This week we highlight the work of Coyte Cooper, who is a faculty member and graduate program coordinator in Sport Administration. Coyte focuses his work on marketing and branding in the sport industry. With an emphasis on issues in college athletics, Coyte has developed a line of research that focuses on the identification of innovative marketing practices in NCAA athletic departments. In particular, he has specialized in the positioning of “non-revenue” or Olympic sport programs to enhance sustainability initiatives.
Coyte is integrally involved in outreach initiatives to help grow sport programs. Working with the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), he is actively collaborating with coaches to help develop marketing strategies to enhance their programs. In addition, he developed Elite Level Sport Marketing (ELSM) to serve as a resource for coaches interested in developing skill sets in marketing. On top of it all, Coyte leads the EXSS Innovation Squad, which is comprised of students who are actively engaged in developing branding and marketing initiatives for EXSS and our specialization areas. The Innovation Squad has already done great things and they will be leading several EXSS initiatives this academic year.
Many thanks to Coyte for providing this week’s EXSS Impact blog post content.
What is your primary area of interest in terms of teaching or research?
My primary area of interest in terms of making an impact via research and teaching is branding. While I have spent extensive time working with coaches in the past on how to build their program’s brand, recently my focus has turned to individuals and educating them on how to make decisions that will enhance their brand with the people around them. By helping people understand the concept of personal branding, it empowers them to be more proactive about pursuing their vision, seeing things from other people’s perspectives, and living their values on a daily basis. Ultimately, it is a concept that has the potential to drastically influence people’s lives because it teaches them to live exactly how they should be living on a daily basis.
How did you become interested in this specific area?
While teaching Sport Marketing courses during the past six years, I came to realize that there was one topic that was beneficial to every single student that I had the opportunity to work with. While not all of them had aspirations to work in the Sport Marketing field, every single student had an active interest in learning ways to market himself or herself effectively. This is when I became actively interested in personal branding. It was my goal to help students understand that they already have a personal brand and that they are making daily decisions that influence the success they realize in their lives.
How does your area of interest impact the public?
In the sport industry, branding has become an extremely important topic because of its implications on the overall success of athletic departments and programs. Naturally, personal branding is extremely important because it directly influences the brand of all aspects of an athletic department. When you have leaders cultivating the right personal brand and considering other people’s interests, you have a far greater chance of developing a unique culture within an athletic department (or sport) environment. In addition, personal branding is also critical for student-athletes as they are the center of educational initiatives and are often the most visible aspect of athletic departments.
The project I am most excited about that I just finished up is my new Impressions book. It was released in July and has already been picked up by several Sport Management programs that are planning on using it to help their students comprehend the personal branding process. In addition, this has led to talks with groups who are interested in the “Impressions” personal branding concept. I am very excited on the potential impact this will have on people interested in living a better life!
The cool thing about personal branding is that it has the potential to influence any person who is interested in building stronger relationships with the people around them. The reality is that every person has a brand with each of the people (or groups of people) that are most important to him or her. The problem is that most people don’t recognize this and they are often making decisions that are not conducive to strong relationships and success. Personal branding is something that can help people understand how their actions influence others so they can make decisions that will enhance their relationships. I truly believe this is something with meaningful implications in any area of life! I am excited to have the opportunity to educate people on the process so they can take steps to live an extraordinary life!