SBD/January 9, 2012/People and Pop Culture

76ers Adam Aron On A Mission To Bring Glory Days Back To 76ers

Aron worked for months to reinvent and reinvigorate 76ers' pregame show
The 76ers have been “abandoned by fans in recent years, playing in one of the emptiest arenas in the NBA,” but new CEO ADAM ARON has “made it his mission to reconnect the team with its heritage, to create energy and excitement, to make it fun again,” according to Michael Vitez of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Friday's home opener was a "coming-out party" for Aron and the team's new ownership group. Aron Friday "was operating on 'nine levels of adrenaline,' and hadn't slept more than five hours a night in months." He worked “for months to reinvent and reinvigorate the pregame show.” He hired the Philadelphia Orchestra “to record a special version of the national anthem, which will play on the big screen every night.” He got “American Idol” finalist Ayla Brown “to sing the anthem live for every home game.” Aron after his appointment to the CEO post, read a book by former 76ers President PAT CROCE, who said that “Lesson 1 was listening to fans.” Aron now receives “300 tweets a day.” A “critical piece of the new experience would be to reconnect the team with its legends,” so Aaron during the team’s home opener invited JULIUS ERVING, MOSES MALONE, BOBBY JONES, EARL CURETON and ANDREW TONEY and “planned to introduce them at midcourt and also show highlight videos of them during timeouts” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/8).

MAN WITH A PLAN: In Philadelphia, Zach Berman wrote if fans “care the least bit about the Sixers, Aron wants to meet you.” Berman: “And if you don't, Aron especially wants to meet you. Why? Because he thinks he has the plan to get you interested in Philadelphia's basketball team.” Aron is from Philadelphia, as are “seven members of the ownership group, and seven others went to” the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Aron is “simply the most visible of the group, if not by name then certainly by designation, and from the beginning of the new owners' tenure, he was billed as the local guy.” Given how “conspicuous Aron has been, it's easy to forget that the managing owner is Joshua Harris.” Aron said, "I've known and worked closely with Josh for 15 years. He's a nice guy, he's smart, and he's used to winning. Absolutely everything that I'm doing is the result of constant dialogue with Josh Harris, to make sure the Sixers are living up to Josh's vision of being a world-class, cutting-edge franchise." 76ers Senior VP/Business Operations LARA PRICE said of Aron, "Listening to his customers is something he's had to do his entire career." She added, "I really think his marketing, branding expertise and his knowledge of consumers can help us" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/7).
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