With a strategic focus on enhancing brand, revenue and media opportunities, Michael LaPlaca has presided over one of the most successful eras with the Dayton Flyers.
LaPlaca has been working for the University of Dayton since October 2006, currently serving as an Assistant Athletic Director managing all digital and television platforms.
During the 2015-16 season, LaPlaca developed and successfully executed an enhanced television partnership with Time Warner Cable and implementing an audio broadcast feed in Mandarin, the most widely spoken language in China. Also under LaPlaca’s tenure for the first time in school history, every Dayton men’s basketball regular season game was televised during the 2015-16 campaign. The Flyers’ television package included a mix of national and regional television partners.
Time Warner Cable broadcasted 35 events in men’s basketball, football, women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, baseball and softball. Dayton also produced a half-hour show “Dayton Flyers Insider” featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the men’s basketball team and UD athletics programs.
Dayton became the first NCAA Division I program to broadcast men’s basketball games in Mandarin. LaPlaca worked with a group of six students from China to air all 18 home contests with Stretch Internet.
LaPlaca oversees all of Dayton’s digital and video platforms, coordinating live video streaming broadcasts and shooting and creating video features. He serves as the liaison between Dayton’s multimedia clients, while also assisting with men’s basketball media relations and marketing efforts. LaPlaca has also produced high-level promotional hype videos and infographics and to create a more engaged community with Flyer supporters. The focus of the promotional videos and marketing efforts help strengthen the connections between the team, students and alumni.
LaPlaca directed a team that helped win the Outstanding Promotional Video or Campaign award at the 2010 College Sports Media Awards. The “Top 25” video produced helped the Flyers start the 2009-10 season nationally-ranked for the first time in the program’s 104 year history.
In 2007, LaPlaca developed a one-of-a-kind partnership with the university’s communication department merging live video broadcasts with student course work. The nationally-recognized program has helped University of Dayton students acquire jobs at places like CNN, ESPN, the Big Ten Network and FOX Sports Ohio.
During his tenure at Dayton, LaPlaca helped develop the DaytonFlyers.com website and developed a social media platform into a highly regarded online community. Two Twitter accounts, @DaytonFlyers and @DaytonMBB, have been verified organically, as well as the Dayton Men’s Basketball Facebook page. More than 3 million unique visitors visit Dayton’s online outlets per year.
Other assignments at Dayton include designing marketing materials and execution plans to help with the promotion of Dayton Flyers athletics. LaPlaca has also crafted a highly successful digital marketing strategy by engaging Dayton Flyers fans with revenue efforts. Strategy focuses on season ticket sales, ticket packages, single-game ticket sales and merchandise. Season ticket holders for Dayton Flyers men’s basketball have reached an all-time high averaging more than 10,000 fans the last six seasons due to implementing strategic marketing efforts.
In media relations, LaPlaca has worked with some of the nation’s best broadcasters including CBS Sports Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery, Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Allie LaForce and Tom McCarthy; ESPN’s Adam Amin, Brad Nessler, Bob Wischusen, Fran Fraschilla and Len Elmore and FOX Sports’ Reid Forgrave and Gus Johnson.
He has been a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) since 2003, Sports Video Group since 2008 and NACMA since 2011.
Before UD, LaPlaca gained experience as the sports information director at Manhattanville College for three years and a three-year stint as the director of media relations for the El Paso Buzzards – a minor league hockey team.
LaPlaca graduated from the University of Missouri in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism.
He and his wife, Cara, along with their three daughters, Austyn, Hayden and Evynn, reside in Kettering, Ohio.