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Nick Popplewell

University of Texas at El Paso

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University of Texas at El Paso


Nick Popplewell joined Colorado State in May 2015 as assistant athletics director for marketing and digital media. Popplewell oversees all of the marketing and branding efforts for CSU Athletics and its 16 sport programs. He also supervises the department's video production efforts and community outreach initiatives as well as helps guide the Rams' social media. During his first year at Colorado State, Popplewell was part of an external operations team that produced several successful outcomes, highlighted by over 2,500 new football season tickets and a nearly 20 percent increase in football ticket revenue. Nick is also the department contact with Learfield Licensing. In 2015-16, CSU licensing royalties grew by nearly 35 percent. Popplewell serves as the NACMA (National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators) representative for the Mountain West conference as well.

Prior to CSU, Popplewell spent three years at the University of Wyoming as assistant A.D. for marketing and branding. While at UW, he was responsible for several key accomplishments. Popplewell was able to more than double Wyoming's historic advertising budget, growing it in excess of $650,000 by forming strategic partnerships with numerous media entities. This resulted in statewide coverage for the Pokes as well as presence in neighboring states. He also led Wyoming through a branding campaign that saw the development of an official department font, numbering system, tagline and a new secondary mark. Popplewell chaired the department's external operations meetings, assisting with the Arena-Auditorium reseating process in 2014 and implementing a variable pricing structure for men's basketball that generated $250,000 more than the budgeted revenue as well as increased overall attendance. He also spearheaded the department's customer service strategies which produced the "WYO Way," a comprehensive plan for fan engagement, and the development of a fan advisory board. To revitalize the football gameday experience, Popplewell helped create the Poke Pregame Zone and Tailgate Alley, resulting in heightened fan enjoyment and excitement. He was able to enhance UW's digital media efforts as well, producing the department's first mobile application and drafting a social media strategy that dramatically elevated Wyoming's accounts across the board. The highlight of these social media endeavors was the main department Facebook page growing by 2,102 percent in the number of follows. Recognized for his leadership in student engagement, Popplewell was able to increase student attendance at UW football games by nearly 20 percent as well as marked increases at men's basketball and volleyball.

Before Wyoming, Popplewell spent four years at the University of Idaho, first serving as marketing director and then assistant athletics director for marketing, branding and sales. During his time at Idaho, Nick was involved in numerous transformational projects. In 2010, he produced a NACMA award-winning football marketing plan that resulted in a record number of season tickets being sold and an 8-to-1 return on investment. He also oversaw the reorganization of the UI Ticket Office that included the implementation of the first-ever outbound sales unit. Popplewell assisted with the messaging and advertising for the $32 million Kibbie Dome renovation project which included a reseating campaign for football. He also aided in the process for a new, state-of-the-art video board in the Kibbie Dome, collaborating with potential vendors and helping with fundraising plans and presentations. Nick worked closely with Idaho Vandals Sports Properties (IVSP), assisting with the negotiation process for a new multimedia rights agreement with Learfield, Inc. He also partnered with IVSP in overhauling the event scripting process and gameday experience for all sports. Serving as the chair of the department's electronic communications committee, he instituted and supervised the first-ever social media accounts and the first-ever mobile application. Popplewell was responsible for drafting the department's integrated brand marketing and communications plan which included a tagline, brand framework and core values. He was also a member of the University's strategic brand leadership group and brand marketing council. Nick served as the University's trademarks and licensing director for one year, handling day-to-day communications with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). During that time, UI experienced a record year in royalties and instituted "Vandal Spirit Fridays," a wear-your-gear-day for faculty, staff, students, alumni and fans.

A native of Buhl, Idaho, Popplewell earned his bachelor's degree in 2008 in business-marketing from the University of Idaho and his master's degree in 2009 in education-sports administration from the University of Washington. In addition, he received his MBA from the University of Wyoming in 2015. Popplewell's wife, Chelsea, is the head diving coach at Colorado State.