For many stakeholders, intercollegiate athletics can be a high-visibility front door to your school. When it is done right, marketers can successfully embrace athletics and leverage its activities and exposure to advance an institutional brand. In this episode, a panel of senior marketing and communications leaders will discuss challenges and opportunities for marketers as they build partnerships with athletics. We’ll explore these issues and share successes from the panelists’ respective institutions.
Rob ZinkanRob Zinkan became vice president at RHB, a higher education marketing consultancy, in 2019. Rob has more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration, serving in senior leadership positions in marketing and advancement. He spent the past 17 years at Indiana University, most recently in a system-wide role as associate vice president for marketing. He also served in campus-level roles there as vice chancellor for external affairs and assistant dean for advancement. Rob holds a doctorate from Creighton University, a master’s from Xavier University, and a bachelor’s from Wabash College. He serves on the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education conference committee, contributes to Inside Higher Ed’s “Call to Action” blog, and is a recent CASE commissioner (Commission on Communications and Marketing).
Ryan Bradley is associate vice president for marketing and brand strategy at the University of Alabama, a post he assumed in 2016. Ryan brings a wealth of experience in college athletics administration, serving in chief communications officer and athletic director roles. He previously served as senior associate athletic director of strategic communications at the University of Missouri and senior associate athletics director for external relations at the University of Memphis.
Dave Sonntag is associate vice president for marketing and communications at Gonzaga University, leading a department responsible for university branding, marketing, and public relations in support of fundraising, enrollment, internal communications, and community relations. Dave has worked for his alma mater since 2008, first as assistant vice president and then in 2014 as associate vice president. He brings both extensive higher education experience (having also worked at Eastern Washington University) and agency experience.