MSG Sports Promotes Marketing and Sales Executives
New York, NY (December 6, 2010) - Madison Square Garden Sports has promoted three marketing and sales executives; it was announced today by Scott O'Neil, president, Madison Square Garden (MSG) Sports. Howard Jacobs has been elevated to executive vice president of marketing and sales; Mike Ondrejko to senior vice president of corporate hospitality sales and service; and Sean Downes to vice president of corporate entertainment solutions.
Mr. Jacobs will define, lead and execute the over-arching business operations and growth strategies for the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty franchises including: brand marketing and communications, ticket sales and service, digital/social media platforms, field marketing, community relations, and event presentation. Mr. Ondrejko will drive the sales and service process for all suites and premium seating for the current and transformed Madison Square Garden. Mr. Downes will oversee the development and training of the suite account executive team, and lead the team in developing relationships and selling suites in the current and transformed Garden.
"The transformation of Madison Square Garden provides even more opportunities for our team to create lasting memories for our fans and provide unmatched partnership opportunities for the corporate community. Our relentless pursuit of unrivaled and world class executive talent continues to pay off for our growing business," said Mr. O'Neil. "There is nothing more important than attracting, retaining and in these cases promoting world class talent. Howard, Mike and Sean have each helped lead their groups to great heights during their time at The World's Most Famous Arena."
Mr. Jacobs joined MSG Sports in 2008 initially as senior vice president of marketing and was most recently senior vice president of marketing and ticket sales. Under his leadership, Mr. Jacobs has dramatically elevated the strategic marketing, brand management and business operations for the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty with a heightened focus on fan engagement. Mr. Jacobs' responsibility over ticket sales has resulted in the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty consistently ranking among the top of their respective leagues. Prior to joining MSG, Mr. Jacobs was the senior vice president, strategic partnership marketing for XM Satellite Radio where he led a cross-functional brand marketing and subscriber acquisition team with major sports and consumer brand partners including the NHL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA Tour, the Big East, United Airlines, Jet Blue and Starbucks. He previously served as president of Millsport, LLC, a leading sports marketing agency working with major brands including: AT&T, XM Satellite Radio, Office Depot, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, VISA, Pepsi-Cola, Gatorade, Frito Lay and Sunoco. Earlier in his career, Mr. Jacobs worked as director, marketing asset management in the sports and entertainment marketing division at Coca-Cola USA and prior to that served as vice president, Cartoon Network Brand for Turner Broadcasting.
Mr. Ondrejko joined MSG Sports in January of 2009 as vice president of suites, premium seating and service. Under his guidance, the corporate hospitality team has developed the sales and marketing strategy to engage the business leaders of New York in selling the new suites in the transformed Madison Square Garden. Through this process Madison Square Garden is on pace to sell out all 20 new Event Level Suites available in October 2011 and 58 new Lower Level Suites available in October of 2012. Additionally Mr. Ondrejko has led the team in maximizing premium sales revenue in the current Madison Square Garden, including spearheading the creation of Garden Experience Packages, which utilize all of Madison Square Garden's unparalleled assets to provide entertainment solutions that help companies drive their business. He has built a reputation as an executive with an eye for talent and the penchant for developing the next generation of executives. Before joining MSG, Mr. Ondrejko spent seven years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, most recently as vice president, sales and service. During his tenure he led the sales and service team in creating and selling out three new premium seating clubs, resulting in a triple-digit percentage growth in revenue. Prior to the Cavaliers, Mr. Ondrejko was with International Sports Properties (ISP) at Vanderbilt University, where he was responsible for creating revenue-enhancing marketing programs. He began his career in sales roles for Palace Sports & Entertainment in Tampa Bay and Detroit, where he was focused on corporate sales and new business development.
Mr. Downes joined MSG Sports in 2009 as director of suite sales where he played an instrumental role in the success of suite sales for the current and transformed Garden. Before joining MSG, Mr. Downes was director of partnership marketing at NASCAR where he managed key clients such as Coca-Cola, Kellogg's, MARS and P&G, and oversaw various company initiatives including NASCAR Fuel for Business counsel. Prior to NASCAR, Mr. Downes was on the senior management team at STRATEGIC Sports Group where he was responsible for account management and new business sales. Mr. Downes has also served in sales and marketing positions at Octagon and ISP Sports at Villanova University, along with the Philadelphia Eagles and New Jersey Nets.
About Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden is a fully-integrated sports, entertainment and media business. The company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Entertainment and MSG Media, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive MSG's overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that MSG creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of owning and operating sports franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Connecticut Whale (AHL). MSG Sports also features other sports properties, including the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, track and field and tennis. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes, throughout the country. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in MSG's diverse collection of venues. These venues include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from MSG's venues. MSG Media consists of the MSG Networks (MSG, MSG Plus, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD) regional sports networks and the Fuse Networks (Fuse and Fuse HD), a national television network dedicated to music. MSG Media is also responsible for managing interactive initiatives across all business segments. More information is available at www.msg.com.