PLANO, Texas – Learfield announced today the promotions of Don Williams and Ann Brett Gillespie Strickland, two highly regarded individuals in the Learfield family who together share a 20-year stint with the company.
Sports industry veteran Williams, promoted to vice president, special projects, will be relocating from Starkville, Miss. to the company’s North Texas headquarters to provide targeted support to select Learfield properties nationwide through various sales and training-focused initiatives. Williams is a noted collegiate sports executive and former broadcaster who has been with Learfield 15 years of his 40-year career. Most recently, he served eight years as general manager for Learfield’s Bulldog Sports Properties team at Mississippi State University – one of three Learfield properties he has represented. Prior to that, he was general manager for Army Sports Properties and sales and operations manager for Clemson Tiger Sports Properties. Before Learfield, Williams held numerous programming, news, sports and broadcasting positions in sports radio.
“Don has been a tremendous asset to Learfield, and we know he’ll continue to excel and provide deep insight and senior leadership to our property teams representing remarkable college brands all over the country,” said Learfield Vice President, Training and Development Eric Buchanan.
Strickland has been promoted to general manager for Learfield’s Bulldog Sports Properties, having served as associate general manager the past two years. She previously served as general manager for Learfield’s Idaho Vandals Sports Properties team before moving to Starkville, Miss. in December 2013. Strickland boasts 20 years in collegiate sports and prior to Learfield has served in numerous university athletic positions including assistant athletic director, corporate sponsorship for Western Carolina; assistant athletics director, marketing and promotions for Appalachian State; assistant director of athletics for East Tennessee State; and director of marketing and promotions for Northern Iowa. Strickland will serve as primary point of contact between Learfield and Mississippi State Athletics on all aspects involving the extensive rights relationship ranging from digital, signage and corporate partnerships to radio, television, events and promotions.
“Ann Brett not only is an outstanding individual, but a proven leader and experienced professional in our niche space,” said Learfield Vice President David Hubbard, who oversees properties in the company’s South Region. “Already a staple at Mississippi State, Ann Brett will continue to be an excellent asset to our brand building initiatives for the Bulldogs.”
An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. It manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for 120 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; licensing and trademark consulting; digital platform expertise; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies. Earlier this year, the collegiate marketer also acquired social media agency Think Social.