SBD/June 13, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Veteran Marketer Tom Ward Leaving Hornets To Join 76ers As Senior VP

The 76ers have hired veteran team marketer TOM WARD as their new Senior VP/Corporate Partnerships & Broadcasting. Ward, currently the Senior VP/Corporate Sponsorships with the Hornets, will begin with the Sixers July 9, reporting directly to CEO ADAM ARON. “We’ve already been successful in raising the team’s profile and we are number one in attendance increase and season-ticket sales increase for next year. Now that we have the city emotionally connected again, the sponsorship opportunity here is enormous. We think it's possible to double or triple our sponsorship dollars," Aron said. “We had more than 400 resumes and Tom Ward stood out as a guy who was immensely successful in a smaller market where he was producing considerably larger revenue than we were here." Ward will also head broadcast sales, which includes radio and joint TV ad sales with Comcast, which has a long-term deal under which it controls the team's TV rights. Ward will add a handful of new staffers to the team’s sales side, Aron said. The 76ers are still in a bit of a relaunch, as new management took over in October following 16 years of ownership by Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the Wells Fargo Center, where the Sixers play. Ward has previously served as Bobcats Exec VP/Business Operations and CMO, Nationals Senior VP/Marketing, Predators Exec VP/Business Operations and the Charlotte Hornets VP/Marketing. Ward started with the Bullets as Marketing Manager in '79. Filling the senior sales slot comes at an important time for the 76ers, as the team will control much of its marketing inventory in July. “We’re basically building a sponsorship department from scratch and I’ve been part of three expansion teams, so that’s something I like to do," said Ward. “Having people dedicated to the Sixers when there is so much potential in the market is something I’m really excited about. And we’ve got an ownership group willing to open doors and close business for it, so I see nothing but upside.”
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