Michigan Football has gone through a transformation under the leadership of Hunter Lochmann

Dave Brandon is making a splash at Michigan. Not only is his program on the rise, but the Michigan Athletic Director is looking to put his school on the map in new and innovative ways. We here at Sport Techie have already taken notice.

In 2010, Brandon hired of Hunter Lochmann, a former vice president of marketing for the New York Knicks, to serve as the first Chief Marketing Officer for Michigan Athletics. Under Lochmann’s leadership, Michigan has been looking at new ways to bolster the athletic department.

It started with him learning more about Michigan. Lochmann was brought in to improve the Michigan brand, not change the Michigan way. He started by defining roles in the marketing department, including a strong focus on social media.

Next, he redesigned the athletic department website. In a 2011 interview with 1290 WLBY (business talk radio), Lochmann was asked about the website. Under his leadership, Michigan revamped the athletic department website (mgoblue.com) to cater to a broader mobile audience.

“It’s going to be a lot more video focus. Video is where everything’s heading with the mobile phones, iPads, and anything else, so we’re working hard on that. It’s a popular site; that’s where our fans go, but we have some work to do. That’s part of the branding of Michigan Athletics,” Lochmann said.

The most impressive part of Lochmann’s re-design is the restrictions put on him due to things having to be done the Michigan Way. So don’t expect big flashy ad campaigns that we have seen become commonplace in college athletics.

Lochmann (left) is also using twitter to increase the Michigan fan base. In April, he put the “#GOBLUE” on the field during Michigan’s spring football. The goal: increase brand awareness and brand loyalty. The result: it put Michigan on the map globally. According to ESPN.com, the hashtag reached 31 countries, 48 states. Not bad for a spring game.

For this year, Lochmann and his staff are continuing their technology focus by creating a loyalty program aimed at students. Part of this program includes the creation of a mobile app, which Lochmann hopes will set Michigan apart from others.

Michigan should be pleased with Lochmann’s vision. After only 20 months, his ideas are gaining notoriety. As the year continues, look for more out of Michigan athletics, especially during the fall football season.