Intersections in Brand Marketing

With Steve LaCroix and John Sailors

Wednesday, January 23, 5 p.m.

This first conversation of 2013 featured Steve LaCroix, CMO of the Minnesota Vikings, and John Sailors, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing at the Opus College of Business.

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Steve LaCroix

Steve LaCroix In his 12th season with the Vikings, Steve LaCroix serves as the team’s vice president of sales and marketing and CMO. LaCroix oversees all aspects of Vikings- generated revenues, including corporate sales, sponsorships, media sales, ticket sales, suite sales and hospitality. He also leads the team’s radio and television programming, website, digital and social media initiatives, merchandise and e-commerce operations, community and special events, marketing partnerships, advertising, branding, promotions, fan relations and game day activities.

With the Vikings, LaCroix has led a variety of new initiatives. The team has introduced a new, more modern design of the Vikings' traditional uniforms. The club has brought radio and television broadcast rights in-house and started year-round weekly television and radio programming. The Vikings have had multiple full re-designs of, opened official retail stores across the Twin Cities and created premium seating at Mall of America Field. Under LaCroix, the Vikings extended the team’s longest sellout streak at Mall of America Field, selling out 144 consecutive games from 1998 to 2011. Also included in LaCroix’s accomplishments is the launch of the Vikings Entertainment Network (VEN) in 2009.

With the passage of stadium legislation in 2012, LaCroix's duties expanded to include direction all sales, marketing and revenue-generating initiatives for the new stadium set to open in 2016.

John Sailors

John Sailors

John Sailors, Ph.D., is an associate professor of marketing at the Opus College of Business. He specializes in the areas of consumer behavior, brand equity, brand loyalty and marketing research. Before joining UST, Sailors spent eight years in the research industry with clients such as Ford, Harley Davidson, and Proctor & Gamble.

Sailors is a member of the core faculty in the Full-time UST MBA program, leading the Applied Business Research course, or ABR. This course requires students to bring together the concepts they have reviewed and learned in the first semester of the program in order to assist a Twin Cities organization with a current business problem or to assess a current opportunity. Under Sailors’ guidance, students engage in qualitative and quantitative data collection, gather secondary data sources and apply statistical analyses to provide managers with relevant information that improves the effectiveness of their decisions.

Sailors earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.