Hooters announced Bruce Skala has been promoted to chief marketing officer (CMO) of HOA Brands, the franchisor and operator of more than 400 Hooters restaurants. As CMO, Skala will oversee global marketing campaigns for Hooters and fast-casual concept hoots wings as well as drive national promotions for both company and franchisee restaurant locations. Skala’s roster of responsibilities in the role include traditional and social media marketing initiatives, digital customer engagement, brand licensing programs and alliances and partnerships in key categories ranging from sports betting and gaming to the beverage portfolio.
“Bruce has continually showcased his strategic thinking and first-mover instincts to celebrate and promote our restaurants through groundbreaking initiatives to uphold and extend our brands,” says HOA Brands LLC president and CEO Sal Melilli. “We are proud to have Bruce serve as our Chief Marketing Officer and to further the company’s world-renowned status.”
“I am honored to be named Chief Marketing Officer and to further my stewardship of HOA Brands alongside a phenomenal team,” Skala says. “I am proud of what Hooters has accomplished in bolstering its standing as a prominent brand, and I’m eager to continue building on that success.”
Throughout his nine-year career with the company, Skala has demonstrated tremendous leadership skills and creative thinking in several roles, most recently as senior vice president of marketing. He has led several standout campaigns during a challenging time for the industry and has rallied his team to keep the brand relevant, most recently spearheading partnerships with legendary golfer and two-time major champion John Daly and John Daly II, a rising star and Hooters’ first name, image and likeness (NIL) ambassador.
He recently shepherded the re-signing of Chase Elliott, NASCAR’s most popular driver, and Hooters’ sponsorship of Elliott’s No. 9 Hedrick Motorsports car. Skala also manages a successful alliance program with celebrities, influencers and sports properties which has kept the brand extremely connected with its consumers.
An industry veteran with 25 years of food service and brand marketing experience, Skala earned the prestigious 2021 VIBE Innovator Award for his efforts creating breakthrough programs to sustain business operations and meet customer demand particularly during the pandemic.
Skala also helped Hooters increase brand engagement and sales by implementing Smart QR menu technology for guests to view branded video content and discover more beer and cocktail options, providing cocktails, packaged beer and wine to-go, offering take-home cocktail kits and Hooters on the Fly, a curbside and to-go delivery space for guests to enjoy their favorite Hooters meal. This summer he has worked with Mountain Dew on “The Ultimate Wingman” promotion.