Mike Waddell is currently in his fifth year as senior associate director of athletics, with his primary duties being the oversight of the revenue generating areas of the department: marketing/fan development, ticket sales/customer service, sports communications, game day programming, information technology, the CAT TRACKS Wheels of Support program, and coordinates all of UC's football bowl planning. He works on a daily basis with the football and men's basketball programs and has sport oversight of five UC sports programs - men's soccer, men's and women's golf, and the men's and women's swimming/diving teams and is in his second term as a member of the BIG EAST Conference Golf Committee.
The revenue generating advancements have been supported by the addition of an interactive marketing and group sales initiative which pushes grassroots community involvement and on-campus interactive events as the means to build support. Waddell's marketing strategies have led UC to great results, including nine of the top 10 crowds in UC football history. Since 2006, football season ticket sales are up 122%, attendance is up 83%, and overall season ticket revenues have grown by 170%. Ticket sales for women's basketball and baseball have also seen major increases as part of the aggressive sales effort. Over the last three years, UC's Marketing Department has been honored with three NACMA Awards, including recognition for best new revenue generation concept and student engagement programming.
Waddell is also UC Athletics' department liaison with IMG College - the multimedia and corporate sponsorships rights-holder for UC Athletics; adidas - the official footwear and apparel provider, and with ESPN, the exclusive television partner of the BIG EAST. In 2008, Waddell led the department's efforts towards renegotiation of its multimedia sponsorships agreement, which resulted in a net gain of $14,000,000 over the term of the IMG College agreement. He also worked to secure a new regional television agreement with FOX Sports Ohio, which expanded television coverage of the Bearcats outside of the Tri-State for football, men's basketball, and women's basketball.
Using the department's web site, GoBEARCATS.com, as a proactive communications and recruiting tool has also been a point of emphasis. Prior to the 2009-10 academic year GoBEARCATS.com was totally redesigned, adding in video, audio, and seven new bloggers who produce original content on a daily basis. Accordingly, traffic on the site has increased 247% since 2007.
The North Carolina native came to UC from the University of Akron, where he served as the associate athletics director for external relations. UA's sports marketing revenues increased more than five-fold during Waddell's tenure via the creation of the TEAM AKRON corporate patron program.
In February 2006, Waddell received the SMEI-Sales & Marketing Executives International Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award for his accomplishments at the University of Akron. Waddell's "FEAR THE ROO" campaign from UA won NACMA's 2005-06 "Best of Show" as the nation's top collegiate sports revenue generating initiative. Waddell's external team worked hard to build bridges in the Greater Akron Community through the creation of the UA Athletics Diversity Scholarship Program, which awarding scholarships to deserving students from a diverse background. This type of grassroots relationship building continued on the marketing side, with the creation of the Zips Caravan, which toured over 300 Northeast Ohio events over a four-year period.
Following Mike Thomas' departure for the UC Director of Athletics chair, Waddell served as Akron's Interim Director of Athletics from December 2005 through January 2006. This term was highlighted by the school's push to the Elite Eight of the NCAA men's soccer tournament and UA's first and only postseason football bowl appearance in the 2005 Motor City Bowl, which saw more than 10,000 Zips fans make the trip to Detroit's Ford Field for the December 26 game, which was more than five-times the number of season ticket patrons for the Mid-American Conference program.
Prior to joining the UA staff, Waddell served as the director of marketing and broadcasting at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Waddell was charged with the development of all Athletics corporate partnerships, marketing, promotions and multimedia development. Waddell created the Army Sports Radio Network and successfully secured the most listened to radio station in the US - WABC-770 AM, New York City, as the flagship station. Waddell was also part of the management team which restructured the Army A-Club, resulting in dramatic increases in both membership and annual donations and served on the negotiating team for the Army/Navy football series landing in Philadelphia for a five-year run and the highest financial payout in the history of the series.
From 1997-2000 Waddell was the director of athletics external operations at Appalachian State. As part of his duties, Waddell captained the corporate marketing and sales development for Appalachian Sports Marketing and was responsible for developing and implementing the multimedia strategic plan for the Southern Conference School, including the signing of 100,000 watt powerhouse WKBC-FM as the flagship radio home for Mountaineer Football and Basketball. His 1999 football marketing theme "ROCK SOLID" spawned Kidd Brewer Stadium's nickname "THE ROCK" being adopted as part of ASU Tradition. Waddell also negotiated a partnership with Daktronics t o provide more than $500,000 in fan-based capital improvements to Kidd Brewer Stadium, including the APPVISION video system.
Waddell began his career in collegiate athletics in multimedia sales and broadcasting at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia. During this period the Tar Heels and Cavaliers combined for a total of five football postseason bowl appearances, eleven basketball appearances in the NCAA tournament, and a total of six NCAA Championships (3 women's soccer, 1 men's soccer, 1 men's basketball, 1 women's basketball).
A 1991 graduate of Guilford College (NC) where he was a two-time football letterman, Waddell is an active member of NACDA, and BCA, and is a founding member of the Cincinnati Sports Professionals Network (CSPN). In May 2010 Waddell completed his Masters Degree in Sport Administration from Ohio University.
Waddell also volunteers time as a coach with the Glen Este Youth Basketball Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Aubrey Rose Foundation, which benefits seriously ill children in the Tri-State Area.