other 99 percent who have so many incredible stories. Whether it’s the fact that they’re doing their first 5K and walking it or doing it to lose 50 pounds or it’s part of their mental health journey, it’s really powerful what the sport of running can do.”

Recovering from Lyme disease just before his first year, Martinez was unsure if he’d be able to continue his running career at Lehigh. He bounced back, eventually setting school records in the indoor distance medley relay and in the outdoor 4x800 meter relay. 

Jake Martinez

Martinez set records at the indoor distance medley relay and in the outdoor 4x800 meter relay during his career at Lehigh.

Martinez is co-captain of COACH, Lehigh’s student athlete organization supporting South Bethlehem families and children. COACH—which stands for Community Outreach for Athletes Who Care About Helping—is part of Flight 45, the university’s leadership development program for athletes. Martinez mentored first-years in the program before focusing on COACH. The group raises money to offer financial support through its Adopt-A-Family program and leads athletic and academic after-school activities for elementary and middle school students in the Bethlehem Area School District. COACH has raised over $700,000 since its inception more than 20 years ago to provide holiday gifts and other resources.

Jake Martinez.

Jake Martinez and his father Michael Martinez during Jake's first 5k race in his hometown of Palmerton, Pa. Photo: Contributed.

Reflecting on his involvement, he said, “It’s an amazing privilege to be able to provide support and assistance to people that we live next to, who are our neighbors.” 

His business classes have helped him to combine another one of his passions—storytelling—with practical skills in running a business.He already had started a venture before entering college. As a high school student, he and his father, Dr. Michael Martinez, founded Carbon Adventure Racing LLC, a company that produces road and trail running events. In 2020, he assumed full ownership, and recently established Carbon Adventure Racing Charities, a 501(c)3 nonprofit arm that will enable the company to produce races benefiting causes.

That experience, coupled with his passion for running and Lehigh business education, helped him land an internship with Adidas, one of the world’s leading sports brands. He spent summer 2022 at the company’s North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon., working on the digital team.

Jake Martinez

Jake Martinez and Kerem Ayhan '23 during the Lehigh Athletics' Student-Athlete Convocation where they were awarded their varsity letters. Photo: Contributed.

The internship led him to apply to the master’s degree program in Sports Product Management at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist School of Business. During the 18-month program, Martinez will study with industry leaders, learning about creating sports products from concept to market introduction. 

Martinez says he came to Lehigh because it allowed him to combine competing in Division 1 athletics with an outstanding academic experience. His four years have exceeded his expectations—a message he likes sharing with prospective students in his role as admissions tour guide. “It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I’m so very proud of that, “ he said. 

By Vicki Mayk

Photography by

Christa Neu

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