Anthony Rotolo, accomplished professor of media and communications, has been named Chief Brand Officer for the International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. In this role, Rotolo will develop the 'look and feel' of the IPWHF brand across all media and guide the marketing strategies for the Hall of Fame.
The IPWHF Board of Directors appointed Rotolo at its year-end meeting on December 29, 2019. However, his association with the hall goes back a long way. Rotolo also served on the board of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum (formerly of Amsterdam, NY) where he got involved during its early days. When he learned about the new IPWHF coming to New York State, Rotolo didn't hesitate to offer his support once again.
"As soon as I heard about the IPWHF, I was in," said Rotolo. "I'll never forget the incredible experience of working with Tony Vellano as he built that first hall from the ground up, and I've really missed being a part of it." Back then, Rotolo was co-owner of New Concept Media, which developed the website and handled live production for several Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. "The entire team still talks about those events," Rotolo added. "The time we spent together with wrestling legends, many that have since passed--Moolah and Mae Young, Killer Kowalski, Nick Bockwinkel, Verne Gagne--those are memories we will always treasure."
Rotolo is a graduate of Syracuse University, which led to a special connection with the late Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer, a fellow alumnus. "He was so proud of our alma mater," Rotolo recalls. "In fact, several of our crew attended Syracuse, and he just loved to reminisce about his college days with us." Rotolo still keeps a limited-edition Destroyer bobblehead next to his desk, autographed by Beyer with the Syracuse cheer, "Go Orange!"
Rotolo went on to become a professor at Syracuse University where he was twice named Faculty of the Year and received international praise for his courses on social media and popular media studies.
As a professor, public speaker, and consultant, Rotolo has worked with organizations of all sizes to develop effective strategies in the era of digital and social media. For the IPWHF, he is already busy designing a brand that will set the International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame apart as a premiere institution.
"In our very first conversation, [IPWHF President] Seth Turner made it clear that his vision is for this Hall to be for Professional Wrestling what Cooperstown is for Baseball, or what Cleveland is for Rock and Roll," Rotolo said. "We must have a brand that competes on that level, and we will."
Rotolo is the latest officer announced by the IPWHF Board of Directors. The new organization has already made industry news with wrestling icons Rocky Johnson and J.J. Dillon joining the board in recent weeks. Additional names are forthcoming. Supporters and fans who subscribe to IPWHF email updates at IPWHF.org will be the first to receive these and other breaking news stories.
The International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame received approval from the New York State Board of Regents on December 10, 2019. The organization is committed to promoting and preserving the history and culture of professional wrestling, including the many contributions by wrestlers and individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The IPWHF museum will be constructed in Upstate NY in a location to be announced.