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Dennis Adamovich, CEO of the College Football Hall of Fame, will be the next guest at the Conversation with a CEO series

By Keith Morelli

Dennis Adamovich

TAMPA (Jan. 6, 2017) -- Dennis Adamovich, CEO of the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta, returned to his old school Friday as a side trip to his real Tampa purpose: attending the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship between Alabama and Clemson on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.

Hall officials were to introduce the most recent class of inductees for the Hall during the game.

Adamovich, who was named top executive at the hall last March, is slated to be the guest at the popular Conversation with a CEO program sponsored by the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business on Feb. 15. The event takes place at 8:30 a.m. in the Center for Advanced Medical Learning, 124 S. Franklin St. in downtown Tampa.

"Having someone with the amazing accomplishments of Dennis agree to participate in our Conversation with a CEO program is a testament to him as an individual giving back to the community and to the program, which seeks to inform alumni, students, faculty and business leaders in the community, what it's like to reach the top," said Moez Limayem, dean of the USF Muma College of Business.

"I am looking forward to sitting across from him," Limayem said, "and talking about his career and how his business education at USF propelled him into that highly successful life."

At the event, Adamovich is expected to talk about his education at USF, his work in advertising and marketing,how he uses data and analytics to his advantage and his rise up the ladder to high level executive positions.

The gig at the College Hall of Fame is the latest in a series of high-profile positions Adamovich, who graduated from USF in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in marketing, has held over his 25-year career:

  • From 1992 to 2000, he was the managing director of the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, providing executive leadership in the development and commercialization of innovative North America consumer marketing programs. He had 110 people working for him and was the steward of a $150 million budget.
  • From 2000 to 2015, he was the senior vice president of digital, affiliate, experiential and enterprise commerce for Turner Broadcasting. He oversaw business dealings at TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, 70 employees and a $30 million budget. He implemented the "Very Funny" campaign at TBS. He also was senior vice president of marketing for TBS' Cartoon Network, and while there, came up with the "Adult Swim" programming.
  • He launched DA Brand Activation Group in 2015 to develop entertainment promotions, including "Next Country," a first-ever country artist music competition digital platform and "Front Row," a mobile app for artists and talent that aggregates all communication into one place and allows them to directly engagement with their fans.

Over the course of his career, Adamovich has led brand strategy, marketing and digital technologies and still carries that entrepreneurial spirit he picked up at USF. He stopped by recently to chat with Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem and to take a tour of the campus.

"When I first went to USF, I wanted to go to medical school," he said. But that ambition didn't last long.

"After a while, I said, 'Oh my gosh, I'm a marketing guy,'" he said. Once that decision was made, he was in his element. He wound up taking the advice from a USF Cooperative Education counselor, who arranged an internship with a large Tampa advertising agency. USF internships, at the time, were considered cutting edge.

There, he worked on an advertisement for a program offered at the business school. The ad, dubbed "An MBA Doesn't Guarantee a BMW," sought to enroll more students into internships, saying they help pave the way into the real world, won an Addy Award.

Fast forward to the College Football Hall of Fame, where Adamovich, a native of Detroit who moved to New Port Richey when he was a senior in high school, now works..

The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience is a 94,256-square-foot attraction located in the heart of Atlanta's sports, entertainment and tourism district. It is adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park and provides visitors with an immersive, interactive experience combining historic college football artifacts with state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits.

It's like no hall of fame anywhere, he said. Technology there offers different interactive experiences for everyone who walks in the door. Patrons register their college affiliations when they come in and are given a card, which carries a chip that identifies them as a fan of that particular team. Each exhibit then fashions itself along those interactive lines.

For example, when a USF fan steps in front of an exhibit, all USF displays move to the front.

"This was built with the future in mind," Adamovich said. "It's more than a museum."

Hall officials lauded Adamovich when he was hired.

"This appointment ushers in an exciting time for the Hall of Fame," said Murry Bowden, chair of Atlanta Hall Management which oversees the Hall, when Adamovich was hired last year.

The Hall was launched in 1951 by retired U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur to stand as one of the nation's premier sports destinations, immortalizing the game's greatest players and coaches as positive role models for future generations.

Besides being CEO, Adamovich is 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, both in Atlanta. He was a member of 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, both of whom attend the University of Georgia. He said he's a USF Bull, but a Georgia "Dawg" by default.

Click here to reserve a seat at February's Conversation with a CEO featuring Adamovich.