It’s not uncommon for an executive to have expensive sports memorabilia in his office.

A signed Tiger Woods poster that Tiger gave you himself? That’s a bit more unusual.

Ian Frenette, who’s from Windsor, also has a personalized Wayne Gretzky photo and, probably least surprising, lots of Boston Celtics stuff — unsurprising since Frenette’s office is in Boston’s TD Garden and he’s a vice-president of the Celtics.

Frenette, 37, grew up on Tremaine Crescent in Windsor, next to the town’s baseball fields, and he starred in hockey at King’s-Edgehill School. But golf and basketball, which he never played, have taken him to the executive floor.

“I can’t really say that I was much of a basketball fan as a kid; hockey was my life, which is pretty common in Nova Scotia,” said Frenette as he mingled with VIP season ticket holders in a private restaurant a few steps from centre court at the Garden.

“I had two really good friends, Windsor guys who went to King’s as well, who were hoops guys, but it never attracted me.”

As Frenette talked to a visitor from back home and a server extolled the virtues of the buffet, the CEO of United Health Group stopped by his table to say hello. The head of a Fortune 100 company is not someone you’re likely to run into on Tremaine Crescent.

“No day is ever the same,” said Frenette, the VP of corporate partnerships.

“The title doesn’t necessarily describe what we do.

“I head up all the new business and sponsorship sales for the Celtics. We have 75 to 100 corporate partners, making investments of mostly mid-six to seven figures. We don’t really deal in $25,000 to $50,000 deals.”

Frenette didn’t start this high on the ladder, wearing Cole Haan shoes and driving a Land Rover to work.

As a Dalhousie University student intent on becoming a doctor, he tired of sciences at the same time Halifax was hosting the Memorial Cup in 2000. A friend volunteering for the junior hockey tournament told Frenette the guy running the show had studied sports management at Springfield College, and soon it was goodbye Nova Scotia, hello Massachusetts.

“It’s a small school, known for phys-ed. It’s where the YMCA was started; (James) Naismith (the inventor of basketball) went there,” Frenette said.

“So I went there and had just an unbelievable experience. Small school, 3,000 people in total between undergrad and grad school. Two-year program with classes for a year and a half, then you go into an internship for your last semester.”

Apart from meeting the woman who would become his wife and mother of his two sons at Springfield, Frenette also found his life’s work. Right out of school, he hooked on with a charity golf tournament in Rhode Island hosted by PGA players Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade.

“At that point in time, I wasn’t much of a golfer. I had only played hockey as a kid, and paddled. I spent seven months working with Brad and Billy, two Rhode Island guys who host that tournament every year, and just had a really good business experience and learned a lot.”

Frenette then took advantage of a Springfield connection to move south to work on Greg Norman’s charity event in Naples, Fla., called the Shark Shootout.

“It wasn’t quite as hands-on as the Faxon-Andrade gig,” said Frenette, who didn’t get to learn as much from Norman, one of the most successful businessmen in sports, as he would have liked.

“He was involved but at a higher level, inviting players, because that was an invitation-only event. He was around, but I didn’t get to learn much from him. He had a vision of how he wanted the event to come across, and he was really good with kids.”

Norman was famous in the world of sports. Frenette’s next boss was just plain famous.

He happened to cold-call the IMG office in Boston on the right day and soon was working on the startup of the Deutsche Bank tournament and employed by Tiger Woods, which took some getting used to.

“It’s easy now but, dealing with those guys, you’re a little awestruck until you realize they’re just regular people,” said Frenette, who became the fourth employee of the tournament and spent seven years there, wearing various hats.

He still remembers the craziness of the first event.

“There were 25,000 people there on Tuesday … because everybody thought Tiger was going to play a practice round.”

And then the phone rang, and it was the Boston Celtics calling.

“I had been working closely with the Red Sox and got to know the sales folks here with the Celtics (and) the guys with the Patriots. The Celtics had a sales position they wanted to fill.”

Frenette joined the team in 2009.

He can describe his job in complicated or simple terms.

In simple terms, he finds ways to bring in money. An NBA team generates gigantic bills. The Celtics payroll for this season is just under $75 million, and even when you charge $6 for a hot dog, that adds up to a lot of tickets.

“The function of our part of the business, along with tickets, is to pay players,” Frenette said of the importance of having corporate partnerships, and lots of them.

“You have to have a business that supports the product on the floor. There are lots of team owners out there who dump a ton of money into the organization, but the business doesn’t support what they’re doing on the court — it’s just dumping cash.”

Plenty of company owners that pony up hundreds of thousands of dollars to partner with a team want more than to get to know a vice-president; they want to meet players. For Frenette, the youthfulness of the current Celtics rosters (eight players under 25) makes that a bit easier.

“And most of them are pretty easy to work with. We’ve molded them and they get that it’s not just about basketball, it’s about the business as well.

“Last season, Kelly (Olynyk) led the team in community appearances; he did over 30, which is a new record for any player in the organization. The way he put it is that he had a lot of opportunity growing up, and now has an opportunity to make a deeper impact.”

Olynyk grew up in Toronto and British Columbia as the son of a university coach. When he and Frenette run into each other, something about Canada invariably comes up in the conversation.

“We always have the Canadianisms that we talk about; he’s a huge Tim Hortons fan,” Frenette said of the seven-footer.

“We talk hockey. He loves the city of Toronto and talks about that. People give him a hard time about Justin Bieber.”

Even though the notorious Boston traffic means Frenette’s 20-kilometre commute takes an hour, he’s loving the opportunities the city presents.

Apart from travelling to about a dozen road games on the team plane each season, he also regularly takes in Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots games.

Not surprisingly for a family “consumed” by sports, Frenette’s parents travel to Boston more often than he makes it back to Windsor.

“This is a sports town; people turn to the sports page before they turn to any other part of the paper. There are kids here that are 15 years old and they’ve lived through eight championships.

“In 10 years time, I’d like to be a team president. I’m at that spot now where the next thing is to run the entire business or revenue for an organization. There seems to be a new role called chief revenue officer. … That’s where I aspire to go — definitely want to stay in sports.”