Mike Pirolo, Founder & CEO Atlanta, GA
As a Senior Brand Marketing, Sales and Business Development Executive with over 25 years of Cross-Disciplined Revenue Driving Success in Diversified Industries with an Emphasis in Sports Business, Mike takes the helm of Virtus Interactive with the intent of utilizing his extensive professional experience and network in business and College Athletics to drive AthleticScholarshipsDirect.com to success.
Mike is one of the few individuals who have made a seamless transition from business to college athletics and back again. This affords him the ability to take a 360 degree view of this new venture from the Advertising Agency, Broadcast, Corporate Sponsorship and College Athletic Department perspective. Mike has worked in Senior national account and general management positions for Young & Rubicam, Ogilvy & Mather and Bates Advertising in various regions of the United States while working on top agency accounts such as Ford, Sears, Miller Brewing Company, Pirelli Germany, Campbell Soup Company and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Mike's earliest foray into College Athletics was as Associate Executive Director of the Peach Bowl (Chick-Fil-A) in the early 90's where he oversaw Marketing, Broadcast Operations, Media Relations, Game Operations and Corporate Partnerships. During this time he increased Bowl revenues through the re-negotiation of existing contracts, expanding the radio network and implementing an integrated marketing platform approach to Corporate Partnerships which resulted in a 2 times increase in Bowl Partner Revenues in less than two and a half years.
During his Agency tenure, Mike developed and executed Media-driven national, regional and local integrated marketing programs for client engagement with the NFL (Teams and Super Bowls), NBA, MLB, Olympics, LPGA, AVP, NASCAR, and various entertainment properties (Paramount Pictures, Cirque Du Soliel, Universal Studios, House of Blues; Jimmy Buffet, Brooks and Dunn, Clint Black concert tours). In one ten-year period during his career, Mike had responsibility for over 50MM in client sports and entertainment business.
Post- 9/11, Mike left Bates Advertising in NYC to take the position of Associate Athletic Director of Marketing, Sales and Broadcasting at the United States Military Academy at West Point where he Served as the department head on Athletic Department Executive Staff. His responsibilities included Ticket Sales, Sponsor /Donor development, Strategic Marketing Planning, Game Day Experience, Broadcasting, Interactive/Web development, Media Planning/Buying, Licensing/Retail merchandising.
During his tenure at West Point, he was responsible for seven person department with responsibility for over$5 million in annual Athletic Department revenue (Ticket Sales / Corporate Partnerships/ Broadcast Initiatives). Mike used his business experience to develop the first-ever departmental strategic marketing plan, re-organize (and was the Executive Producer of) the Army Football Radio network as well as the very successful self-liquidating Army Football telecasts in the NY DMA. Additionally, Mike developed and produced the first-ever Spanish radio broadcasts of Army Football in New York City market on WADO 1280 AM and the wildly popular fan experience Black Knight Alley.
His portfolio of sponsor business at West Point included Chrysler/Jeep, Sirius Satellite Radio, Aeropostale, Campbell Soup Company, Heineken, Miller Brewing Co. Chock full O' Nuts, Boar's Head, Mrs. Fields, Gillette, USAA and Boeing and Coca-Cola. In three very successful years on the Hudson, Mike increased athletic department Corporate Partner Revenue by 298%, which lead to a lucrative rights deal in 2005 with Learfield Sports.
Immediately following his tenure at West Point, Mike was appointed as Director of North American Sales for the Agency Segment at Getty Images in New York City, the global leader in digital imagery, footage and music licensing, where he was responsible for a US-based staff of 24 and over 48MM in annual revenue. One of his most important areas of responsibility was global oversight and management of Agency holding company agreements with Interpublic Group, WPP and Omnicom.
Mike is currently engaged as a senior business development consultant for Kaloopy Media, a cutting-edge social media and APP development company, based in Santa Monica, CA.
A Connecticut native, Mike graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Communications and is a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.