CHICAGO – Hall of Fame marketing legend Russ Potts is the special guest for the 200th edition of College Sports Weekly. Widely considered as the father of modern-era college sports marketing, Potts organizes and produces major athletic events through his company, Russ Potts Productions.
A master marketer, Potts is best known for the revolutionary Mustang Mania marketing campaign, propelling SMU to new heights of fan support and community awareness. He was the first Sports Marketing Director in college athletics.
Potts served as athletic director at SMU during the late 1970's and early 1980's. Prior to his arrival, a football game between Rice and SMU had drawn 6,000 fans in the giant 72,000-seat Cotton Bowl. Asked about the over 60,000 empty seats, Potts stated he saw 60,000 opportunities and boldly predicted the two schools would play in front of 60,000 fans the next time they met in Dallas. Two years later, in one of the most incredible marketing achievements in college sports history, Rice and SMU drew 66,000 fans.
College Sports Weekly host Bill Hazen crossed paths with Potts when Hazen was named Sports Director at WFAA in Dallas. Already a Southwest Conference football announcer on the Mutual Southwest Network, Hazen described both SMU football and basketball. His descriptions of Eric Dickerson and Craig James (the Mustangs' famed Pony Express backfield) are captured in ESPN's Peabody Award-winning series, 30 for 30.
Hazen also hosted a weekly show with SMU's athletic director, The Russ Potts Show. The program achieved considerable notoriety as Potts fielded questions on college athletics from fans each week.
Today Russ Potts runs his own sports marketing firm, Russ Potts Productions. He remains one of the nation's leading authorities on the marketing of college athletics. He is a member of six Halls of Fame, most recently enshrined in the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators.
“Russ Potts has most certainly touched my life,” said Hazen. “I watched him work up close, and I got a doctorate-level education how college athletics should be both marketed and administrated.
“College Sports Weekly is about wonderful people like Russ Potts. Russ has much to share about the state of college athletics. I'm so pleased he is our guest for our 200th program!”