PEORIA, Ill. – Collegiate marketer Learfield has named Harold “Rocky” Vonachen general manager for Bradley Sports Properties, its locally based team dedicated to representing the Bradley University Braves. Learfield is the university’s long-time athletics multimedia rightsholder, and Vonachen’s official start date is Sept. 4, 2018.
Vonachen, a recognized leader within the Peoria business community for over 35 years, graduated from Bradley in 1981. He spent the last 24 years with the city’s Minor League Baseball organization, the Peoria Chiefs. Vonachen served as president of the baseball club from 1996 to January 2018 and general manger from 1994-96. Early in his career, Vonachen owned and operated several namesake businesses in Peoria and Normal. Prior to joining the Peoria Chiefs Community Baseball Club, LLC, he served three years as manager of business development for OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
“We are excited to welcome Rocky Vonachen back to his alma mater as the new general manager of Bradley Sports Properties,” said Dr. Chris Reynolds, Bradley University Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics. “The Vonachen family’s longtime involvement with sports and entertainment in Peoria, which includes Rocky’s vast experience working in the Central Illinois community, further strengthens the partnership between Bradley Athletics and Bradley Sports Properties.”
Vonachen will manage all aspects of Learfield’s Bradley Sports Properties and work alongside Reynolds and the entire athletics administration. Bradley Sports Properties oversees the university’s comprehensive athletics rights which include signage, television, radio, digital and the corporate partner program.
“I’m very excited to return to my alma mater as a part of Learfield’s Bradley Sports Properties,” said Vonachen. “I look forward to representing Bradley University and Bradley Athletics working with Dr. Chris Reynolds and the entire staff to continue to build on their success. Thank you to Learfield and Bradley University for the great opportunity. GO BRAVES!”
An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. In addition to Bradley, the company manages the multimedia rights and sponsorship initiatives for nearly 130 collegiate properties, Learfield provides its partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; campuswide business and sponsorship development; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.