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.


Marketing Live is sponsored by Funnelback

Episode Host

Rob Zinkan

Rob Zinkan

Rob Zinkan has been with Indiana University for 16 years and is currently in a system-wide role as associate vice president for marketing, where he works to develop, deploy, and champion the university’s brand strategy; leads Indiana University’s full-service internal marketing agency; and serves as marketing liaison to IU’s two core campuses’ (IU Bloomington and IUPUI) leadership and marketing community. Previously, he worked at the campus level as vice chancellor for external affairs at Indiana University East and assistant dean for advancement at Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC). Rob earned his bachelor's degree from Wabash College, master's from Xavier University, and doctorate from Creighton University. He serves on the CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing, contributes to Inside Higher Ed's Call to Action blog, and serves on the conference committee for the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education.


Ryan Bradley

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

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.