College Football Hall of Fame hires new CEO

The College Football Hall of Fame has a new leader.

The downtown Atlanta attraction on Thursday plans to announce the hiring of veteran marketing executive Dennis Adamovich, who previously worked at Coca-Cola and Turner Broadcasting, as chief executive officer.

He will succeed John Stephenson, who left late last year for a corporate position at Chick-fil-A.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity and what is in front of us,” Adamovich said in an interview Wednesday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He said he enters the job with several priorities, including: “Build awareness and build brand and have more fans come to the attraction, for sure.”

Adamovich, 53, an Atlanta resident for about 25 years, said his background in developing fan experiences and building brands is “a good fit” for his new job. He called the Hall of Fame “the epitome of experiential marketing.”

Adamovich held various positions at Coca-Cola from 1992-2000 and at Turner from 2000-15. He launched DA Brand Activation Group last year.

He had recently served as a volunteer on the Hall of Fame’s marketing committee.

After Stephenson’s departure in October, the Hall’s board conducted a national search for a new CEO.

“They asked if I would be interested,” Adamovich said, “and I raised my hand quickly.”

Murry Bowden, chairman of the Atlanta Hall Management board, which oversees the attraction, said in a statement: “Dennis’ entrepreneurial spirit and wealth of experience in strategic and innovative entertainment and sports marketing, branding and enterprise commerce, and his demonstrated ability to deliver results through engaging experiential attractions, made him the perfect choice for the Hall of Fame.”

The attraction opened in Atlanta in August 2014 and drew about 250,000 fans in its first year of operation here, far below consultants’ optimistic projections of 500,000.

“The people that come to our attraction, we have 95 percent satisfaction (in internal surveys),” Adamovich said. “We’ve just got to get more people to come and enjoy it.”

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