The Sacramento Kings are not only looking to upgrade the on-court product this season but also off-court.
The Bee's Ryan Lillis reports that one of the NBA's Top Executives, Chris Granger, has been hired to be the new President of the Sacramento Kings. As Team President, Granger will oversee the business operations and development of the new downtown arena. You can check out Chris' bio here.
Granger has spent the last few years as the NBA's Executive Vice President of Team Marketing and Business Operations. He was the guy that the NBA sent to Sacramento in the summer of 2011 after the Anaheim debacle. I was fortunate enough to meet both he and his team as he called a few meetings of the grassroots organizations. I came away impressed back then, but also knew that his help was only temporary. Now he's here to stay, just like we are.
Granger will oversee a Kings business operations that has some momentum to it after years of struggling due to poor ownership and an unsure future. Even before Granger's hire, the Kings were leading the NBA in new full season ticket sales for 2013-14 and it's just July 10th.
Welcome to Sacramento Chris. We're glad to have you.
UPDATE 10:27 AM:
Here's the Press Release from the NBA.
NEW YORK - July 10 - NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver announced today that Chris Granger, Executive Vice President, Team Marketing and Business Operations (TMBO), will be leaving the NBA to become the President of the Sacramento Kings, effective Aug. 1.
Granger, a 14-year NBA executive, has led the NBA's TMBO function, advising NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League teams on all aspects of business operations, including ticket, suite and digital sales, sponsor development, customer retention, and marketing. He has been leading TMBO's efforts in assisting the Kings, and the Kings currently lead the NBA in new full season ticket sales for the 2013-14 season.
"Chris has done an extraordinary job for us, including developing a group of executives that is industry-renowned for assisting teams in growing their businesses," said Silver. "He is known throughout the industry for his innovative approach to sales and marketing, service, and business analytics."
NBA Commissioner David Stern added: "The Kings will benefit greatly from Chris' extensive experience in all facets of team business operations as well as his passion for our game - a passion he shares with the Sacramento business community and the great fans of the Kings."
As President, Granger will oversee the operation of the Kings organization and direct the development of a new entertainment and sports complex in downtown Sacramento. Granger will report to Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé and oversee the executive team, which includes President of Business Operations Matina Kolokotronis and Chief Financial Officer John Rinehart.
"We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Chris to Sacramento," said Ranadivé. "Chris will bring an exceptional blend of expertise and innovation to Sacramento, informed by nearly 15 years of advising teams across the NBA on how to achieve success at the highest levels. I'm confident he will exceed the high expectations we've set for the future of this organization."
"This opportunity with the Kings is so extraordinary, both for me professionally and for my family, that I determined the time was now to make the move to the team side," said
Granger. "I believe in Sacramento. The fans are numerous and passionate, the local business leaders are sophisticated and engaged, and there is an unmatched sense of community that exists throughout the Sacramento region. I will work tirelessly with Vivek and our world-class ownership group to do something truly special for Kings fans and for the region as a whole."
Prior to joining the NBA in June 1999, Granger held leadership positions within the Walt Disney World Company. He has a B.A. from Cornell University, M.B.A. from Yale University, and was recognized in 2010 by the Sports Business Journal as a Forty Under 40 award winner.