In the movie
The latest example was in a Monday USA Today cover story on incoming University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon, an alumnus and head of Domin.s Pizza. The move to go outside the tradition athletic director profil.a former or current coach or career college administrato.is the ;latest sign that schools are looking to find people with a wide business background that can acclimate to sports, not a sports background that maybe can meld into a business, when looking for leadership. Toda.s challenged economy has given schools a much wider swath of candidate.senior business leaders who are tired of the climate today and are looking for a lifestyle chang.who would like to come in and show colleges and universities what it takes to run an athletic program with innovation and business skill.as well as the skill of consensus building that has to come when juggling programs ranging from football to water polo on a limited budget. These business leaders know how to stretch dollars in conventional ways and apply basic business practices on top of the traditional fundraising that schools do. They are better equipped to find ways to make Universities understand the value of athletics as business, and in doing so can tap into much wider resources outside of the emotional bonds that many schools rely on for resources. Now this new outlook does.t just apply to the big schools. Small schools in many markets are also now looking to business leaders to show them how to better market, use social media, develop new streams of income and better run their bottom line while growing their brands in the market they are located. The same is true for mid-major and smaller conference.their leadership is also evolving into a combination of business and athletics, with the emphasis on business. Does this mean the end for the career athletic administrato.? By no means. Those people are learning how to adapt and grow their backgrounds as well, but it does mean that they do have to grow in their positions in order to make athletics as business and brand run smoother and more efficiently. It is ironic that institutes of higher learning, those developing the leaders of tomorrow, have been slower to adapt to the business of sports themselves than other segments of the sports business world. Colleges can learn a great deal from marketing, branding and selling from their local minor league teams, and in some cases have even developed a symbiotic relationship to grow together.
However those days of the folksy administrator who takes on an Athletic directo.s title as a retirement job are gone. The Universities may have been a bit slow to come around, but the wakeup call has gone off, and the opportunities that exist to grow both personally and as a brand for schools are really just getting started. No more bow ties and secret handshakes to get the Presiden.s attention.