OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss is adding branding and strategic marketing expertise to its athletics staff with Wednesday's announcement of Michael Thompson, Jr., as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Communications and Marketing.
The Memphis native will oversee the Rebels' external marketing efforts and all components of media and public relations. Thompson will assume his new role on Aug. 6.
"Collegiate athletics will be faced with numerous challenges over the next decade, and it's vitally important for us to communicate appropriately by word and platform to our fans and media," said Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone. "Our goal is to promote our unique brand both regionally and nationally. Michael Thompson has the experience and expertise to effectuate that goal."
A 2001 graduate of Ole Miss in marketing, Thompson has spent the past decade gaining a wide range of experience in branding, marketing and sponsorship. After graduating, he worked for The GEM Group, a global sports marketing agency headquartered in Atlanta. While at GEM, he helped companies such as Domino's Pizza, United Parcel Service, and GM Racing activate their sponsorship dollars.
Upon leaving Atlanta in 2004, he created BottleRocket, a sports and entertainment marketing division of Thompson Marketing Communications in Memphis. With a proprietary valuation model, BottleRocket helps clients understand and maximize the value of their sponsorship dollars as well as provides turn-key activation solutions.
In 2007, he was promoted to President of Thompson Marketing Communications, which employs 45 marketing, advertising, public relations and design professionals in Memphis and Nashville. As President, Thompson served as a communication strategist for all of the company's six divisions, as well as served as Account Supervisor on one of the company's most active accounts.
"This is a dream come true," Thompson said. "I can't think of anything better or more suited to my experience than the combination of athletics, marketing and my alma mater, Ole Miss. I look forward to bringing a disciplined marketing approach to one of the most powerful brands in the country."
Some of Thompson's recent projects have included strategic direction and leadership on clients' multimedia marketing campaigns, leadership of key internal digital marketing initiatives as well as social media analysis and product development.
Thompson is a graduate of the 2007 Class of Leadership Memphis and the Direct Marketing Association Certificate Program. He and his wife Leslie Ann have a one-year-old daughter, McLean.