University of South Alabama Unveils Plans For Jaguar Sports Properties
University of South Alabama Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann officially announced the formation of Jaguar Sports Properties last week. The production group will oversee the athletic department’s sports broadcasts, ad sales, and sponsorships. The move represents a break from IMG College, which had previously handled those details for the school.
Erdmann also unveiled the production group’s staff.
J.D. Byars has been named Director of Broadcasting/Corporate Sales Executive, Ashley Ehlert is the unit’s Account Executive and Mike Giedlin has been selected the Assistant Business Manager for the group, with the three having begun their duties earlier this month. Pat Greenwood will join the staff as Director of Multi-Media/Corporate Sales Executive on March 1.
JSP will be overseen by current Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Travis Toth, with the unit responsible for athletic corporate and multi-media sales as well as radio and television production including game broadcasts and coaches’ shows.
“These hires reflect well-seasoned and superior professionals in their field of expertise,” Erdmann observed. “The mission of Jaguar Sports Properties is to generate revenue through sponsorships which are paid directly to the department while expanding our awareness, growing our fan base and solidifying our brand. The broadcast assignments for applicable sports — including current radio personality Lee Shirvanian — will be announced later this semester. We anticipate a tremendous broadcast team promoting several sports and the department as whole using radio, television and ever-growing on-line content.”
Byars has been the Director of Broadcasting & Corporate Sponsorships at North Alabama the last three-plus years, where his main duties included producing, engineering and serving as the play-by-play voice for over 90 Lion athletic events each season. In addition to creating and establishing UNA’s radio network — which included all FM affiliates — and hiring and managing all on-air support staff, he created inventory including during broadcasts, signage, in print and on the web for sponsors of Lion Athletics.
His relationship with UNA goes back to 2002, when Byars began hosting weekly television coaches’ shows for football and men’s basketball; he also served as creative producer for the shows, brokering air time for the programs as well. Byars first starting calling play-by-play action for Lion Athletics during the 2009-10 academic year.
He began working at Raycom Media in 1996 as a sports and news reporter at WAFF-TV in Huntsville, Ala., and also spent over two years as a sales account representative, local sports director and play-by-play talent with WYTK-TV in Florence, Ala., before joining the UNA staff. Byars, who earned his degree in communications arts from UNA, and his wife Beverly have two children, son Jake and daughter Stella Beth.
Greenwood — a Mobile native — will join the staff after working at WPMI-TV since 1997. After starting at the local station as a sports reporter, he added duties as a weekday morning anchor until assuming the title of Sports Director in 1999. Greenwood earned several awards during his time in sports, first receiving accolades for the best Alabama Associated Press sports story in 1999. He was also selected the AP’s Best Alabama Sportscaster in ’01, was recognized for the organization’s Best Sports Program two years later and was named the Best Sportscaster by the Mobile Press Club in ’04.
He returned to news in 2007 as part of the “Local 15 Today” program that airs each weekday morning from 5-7 a.m. In addition to his duties at the station, Greenwood has served as the pre- and postgame host while handling sideline and halftime duties for the South Alabama Football Radio Network, and has contributed to men’s basketball and baseball broadcasts as well.
After earning his degree from Loyola (La.) in 1994, Greenwood served as Sports Director at WHLT-TV in Hattiesburg for a year-and-a-half before moving to KLFY-TV in Lafayette, La., to be a general assignment news reporter — he would move to weekend news anchor and also serve as the station’s back-up sports anchor. Greenwood and his wife Stephanie have four children; Madeleine, Robert, Grace Anne and Mary Linda.
Ehlert joins the staff after serving as a Senior Account Manager at Clear Channel Media in Mobile for seven years. Her responsibilities with the organization included customizing well-rounded campaigns utilizing six radio stations along the Gulf Coast, digital components and the coordinating of off-site live broadcasts. While managing over 100 local and national clients, her role involved building proposals to present media marketing strategies, servicing clients, production creativity and invoice payments.
Prior to working at Clear Channel Media, she was in the fitness industry as a Sales Representative for Powerhouse Gym and Cory Everson’s Fitness for Women dating back to 1997.
Ehlert and her husband Wesley have three children, son Chandler, and daughters Zoe and Willa.
Gieldin has served as Assistant Athletic Director/Fiscal Operations at Northern Arizona for two-and-a-half years prior to coming to Mobile. In that role, he coordinated the preparation of operational and program budgets, monitored expenditures, reviewed and authorized all purchases and expenditures. Giedlin was also responsible for preparing and submitting financial data to both the NCAA and Big Sky Conference offices, participated in internal and external audits, and provided financial status, projections and informational analysis to the university’s budget office.
Giedlin began his professional career at Alfred (N.Y.) State, where he worked seven years as a staff assistant and associate for university financial analysis. He joined the Georgia State staff as Business Manager in 1996, working at the school three years before becoming Director of Merchandising for the Norfolk Tides, the AAA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, in February 1999; Giedlin was promoted to Business Manager after less than two years, serving in that role until joining the NAU staff.
He is a graduate of Mansfield (Pa.) State, where in addition to earning a degree in business administration he was captain of the Mountaineer baseball team. Giedlin and his wife Lynn have one son, Mitchell.
“This is a very exciting and important time for our department,” explained Erdmann. “Approximately five years ago we entered into a partnership with IMG College which gave them the rights to manage our sponsorship and multi-media sales. That partnership was a prudent decision as working with IMG helped us in navigating the birth of an FBS football program. We deeply appreciate IMG College for that guidance and support. The decision to go in a different direction and create an internal unit was amicable in nature and primarily based on our desire to have complete control of our advertising inventory, our audio and video productions, our sales strategies and stewardship of our sponsors.”