SBJ/Sept. 9-15, 2013/Game Changers

Game Changers: Michelle Grech

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Photo: DAVID DEAN CULBERTSON
Grech’s work with Melt covers Coke Zero’s Final Four activation, including concerts, TV shows and Bracket Town fan fest.
Corporate Partners
Michelle Grech
Melt | Chief Operating Officer

M
ichelle Grech’s career in sports business mirrors the explosion in marketing college athletics’ biggest events. As chief operating officer for Melt, an Atlanta agency specializing in college sports and entertainment, Grech has a strong relationship with Coca-Cola dating to her six-year tenure there managing its Dasani and Powerade brands. In 2006, Grech left Coke to form Melt with veteran sports marketer Vince Thompson. Together, they have brokered some landmark deals — and along the way, they’ve helped extend the Final Four to a weeklong celebration of basketball and brands. Melt represents Coke Zero for all Final Four activation, including event marketing and promotions tied to the Bracket Town showcase. In addition, Melt’s production division produces NCAA Final Four television shows for CBS and Turner Sports.

The agency’s recent deals include signing Coke Zero for ESPN “College GameDay” activation this fall and signing Reese’s as title sponsor for the Senior Bowl. The company also represents ESPN for the network’s owned college bowl games and holiday basketball tournaments.

For Grech, the next frontier to conquer is high school and youth sports. Melt signed deals to sell sponsorships for the all-digital NFHS Network, covering prep sports nationwide, and for the LakePoint complex in north Georgia, a multisport destination for youth travel teams. In the high school space, “it’s a really exciting time to take a fragmented marketplace and look at how it can be aggregated,” Grech said.    

— Don Muret

  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: My father, Richard Dobkin, who exposed me to sports and competition at an early age and always encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
  • Best advice you’ve received: Do something you love, pursue your goals with passion, and work hard at everything that comes your way. Success follows dedication, and no matter where you are in life, as my business partner always says, “It is only as important as you make it.”
  • The biggest challenge I face working in the sports business is …: Facing off against much larger competition, and the speed in which technology is changing our business.

“Michelle is relentless in her work ethic. … She has a unique way of analyzing a business case for a sponsorship investment and the ability to articulate it. She is one of the best writers and presenters. … I would put her on par with anybody in sports marketing.”

— Vince Thompson | President and CEO | Melt

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