The role of leading Florida State University’s storied athletic support organization has come open just once since its formal organization 45 years ago. In 2020, Seminole Boosters, Inc. set out to attract an accomplished leader with multifaceted skills and both a vision and plan to maximize the effectiveness of one of the top programs in the country. FSU found that leader in Michael Alford, who has already enjoyed outstanding success during his first year at the helm.
Drawing on skills and experience from a remarkably broad-based career with championship organizations, Alford has rapidly transformed the Seminole Boosters into a team that matches his passion for ambitious goals paired with a comprehensive plan to achieve them.
In less than one year under Alford’s leadership, Seminole Boosters have added over 2,000 new annual members, raised $15 million towards a new football operations center bringing the total commitments to over $55 million, and increased total revenue compared to the previous two fiscal years.
Alford’s success at FSU should not come as a surprise given his accomplishments in previous positions during his 26 years in intercollegiate athletics and professional sports.
Alford came to Florida State from Central Michigan University, where he was Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics from 2017-20. His impact on Chippewa Athletics was remarkable and included surpassing the all-time department fundraising record in 2017-18 by 50 percent. Then, he led his team to a new record the next year and enlisted an all-time high of Chippewa Athletic Fund memberships.
Before CMU, Alford was the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and Administration at the University of Oklahoma from 2012-2017. At OU, Alford oversaw the ongoing efforts of the Sooner Club, the principal fund-raising arm of OU Athletics. Under his leadership, the Sooner Club set annual giving records for donations in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, while membership increased to an all-time high of more than 12,000 members. In addition, his team coordinated capital campaigns and other special projects, most notably, the campaign for a renovation and modernization of Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Before joining Oklahoma, Alford was Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships and Sales for the Dallas Cowboys (2008-2012). With the Cowboys, he cultivated corporate relationships that resulted in over $400 million in contractual revenue for the club. In his role, he managed all aspects of programming for Cowboys Stadium.
Prior to joining the Cowboys, Alford was the General Manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing at the University of Alabama (from 2004 to 2008). Crimson Tide Sports was responsible for the management of the media rights for Alabama. He provided oversight for all aspects of sales and marketing, including corporate sponsorships, radio and television, sports marketing, and the internet. He was also involved in contract design, negotiations and hiring of coaches, and the management and enhancement of ancillary revenue streams – including licensed apparel, merchandising contracts and concessions.
Alford also worked at ABC Broadcasting in Los Angeles, where he provided oversight of sports sales for both the Anaheim Angels and Los Angeles Kings radio networks. Before ABC, he was Associate Athletics Director at the University of Southern California, where he oversaw all aspects of marketing, corporate sales and media contract negotiations.
Alford’s first position in professional sports was Corporate Sales Executive with the Cincinnati Bengals. In this role, he was actively involved in all facets of the planning, construction and corporate sponsorships for Paul Brown Stadium. In addition, he provided oversight for Ticket Marketing, Group Sales and Hospitality. His first position in Intercollegiate Athletics was at the University of Cincinnati as Assistant Director of Marketing.
Alford played baseball at Mississippi State before transferring to UAB, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication in 1993. He received a master’s in Athletics Administration from the University of Arkansas in 1995.
Alford is married to Laura, a former collegiate volleyball student-athlete at Hawaii. They have three daughters Audrey, Ashley and Anna Leigh.