Every day brings a new USOC rumor – and yesterday was no exception.
According to the usual unreliable source (I could tell you who she is, but I’d have to lie) USOC Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Baird will be hiring as many as six employees to staff the USOC’s marketing program, which may no longer be located in Colorado Springs.
Baird, who previously worked for the NFL as a senior VP for consumer products and marketing, took over the position as CMO on Jan. 20.
Baird, who lives in Connecticut, cited her desire to spend more time with her family, which includes three young children, when she resigned from her post at the NFL.
When she accepted the job with the USOC, there was widespread speculation that she would remain on the East Coast, and that major components of the USOC’s marketing division would relocate to New York.
So is this, in fact, the case? Is the USOC starting to move quietly out of town, going by twos and threes rather than all at once? We asked the USOC’s Darryl Seibel, who replied via e-mail
late yesterday afternoon.
“We are in the process of reorganizing our Marketing Division,” he wrote, “The reorganization will include the addition of several new positions, primarily in sponsorship sales and support. As to where the positions will be based: we have not made a final decision, but our priority is to operate from markets that create the best opportunity for success for the USOC and our Corporate Partners. Of course, if Chicago is fortunate enough to earn the honor of hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, that will have some bearing on where these positions are located.”
Is the USOC’s major marketing group moving out of town? Or are these new hires, which may be located elsewhere, simply a means of bolstering the USOC’s marketing efforts?
My guess is that major marketing, in fact if not in name, will locate in NYC, which Baird may have made a condition of her employment. In a recessionary environment, coupled with the loss of former sponsors such as General Motors (once, as some may remember, an automobile manufacturer in the United States), USOC marketers need to have the kind of access to transportation, and to corporate decisionmakers, that our sunny little backwater can scarcely offer.
But given that this move may have been anticipated since December, it most likely has no bearing on whether the USOC will actually pull up stakes and leave Colorado Springs for greener pastures-even ones with better air service and solvent developers.
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