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Spencer Bridges hired as USM Deputy Athletics Director



Spencer Bridges
Spencer Bridges

Story from USM Athletics:
Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain announced Wednesday the hiring of Spencer Bridges as the school’s Deputy Athletics Director/Chief Revenue Officer.

Bridges comes to Southern Miss from Appalachian State University, where he has served as Senior Associate Athletics Director for Revenue Generation and Strategic Initiatives since July of 2016.

At Southern Miss, Bridges’ responsibilities will center around revenue generation, and include oversite of multiple external areas, including creative services, communications, Learfield, licensing, marketing, ticket operations, ticket sales, and the Eagle Club.

“We are thrilled to welcome Spencer Bridges and his family to Southern Miss,” said McClain. “He has proven himself as a very talented administrator with a unique ability to generate revenue. His track record at Appalachian State is very impressive, and I have no doubt he will have a significantly positive impact on our department.”

In his position at App State, Bridges oversaw and managed all aspects of revenue generation, ticket operations, marketing, sponsorships, gameday operations, capital projects, licensing, advertising, fan experience, digital media/creative, concessions, merchandise, marketing/web, branding, and outreach.

His role included handling the App State Sports Properties relationship, leading the market evaluation of existing partners, while creating new sponsorship opportunities. During his time there, corporate revenue (non-naming) grew from $1.2M in 2016 to $2.7M in 2023.

Bridges led innovative initiatives to enhance the football fan experience, implementing grab & go concessions, improved merchandise, and expedited entry.  He led the integration of football and baseball concessions into athletics’ internal operation, which included staffing, capital upgrades, and food production, resulting in a 200% increase in sales and a new vertical revenue growth model.

Bridges directed negotiations for multi-year partnerships with industry leaders, including NIKE, Learfield, Paciolan, Pepsi/Gatorade, Live Nation Inc., Affinity Licensing Partners, R&D Brewing, and Alumni Hall. His responsibilities extended beyond athletics, incorporating non-traditional revenue streams such as concerts, neutral site athletic events, and premium seating areas.

Serving as the Trademark Licensing Director and Brand Manager, Bridges orchestrated a remarkable 164% annual increase in royalties. He oversaw the evolution of core external operating systems to include the ticketing platform, CRM, development platform, marketing automation, and the athletics website.

Bridges played a vital role in fundraising efforts, achieving a joint increase of 300% in annual giving membership, 63% in donations, and 71% in major gift contributions over the last five years. As a key member of the capital projects team, he contributed to designing and constructing new athletics facilities.

Bridges’ strategic acumen significantly contributed to revenue growth, with football and men’s basketball seeing a surge of 78% and 42%, respectively, from 2018 to 2023. Baseball experienced a remarkable 56% increase from 2021 to 2023.

Prior to his role at App State, he worked as the Director of Strategic Marketing/Licensing Relations for Pro-Ad Sports, Inc., in Atlanta, GA. He also worked for IMG-Collegiate Licensing Company as Coordinator, Non-Apparel Management from 2013-14, as well as a marketing association at Kentucky from 2008-2013.

He earned both his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Kentucky in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

Bridges and his wife, Rebecca, have one child, Luke.

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