The game changers

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2013
Monday, April 01, 2013

Rob Mullens

Athletic Director, University of Oregon

0413 GameChangers 10
// Photo by Joseph Eastburn

The fact that a colleague of Rob Mullens’ came across an Oregon Ducks display last fall in a Champs Sports store isn’t all that remarkable. The fact that he came across it at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J., however, is.

“I love getting calls from my colleagues on the East Coast who love the Ducks and want a helmet or want to see a game,” says Mullens, who became UO’s athletic director in 2010. “That says a lot about how much we’ve grown as a brand.”

An accountant who also worked in the athletics departments at the universities of Miami, Maryland and Kentucky, Mullens brought his business acumen to Oregon. Like an executive, he talks about putting the right support systems in place, having an entrepreneurial spirit and appreciating the support of Nike.

While a strong business focus is par for the course in college athletics these days, what’s not so typical, according to Mullens, is having a school with a comparatively modest asset base produce such impressive results. In recent years, Oregon has fostered top contenders in track, cross country, volleyball, softball, baseball and, of course, football.

“When you look at our peers, who have huge budgets and huge alumni bases, we are performing at a very high level,” says Mullens. “We are an anomaly among programs.” Those results, Mullens says, come from a combination of elite coaches, a passionate fan base and an overall commitment to “broad-based excellence.”

“I just try to make sure we have the right people in the right places,” he says.

SIDELINES

“We are innovative and we’re willing to try different things. One of the most visible examples of that is our uniforms. There was a point 10 or 12 years ago where people were kind of poking [fun] at that. Now everyone is imitating us.”




 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 The Key QuestionGuest 2013-04-02 18:16:27
They should have asked Dr. Chestnutt if he would let his boys play football. In fact I think we should take a poll of neuroscientists and perhaps medical doctors with that simple question: Would you let your boys play football? I would not and have written as much in the past:

http://knowyourbrain.org/mamas.htm
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
0 #2 writerGuest 2013-04-02 20:36:10
Thanks for the comment. While it didn't make it into the story, we did ask Dr. Chestnutt that question. He does have a son who plays football and who in fact has had — and recovered from — a concussion himself.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Corner Office: Steve Tatone

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits about the president and CEO of AKT Group.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...

A legislative preview — and celebration

News
Friday, January 23, 2015
012315-speaker-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Northwest Environmental Business Council previews the 2015 legislative agenda as Hatch Oregon celebrates Oregon's new community crowdfunding rules.


Read more...

Free Falling

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121714-oilprice-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


Read more...

That's Not a Watch (This Is a Watch)

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smartwatches are all the rage. But old-fashioned timepieces keep on ticking.


Read more...

Taking the lead in boosting Oregonians’ health and strengthening our economy

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 08, 2015
0108-injection-thumbBY CAMBIA HEALTH SOLUTIONS & OREGON BUSINESS COUNCIL | OP-ED

Businesses have a significant stake in the health of Oregonians. In fact, we cannot succeed without it. By committing to using our companies as levers for good health, we invest in our people, our business, our quality of life and our economy. 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS