Senior Director of Sports Marketing, NCAA and Grassroots
Walker Jones, a native of Jackson, Miss., graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in business management. While at Ole Miss, Jones was a four-year football letterman and received numerous academic and athletic honors. After graduation, Jones served on David Cutcliffe's football staff at Ole Miss from 2001-2003 as a graduate assistant and later as the coordinator of football operations. He then served as assistant athletics director for internal operations at Ole Miss and as vice president of the Collegiate Sports Properties division for Telesouth Communications in Jackson, Miss.
In March 2008, Jones joined the Under Armour Sports Marketing team as the senior director of sports marketing, NCAA and Grassroots. In this position, he oversees the high school and collegiate divisions of sports marketing and manages a $75 million operating budget. Under Jones' leadership, Under Armour was named the official apparel and student-athlete gift provider of the Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
1. In what ways does Under Armour hope to bring success through its athletic gear?
We want to make all athletes better through passion, science and a relentless pursuit of innovation in all that we do. We believe that through our product and storytelling, we can create a lifestyle and help make people feel better about themselves whether they are a serious competitive athlete or simply trying to live a healthy life. Our plan is simple and built of four pillars: 1. Build a great product. 2. Tell a great story. 3. Build a great team. 4. Service your business.
2. What has been your best experience during your time as Under Armour's director of sports marketing?
It is too hard to pick one because I have many experiences that have helped me grow as a person and professional in the last five years. I am fortunate enough to have a great team around me that work hard, care for each other and believe in the brand. I have learned through them how to be a better leader and great teammate to those I work with. I also enjoy visiting our teams, coaches and athletes to see firsthand the advantages and impact we are having on them. I want all of them to feel they have some sort of edge over their competition because they are with Under Armour. I take great pride in seeing the finished product show up on a Saturday night in front of millions of fans knowing how hard our team worked to get it there.
3. You were a linebacker for Ole Miss. What was your personal experience like playing football in the SEC?
Having the opportunity to play football in the SEC was and always will be a great accomplishment in my life. It is undoubtedly the best college football conference in America and allowed me the opportunity to play against the best of the best: All Americans, Heisman Trophy winners and future NFL All-Pros. I also got to play on national TV, in some of the legendary stadiums of all time and experience the passion and love for college football that SEC fans have. It has opened up many doors for me in my personal and professional life and I was able to make lifelong friends with my teammates and opponents. We all have a tremendous sense of pride and share a unique bond of playing in the SEC.
4. What motivated you to attend an SEC school?
I grew up in the South watching SEC football since I was a child. My father also played at Ole Miss and I loved hearing him tell stories of all his experiences playing in the glory days of Ole Miss and the SEC. I wanted to have those same experiences and play against the best of the best. To me, there was no other choice.
5. What is your favorite thing about Auburn?
I love the college town feel in the South. It reminds me a lot of growing up and going to games in the SEC. I love the passion and tradition that come with Auburn and hearing "War Eagle" whenever I walk through an airport with an Auburn polo on. As is the case with many SEC schools I have visited, the people are what make Auburn so special. This all may sound weird coming from an Ole Miss grad but I have great respect for Auburn and the tradition they have built.