ModiFile: Ayo the Office Running Back


Meet Ayo Oluwole, Nigerian-born, Columbia-educated, gridiron-toughened.

Ayo (rhymes with “bio”) is Modify’s Chief Marketing Officer and resident Office Running Back.

Office Running Back, you say? Office Running Back. Every office needs one, for morale, for the workhorse tendencies, for the patience real running back-ing requires and because, if you’re ever in a Zombie Apocalypse, they might survive and then zombie-you can say you knew someone who survived the Zombie Apocalypse.

And, for the sake of the Modify office, an Office Running Back isn’t anything like Terry Tate, Office Linebacker.

But back to Ayo — and away from zombies and Terry Tate.

He’s technically the CMO, but his role at Modify essentially touches everything, as he puts it, “consumer facing.” If that sounds simple, it’s not, and consumer facing is a nice term of consolidation that Ayo uses to make other people think he does just one thing. In reality, Ayo touches everything that reaches outside of Modify, whether it’s the social media relationships, blog relationships or the advertising that pops up on the side bar of the Washington Post website.

Now, back to the football player in Ayo: He just happens to be the office’s only former NCAA Division 1 tailback.

(Or D-1 football player for that matter, regardless of how highly Aaron regards his illustrious flag-football career. Kidding. Onward.)

Ayo went to Columbia for his bachelor’s, where he met Aaron Schwartz, CEO of Modify. 12 years — and plenty of advice-filled phone calls — after going to school together in Morningside Heights, Ayo signed onto the Modify team.

And given Modify’s recent deals with both the MLB and the MLS, he should be feeling at home.

Ayo’s first job after graduation was with the NBA, and he had the opportunity to work on the marketing side of the gargantuan worldwide operation. While he was there, he got to collaborate with respectful industry titans like McDonald’s, T-Mobile, HP and EA Sports.

But as Ayo said, “That life was both a gift and a curse. Getting to be around sports all the time was awesome, and it kind of flowed with my trajectory. But it also got kind of limiting in terms of what you can do in sports.”

“These big brands spent millions of dollars on these NBA partnerships, but there was so much more. I was like, what else is out there? So that kind of led me to explore.”


Ayo still loves basketball, both playing and watching. He plays all the time and, like most people who appreciate the game of basketball, he loves to watch LeBron James work his wizardry.

Besides basketball, Ayo is enjoying his time on the West Coast. He was born in Nigeria, spent most of his life in New York, and now resides just a short walk away from Modify headquarters.

Talk about a man invested in success.


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