Wunderkinds 2013: Zach Dayton, 26
Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions, Pace University
It seems no one at Pace University has more team spirit than 26-year-old Zach Dayton. His zeal for the Setters (the school’s mascot) started back in 2005, when the school recruited him for its baseball team. He played all four years, 2006 to 2009, as a pitcher. Then, upon graduating, he became Pace’s athletics marketing and promotions coordinator—while also earning his master’s in Public Administration at the school.
In July 2011, Dayton was promoted to his current position, which encompasses all aspects of marketing and promotions for the Athletic Department. He’s responsible for Pace’s 12 varsity sports teams’ promotion, website-content updates, social media, and community relations. He also organizes the Pace Setters Golf Classic.
It’s a ton of work, but Dayton loves it. “Zach is usually the first one in and last one out,” says Drew Brown, Pace’s director of Athletic Development. “His work ethic and dedication is second to none.”
In fact, all of Dayton’s enthusiastic marketing efforts have earned the University three awards from the prestigious National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators. One was for increasing brand awareness by distributing 1,000 shirts on campus that sported the words “True Fan.” The next was for significantly boosting the visibility of mascot T-Bone, a setter, by creating an imaginative promo video and giving him a Twitter account. The third one involved a Twitter campaign employing the hashtag #poundpacehoops. The person who Tweeted it the most won a prize. Hundreds of people Tweeted #poundpacehoops, garnering Pace statewide visibility.
Dayton also helped create new revenue steams. For instance, he led the establishment of pacesettersteamshop.com, the Athletic Department’s online store, which gives a portion of its Pace apparel sales to Pace Athletics. In addition, he leads the corporate sponsorship program, arranging for businesses to purchase signage in all indoor and outdoor athletic facilities and to participate in the basketball team’s halftimes. Meanwhile, Dayton, who lives in Thornwood, arranged for WFAS-AM 1230 to broadcast and webcast all of Pace’s basketball and football games.
“The school’s presence and visibility has grown by leaps and bounds from where it was when I was a student,” Dayton says. “It’s absolutely awesome to be a part of a process like that.”