SBD/July 15, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Chris Granger Brings "Legendary" League Office Work Habits To NBA Kings

NBA Kings President and outgoing NBA Exec VP/Team Marketing & Business Operations CHRIS GRANGER has been "a closet Kings fan for more than a decade," according to a profile piece by Ailene Voisin of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Granger "started slipping in and out of town" in '04, "dispatched to offer marketing advice that was often ignored by the previous regime." After former the MALOOFS "grudgingly agreed not to relocate the team to Anaheim" in April '11, Granger was in Sacramento "for four straight months." He "supervised season-ticket sales, coaxed alienated business leaders into purchasing sponsorships, and overhauled a depleted and demoralized Kings sales staff." Granger said, "I don't have to tell you my bias toward Sacramento." NBA colleagues regard him as "smart, detail-oriented and knowledgeable in all facets of league business." Granger is "extremely well-liked and respected, is seen as more of a quietly effective, collaborative leader than someone who dictates policy or dominates a room." His work habits are "legendary," as he is "known for routinely leaving his Manhattan office after midnight." NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN said of Sacramento, "Chris enjoys the region, thinks it's a good place to raise a family, and he has long been engaged with the fans and the community." Granger's "immediate goal is to maintain the brisk pace of season-ticket and sponsorship sales, and to continue tightening the frayed bond between the Kings and the community." Granger: "I don't think we need anything big or bold. We want to make sure our fans know we're back" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 7/14).

CORPORATE LADDER: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's John Lombardo notes with the recent hires of Granger and 76ers CEO SCOTT O'NEIL, the NBA's team marketing and business operations department "increasingly is serving as an executive pipeline to some of the top jobs in sports." Stern last week said of the group, "As a conveyor of best practices, it is an incubator for extraordinary talent." Bill Sutton & Associates Principal and former NBA VP/Team Marketing Services BILL SUTTON, who helped create the group, said, "I don’t think we ever knew it would be such a pipeline. It was originally set up to improve team performance" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/15 issue).
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