Coombs Brings a Bit of the Bayou, Big Apple and British Football to Kent State’s Advertising Sequence


 Photo of Danielle Coombs

By Brianne Kimmel

After four years at Kent State, JMC Assistant Professor Danielle Coombs, Ph.D., recalls how she went from studying late night television to educating Kent State advertising students, while rebranding one of Britain’s infamous soccer teams.

Before coming to Kent State, Coombs specialized in uncovering consumer insights at major research groups in New York City for clients such as the Food Network, MTV Networks, Gap and Kellogg’s Special K. She completed her Ph.D. in mass communication and public affairs at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University in 2007. Her dissertation examined the political effects of late night television comedy, including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

In the same year, Coombs established Sarver Research, a Cleveland-based market research firm. After completing her dissertation, Coombs began working at Kent State University in the advertising sequence. After taking interest in the World Cup, Coombs contacted Cleveland Browns and Aston Villa owner Randy Learner. Using her research experience, Coombs studies how identities are expressed through fandom, and she began her lasting rebranding initiative with the British-based Aston Villa Football Club.

Today, Coombs shares her first-hand research experience with Kent State advertising students, while continuing her work in the United Kingdom. With a master’s degree in international mass communication and a bachelor’s degree in media studies, both from the School of Telecommunications at Ohio University, Coombs has combined academia with real world application.

Her method for success is involvement outside of the classroom. “Get as much experience as possible during school,” Coombs said. Ad Club and internships are a good start, but look for additional opportunities to demonstrate advertising skills, she recommends.  In a competitive field, employers hire a person who brings more to the table than a blank resume and “good people skills.”Visit the Web for additional information on Aston Villa Football Club, Kent State Advertising Sequence and Internships.

Brianne Kimmel is a senior advertising major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.


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