i find this extremely interesting
The New U-M AD CMO and His Priorities
Back in Dec 2010 when U-M announced the hiring of Hunter Lochmann as its first Athletic Department Chief Marketing Officer, I speculated on what the CMO's duties might include:
...this hiring is likely to presage the continued proliferation of corporate sponsorships (e.g., Arby's, Tim Horton) of various aspects of Michigan's athletics programs.
In this day and age of instant media, brand management is something that can't be taken for granted. Having a dedicated CMO and a bulked up marketing staff may pay benefits to the university and the athletics department if it's executed in a manner that emphasizes Michigan tradition without overdosing on the corporate tie ins. Ultimately the job should be about selling the University of Michigan, not selling sponsors' products.
We shall see how it turns out.
Well, in this article from Crain's Detroit Business, Lochmann talks about his priorities, and I had it partially right. All of that is still on the table, but the emphasis does appear to "be about selling the University of Michigan."
- Lochmann described his primary role as being "the brand manager for the university athletic department."
- He will be one of the key orchestrators of Brandon's plan to re-craft the athletics department more along corporate lines, which includes creation of a business plan by the spring and reinforcement of the "M" brand as it works to recover from one of its worst football eras.
- "This is a great opportunity to refresh that brand and reset it, knowing it's been through a tough few years," Lochmann said.
- The plan is to highlight the new coach, Brady Hoke, and a schedule that includes the school's first [home] night game...against rival...Notre Dame...and the newest Big Ten school...Nebraska.
- While football is the $105 million department's primary revenue driver, the other 26 sports will get plenty of attention from Lochmann. He's currently visiting all of the school's winter sports programs for games and meets.
- "I want to sell out Crisler," he said. "That's a personal agenda. I've got to get to the bottom of why that doesn't happen. I want to get into the data on why people don't come to the games."
- He'll also ask for more money for promotions [of the Michigan brand], but he didn't say how much currently is spent or how much more he wants.
- "Once we figure out where we need to put our support behind, where we want to have some brand advertising out there," he said. That will include digital, broadcast, print and outdoor marketing, with money deployed based on each outlet's return on investment for the department.
- He's especially interested in online marketing. "Digital marketing is a huge emphasis in the social media world," he said. "How do you take that to the next level?"
- Lochmann plans to explore how the department can better use its popular website, www.mgoblue.com, ...mobile device applications and other technologies to sell tickets and raise revenue. "It's really a business development job," he said.
- He'll also be the department's point man with New York City-based IMG, which is contracted to manage sponsorship deals with Michigan athletics.
So, the priorities seem to be:
Management of the "M" brand
- i.e., ensuring it stands for the positive things we tend to associate it with, vice losing and scandal (not a personal commentary on the RichRod era, I'm just reading between the lines of his statements, so save the invective))
- Focus on football, including Brady Hoke and an exciting 2011 home slate without forgetting about the other 26 sports teams
- Figuring out how to market the MBB team so that Crisler fills up to the rafters (Lochmann's experience with the Knicks surely ought to help here, as will an improving team and a renovated stadium)
- Increased multi-media "M" brand advertising, especially in digital forums
- Improved applications for ticket selling
- Managing the department's sponsorship deals through IMG
One thing appears certain, no one had to sell Lochmann on the Michigan job -- it sold itself.
While the Knicks are a storied franchise, Lochmann decided that the Michigan job was an opportunity to do more and work for an even more iconic brand.
"I did everything I could to go after it. The power of the Michigan athletics brand is bigger than the Knicks. College athletics, there is something special about it."
Now Lochmann is trying to increase the power of the "M" brand to sell itself to its loyal fanbase and beyond.