Letter from the Athletic Director

March 9, 2018

NACMA Marketing Team of the Year Committee

24651 Detroit Rd.

Westlake, OH 44145


Dear NACMA Marketing Team of the Year Award Committee,

I write you today to recommend Mississippi State University’s Athletic Marketing Department for the NACMA Marketing Team of the Year Award.

After our marketing staff received this honor in back-to-back years, I gave them one challenge: be even better. Knowing their work ethic, skill and creativity, I wasn’t surprised at all when they did just that. Our team has helped break records in every sport on campus the last several years, which makes the records set this past year even more impressive. They weren’t just topping history – they were topping themselves.

Having spent decades as a baseball coach across the country before transitioning to administration, I recognize how vital fan support is to the success of athletic programs in both the short and long term, and I’ve witnessed firsthand how the presence of big crowds can spur student-athletes to heights greater than perhaps even they believed were possible.

That’s why it’s no coincidence that the greatest regular season in perhaps any sport in our school’s storied history was matched by a record in season-long attendance. As our women’s basketball team marched to 30-0 and was crowned the SEC Champions, our marketing team ensured that the seats surrounding them were filled every night. Perhaps the most impressive feat of all, we set the all-time attendance record for Humphrey Coliseum on a Monday night in a regular season game. To be clear, that wasn’t just a women’s basketball record – it was a coliseum record at a place that has hosted National Champions, No. 1 draft picks and Hall of Fame coaches and players in both men’s and women’s basketball.

Our marketing team has consistently found innovative ways to promote our programs and to draw fans both new and old, ensuring that our stadiums and arenas are filled at every outing. But more than just putting people in seats, they have helped create a connection with our fans, forging a bond between the university and the city, the student-athletes and the alumni, the coaches and their biggest fans.

When we introduced a new head football coach, our fans near and far were there every step of the way thanks to the content created by our marketing team, giving people not just an inside look at the activities, but the first look at the man now in charge of leading their football team. They integrated our new coach, Joe Moorhead, into our already popular More Cowbell hashtag by branding everything football-related with #MoorCowbell.

To highlight the unique relationship between Mississippi State and the city of Starkville, they created a mural to go up on Main Street showing the connection between the two entities. To reach our students, they designed, built and ran an escape room in the football stadium.

Operating on one of the smallest budgets in the country’s biggest conference, our team has risen to the occasion again and again, earning praise and garnering attention from those across the country for their innovation and ability to think outside the box of standard promotions. It is with my highest level of respect that I recommend our talented group for team of the year.



John Cohen

MSU Director of Athletics

Hail State!