Orlando Apollos
Mar 14, 2019
Michael Waddell
Orlando Apollos

Michael Waddell was named the President of the (AAF) Alliance of American Football’s Orlando Apollos on August 13, 2018.  A 30-year veteran of professional and college sports, Waddell comes to The AAF after serving the past two years as Vice President at Richmond Raceway (ISC), where he had oversight over Consumer Marketing, Ticket Sales, Guest Services, Strategic Communications, Media Buying/Placement and Digital/Creative Services, and served as the track’s liaison with the NASCAR Diversity Program.

The highlight of Waddell’s time in motorsports came in Spring 2018 when Richmond Raceway’s Spring Weekend achieved year over year increases in both attendance and ticket sales, something that had not happened in over a decade. These results were born out of a reformation of Richmond’s Ticketing Strategy, moving all sales operations to the track - tripling the sales staff, increased grass-roots marketing efforts, along with aggressive content-based digital advertising.  The Newton, NC native also conceptualized and launched the successful grass-roots marketing effort, RACING VIRGINIA, a key strategic element which reconnected the NASCAR track with the Commonwealth’s 27 motorsports venues.  Included in this concept was the formation of TEAM RACING VIRGINIA, a youth-based marketing platform featuring drivers under the age of 18, who compete in various forms of racing.  Another innovative creation was RICHMOND RACEWAY eSPORTS, a multi-tiered platform engaging the iRacing, and PS4 & XBOX One Platforms, and the formation of NASCAR’s first-ever track owned eSports team in February 2018, dubbed "CHAOS CREW" (@ChaosCrewRVA), which competes on the highest competitive level of sim-racing, the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze iRacing Series.

Prior to joining the Richmond Raceway team Waddell worked for 28 years in college athletics, including three years as the Director of Athletics at Towson University in Baltimore, MD. Waddell's hired six new head coaches during his tenure, three of which earned CAA Coach of the Year honors. The Tigers also captured 12 CAA Championships under his leadership, including a program-high 7 league crowns during the 2012-13 academic year. The Towson men's basketball program also achieved the greatest one-year turnaround in NCAA history, earning a 17-game improvement from 2011-12 to 2012-13. Tiger Football achieved a similar reformation going from 1 win in 2010, to a CAA Championship and 9-wins in 2011, another CAA title in 2012, culminating in with a national runner-up finish in the 2013 NCAA FCS Championship game, capping the best 3-year stretch in Towson Football history. Waddell also oversaw the construction of the new, $62m multi-purpose SECU Arena and negotiated the 10-year, $4.75m naming right's deal, the largest corporate gift in the history of Towson University. Athletics Fundraising at Towson achieved all-time records under his guidance.

Waddell has also held Executive Athletics Leadership positions directing the External Operations at the University of Illinois, University of Arkansas, University of Cincinnati and the University of Akron.  He began his career in collegiate athletics in 1991 as a radio/television broadcaster with the Tar Heel Sports Network at the University of North Carolina and advanced up play-by-play ranks at the University of Virginia (1994-97), Appalachian State University (1997-2000), and the U.S. Military Academy (2000-2001). During his time at the University of Akron he also served as the Zips’ television Executive Producer / play-by-play announcer on football and basketball broadcasts with Time Warner Cable, ESPN Regional, and FOX Sports Ohio (2001-2006).

A 1991 graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, NC where he was a Fighting Quakers’ football letterman, a Senator in Student Government, and served for 3-years as the student-athlete representative on the Faculty Athletic Committee.  Waddell later earned his master's degree in sport administration at Ohio University in 2010, which is recognized as the #1 graduate program in the World for Sports Business.

 


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