Tod Rosensweig knows the Charlotte sports marketing and sponsorship landscape. A former marketing executive for the Charlotte Bobcats and at NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Inc., Rosensweig is now general manager for Winston-Salem based IMG Sports’ Charlotte 49ers office. IMG and Rosensweig will handle sponsorship and multimedia deals for the 49ers.
Rosensweig, 62, has also worked for the Boston Celtics, Washington Nationals and New Orleans Hornets. In his first month working with the 49ers (his office is in the Barnhardt Student Activities Center), he understands his major focus will be Charlotte’s newest sport: football. – David Scott
Q. Where do you see the 49ers’ place in the Charlotte sports marketing scene?
“We’re not really competing with the Panthers and Bobcats, but we are with everything else. We need to prove to our partners that we’re giving them something better than those other things. We think that when the stadium opens up and we’re the college football presence in Charlotte, that will make a huge difference.”
Q. What are some of the things you need to fix?
“The radio network needs some work. We have a great partnership with (WZVG) 730-AM, but the reach isn’t very good. In order to sell, we need a broader range. And that means by next year.
“IMG has committed substantially more money to expanding the radio reach, and that’s not out of the goodness of their heart. It’s because they want me to sell more radio advertising and you can’t do that if you’re not reaching your radio audience. If you drive away from this venue when leaving a game, you can’t hear it. We’ve got to fix that.”
Q. Describe Charlotte’s sports marketing situation and the influence football will have.
“We have a number of small and large deals, but we need bigger deals. We’re starting to forge that. Football gives us that opportunity. We’ll say to them, ‘We appreciate your partnership. Now let me show me show you our appreciation by showing how we can grow those partnerships.’ They’re probably willing to invest more with the Charlotte 49ers and football is absolutely a great catalyst.”
Q. Is there more to be done within the athletics department?
“It doesn’t feel like our other sports have bee maximized. There are two great soccer programs, especially the men. Baseball is a great opportunity with a gem of a venue. Some are not easily sellable by themselves because they’re not well-attended and there’s little media coverage, but we can batch them.”
Q. Will you have any involvement with the football stadium’s naming rights?
“That’s not a part of our deal with the school. If (naming rights) don’t happen right away, it’s not a disaster. But we would love to be a part of it.”
Q. So do you expect current advertisers and sponsors to all want in for football?
“Well, we won’t have enough inventory just for football. There might not be enough room. You might not be able to get into football unless you spend to a certain level. We don’t have a good sense of that yet, but that’s what we’re talking about now.
“But football will change everything. I guess that’s our message.”