SBJ/April 23-29, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

USSA hires CMO with expertise in TV, skiing

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has hired CBS Sports Network sales executive Michael Jaquet as its new chief marketing officer.

Jaquet, who grew up skiing and helped create the U.S. Freeskiing Open, fills a position that has been vacant since the USSA’s former chief revenue and marketing officer, Andrew Judelson, left for a job at WWE.

New USSA CMO Michael Jaquet
Photo by: MARK EPSTEIN
The hire comes two years before USSA teams return to the snow at the Olympics in Sochi. Between now and then, Jaquet will be tasked with improving the organization’s revenue by signing new sponsors and improving the organization’s use of both TV and digital media. He will manage a team of eight employees.

USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt said the organization looked at approximately 15 candidates for the position, but ultimately selected Jaquet because he had the right mix of sales, TV knowledge and familiarity with the organization, which he was a member of growing up.

“His passion and enthusiasm for the sport and USSA was the tipping point,” Marolt said. “That combined with his sales ability — he’s a really good sales person — and his huge background in television made it an easy decision.”

Jaquet, who was a member of the ski team at the University of Colorado, founded the freeskiing publication Freeze Magazine in 1996 and became director of sales and marketing at Transworld Media in 2002. In 2005, he joined College Sports Television as vice president of sports marketing. He became vice president of television and properties sales after it was acquired by CBS and renamed CBS Sports Network.

He will join USSA on May 21. He does so at a time when USSA’s board reportedly is devising succession plans for Marolt, who is expected to retire after the Sochi Games.

Jaquet said that coming to work for Marolt, regardless of how long he is president and CEO, was a major reason he took the job. He said his primary goal as CMO is to find new sponsors.

“This is obviously a sport I’m passionate about, and I believe I can get regular fans and Madison Avenue excited about it,” Jaquet said. “They have the best content in the world right now, and it’s going into a very attractive Olympics, Sochi. The sport is ripe for a great run.”

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