SBJ/October 1 - 7, 2007/SBJ In Depth

Executives to watch

Chris Zimmerman

The New York native served as president and CEO of Nike Bauer Hockey for three years and acted as U.S. advertising director for Nike before coming to the Vancouver Canucks last year. Despite selling out every night, the Canucks owners felt the team could do more to expand the brand and the fan base. Zimmerman’s blend of brand marketing and advertising experience could lead to some interesting initiatives as he tries to achieve that in his first full year on the job.

Bernie Mullin

After years of waiting for owner Steve Belkin’s lawsuit to be resolved, the Atlanta Spirit appears poised to move forward under the stable ownership of Bruce Levenson, Ed Peskowitz and Michael Gearon Jr. That should allow President and CEO Mullin the chance to put his stamp on the organization in an all-important year. The Thrashers are coming off their first playoff appearance and the team will host the entire league in January for the NHL All-Star Game.

Luc Robitaille

The highest scoring left wing in NHL history was named president of business operations for the Los Angeles Kings in the offseason. As a former player, he brings a different perspective to the front office than his colleagues at other teams around the league. His focus over the next year will be on recapturing the Los Angeles marketplace by promoting players more heavily, doing more community outreach and attracting more Hollywood and entertainment executives.

Brian Jennings

While he will still oversee the NHL’s consumer products division, Jennings’ new title as executive vice president of marketing means he will oversee research, creative and events. After years of relying on outside marketing experts from the likes of Reebok and Anheuser-Busch, Jennings is an insider holding the league’s marketing reins.

 

— Compiled by Tripp Mickle

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