By Maria Saporta
A veteran sports and entertainment branding expert has been named as the new CEO of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Dennis Adamovich, 53, has had more than 20 years of experience leading brand strategy, marketing and digital technologies for entertainment and sports – working across multiple platforms.
He spent 15 years at Turner Broadcasting System, and before then, he spent eight years at the Coca-Cola Co. in the marketing area.
When he met with the staff of the College Football Hall of Fame, Adamovich told them: “We are in the fun business. If we are not having fun, we’re not doing our job.”
When asked what he would like to do in his new role, Adamovich said he wanted the attraction to be the “mecca of college football” in the country.
“I see my job as two-fold. First, it is to grow revenue and make sure the Hall is sustainable,” Adamovich said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon. “Ultimately I see the Hall as engaging college football fans across the country. I want people to think of the Hall as one of the must-see attractions in the region.”
After leaving Turner in 2015, Adamovich started his own firm – DA Brand Activation Group – to bring his skills to different clients.
Adamovich then decided to volunteer his services to the College Football Hall of Fame and to help the attraction with its marketing efforts. That’s when he was asked if he would consider being a candidate to be CEO of the Hall.
“Dennis’ entrepreneurial spirit and wealth of experience in strategic and innovative entertainment and sports marketing, branding, and enterprise commerce, and his demonstrated ability to deliver results through engaging experiential attractions made him the perfect choice for the Hall of Fame,” said Murry Bowden, chair of Atlanta Hall Management which oversees the attraction, in a statement. “This appointment ushers in an exciting time for the Hall of Fame, and we are thrilled that he will lead the next phase of engagement with college football fans across the country.”
Adamovich attended the University of South Florida when it did not have a college football team. But he soon will have both his daughters attending the University of Georgia, so there’s no question of his favorite team.
But Adamovich said his main goal will be to develop engaging fan experiences and building brands in both entertainment and sports as the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience completes its second year of operation and begins its third year as an attraction overlooking Centennial Olympic Park.
Adamovich has spearheaded entrepreneurial platforms including “Next Country,” a first-ever country artist music competition digital platform, and “Front Row,” a mobile application for artists/talent that aggregates all communication into one place and allows artists direct engagement with their fans.
Prior to founding his own company, Adamovich provided strategic leadership, vision and focus for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company.
Adamovich served as senior vice president of digital, affiliate, lifestyle and enterprise commerce at TBS, TNT and TCM from 2009-2015. From 2008-2009, he was SVP/General Manager of Comedy Festivals for TBS, where he established, managed and utilized National Comedy Festivals in Las Vegas and Chicago as brand defining events allowing Turner to gain solid positioning around TBS’s “Very Funny” brand. Adamovich also served as SVP of marketing at Cartoon Network and TBS from 2000-2008.
While at the Coca-Cola Company from 1992-2000, he was managing director of Marketing Works in 2000, where he provided executive leadership in the development and commercialization of innovative North America consumer marketing programs designed to increase brand architecture, strategies and overall positioning. He also served as Director of Worldwide Leisure Marketing from 1996-1999 and as Group Manager for the Sports Activation Group from 1995-1996.
A long-time Atlanta resident, Adamovich is very active in the community and industry having served on the board of directors for Woodruff Arts Center Young Audiences and Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation. Adamovich also served on the marketing advisory board for the Atlanta Zoo from 2006-2009 and was a judge for the New York Film Festival from 2009-2013. He lives in Roswell with his wife Amy and has two daughters.
Adamovich, who will officially begin his new job on Monday, April 4, succeeds interim CEO John Christie as well as founding CEO John Stephenson, who has since joined Chick-fil-A.
The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience is a 94,256-square-foot attraction adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park.
The National Football Foundation launched the Hall in 1951 to stand as one of the nation’s premier sports shrines, immortalizing the game’s greatest players and coaches as positive role models for future generations.
Atlanta Hall Management, Inc., partnered with the NFF to construct and operate the Hall of Fame attraction, which opened in the summer of 2014.