avatar for Michael McCullough

Michael McCullough

The Miami Heat
Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

Michael McCullough’s role with the Miami HEAT could best be described as the “brand architect” for the club. Viewed as an extremely versatile and well-respected senior NBA business executive, he sports a 28-year track record of establishing new benchmarks and best practices for sports marketing and fan engagement while producing highly effective marketing, branding and results-oriented corporate partnership programs.  McCullough oversees the Branding / Advertising / Promotion, Social Media, Retail Operations, Broadcasting, Creative Design, Game Operations and Events, Community Affairs, Business Strategy and Analytics, HEATV, Digital Communications and Applications and Business Communications functions for the Miami HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena.

HEAT highlights include:

  • McCullough and his team revolutionized NBA Playoff marketing campaigns by being the first team to successfully implement color-themed Playoff  promotional programs for the HEAT, creating the White Hot, Red Zone and Back in Black campaigns.
  • We dig uniforms! Under McCullough’s watch, the HEAT has implemented the NBA’s most aggressive Team Uniform Program, including conceptualizing the “NBA Nickname Collection” uniform program, along with the in-house design and development of new HEAT uniforms, including the original “Home Strong” military-themed uniform, generating millions of dollars in sales and earning the reputation as the best retail operation in professional sports as evidenced by being named NBA Retailer of the Year in 2003, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
  • Let’s Get Digital!  McCullough leads the HEAT Group’s digital communication platforms, including interacting with over 22 Million fans on social media and managing the content for the new Miami HEAT App, the most comprehensive app in the NBA.
  • File under:  Things I Never Thought I Would Get To Do In My Career:  McCullough is the point-person for the HEAT Business Operations division for all Championship-related activities, including the design and distribution of the three HEAT Championship rings for players, staff and families, plus the creation of all Championship-related retail merchandise and sales strategies while maintaining responsibility for the design and execution of the Championship parades and celebrations.
  • As “chief evangelist,” for the HEAT, McCullough guides and directs both internal and external brand communication and activation strategies, while acting as the “voice” of the franchise to employees and media alike, oftentimes assuming an alter ego personality to foster employee engagement.


BMH (Before the Miami HEAT):


  • Prior to joining The HEAT Group, McCullough was with the Sacramento Kings, where in five years he oversaw a marketing effort that led to 495 consecutive sold-out games. McCullough originally joined Sacramento in 1988, spending two seasons as the team’s director of broadcasting before accepting a similar position at the National Basketball Association in 1990, where he assisted teams in the production of game telecasts and played an integral role in national NBA broadcasts, as well as special event broadcasts like the NBA Draft and NBA All-Star Weekend activities.
  • McCullough was a three-year starter for the Utah State Aggies basketball team (during the short-shorts era), and was fortunate enough to participate in the NCAA and NIT Tournaments before graduating in 1984 with a degree in political science. McCullough is the proud father of five children, all of whom are much smarter than he is.  For “fun”, McCullough teaches Spinning classes twice weekly at the ridiculous hour of 5:45am, and enjoys working out, roller blading, yoga, reading and music…his Kindle and iPod, which contains over 17,500 songs, are constant companions.


My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, April 19

11:05am EDT