DALE HOOPER: REVIVING THE CAMARADERIE AND CONNECTION OF SPAD
“Shouldn’t we have the same connection and camaraderie and support network within SPAD alumni that we had when we were going though the program at Laurentian?”
Written by Randy Pascal, SPAD 1985
Incoming head of the SPAD Advisory Board Dale Hooper has a clear-cut vision of the ultimate end goal of his involvement with the group which has intersected so many aspects of his life, a group which is currently as active as it has been in decades, as we near the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sports Administration.
It’s of little surprise that the 1991 graduate enjoys such well-defined focus. Extremely well respected across sales, marketing and management circles, the former vice-president with PepsiCo Beverages Canada and member of the executive team with Rogers Media, Hooper is equal parts shrewd corporate thinker, and likeable friend to all.
He also pulls no punches about his affinity for the SPAD program. Born in New Brunswick but having moved to Calgary by the time he hit high-school, Hooper clinched the decision on his post-secondary choice after meeting with Dr Bob Wanzel and the fourth year class, as they enjoyed their field trip at the home of the 1988 Winter Olympics.
“What struck me in my first year at Laurentian was that there might have been fifty of us in the classroom,” he said. “I remember thinking that I was going into a really exclusive program. I got immersed with a great group of people.”
“When I went there, I didn’t know a soul. I knew nobody in Sudbury, I knew nobody at Laurentian, and I came out and my best friends now are all from Laurentian.”
Former classmates will contend that Hooper has changed little from the lad they grew to know in Sudbury. For all that he has accomplished, the father of two has stayed true to himself. “That’s one thing I did learn in SPAD, is that I’m certainly not smarter than anyone else in the room,” he stated.
“I try and keep it simple.”
In fact, even as he stressed the critical importance of understanding the consumer and gathering relevant data, foundations to his success in a variety of marketing environments, Hooper shared some key tenets of sales. “Politics is sales; everything is sales; your whole life is sales,” he said. “When you are talking to your kids, trying to get them to clean their room, that is sales.”
“Sales and marketing are intrinsically linked, and they are all about influencing someone’s behavior to get them to do what you want them to do.”
And within the context of the Sports Administration program, nothing would make Dale Hooper happier than to see the entire alumni family come together for the collective good – just as he envisions it.