SBJ/20090323/Forty Under 40

Peter Farnsworth

Age: 39
Title: Senior vice president, business development
Organization: NBA
Education: Colgate University, 1992
Family: Wife, Randi; twins Jonathan and Jacqueline, 4
Career: ProServ, 1992-99, SFX/Clear Channel Entertainment, 2000-01; NBA, 2001-present.
Last vacation: Disney World
Favorite book: Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Favorite movie: Hoosiers
Whats on your iPod? Whatever my wife puts on it.
Pet peeve: When people dont follow through on commitments
Greatest achievement: Proudest of family, but my greatest achievement is having a job I love where doing well and doing good arent mutually exclusive.
Greatest disappointment: That our dog wont have puppies and the legacy of Becket wont carry on!
Fantasy job: President of the Harlem Childrens Zone
Executives you most admire: Bill Allard, former president of ProServ/SFX, and David Stern
Business advice: There are 24 hours in the day. Use them!

Coming out of college, Peter Farnsworth envisioned a career in sports journalism until reality called. “I was working for a local newspaper called the Northern Virginia Sun, which was a far cry from Sports Illustrated,” Farnsworth says.


Sportswriting’s loss has been the NBA’s gain because Farnsworth has played a key role in helping the league sign marketing deals that last year saw revenue grow by 25 percent. The league signed new partnerships with Hewlett-Packard, Kia Motors, Right Guard and Wrigley’s, and Farnsworth has had a hand in developing the NBA’s business in China that last year brought a deal with AEG to build arenas throughout that country.

“Peter possesses an incredible work ethic along with a natural curiosity and creativity,” said Heidi Ueberroth, president, global marketing partnerships and international business operations for the NBA. “He has a very broad understanding of all of our assets ... and works with partners to understand their objectives and develop integrated marketing programs that deliver meaningful results.”

Farnsworth began his career in 1992 working for Donald Dell and Bill Allard at then-industry power agency ProServ. After nearly a decade at what became SFX Sports, Farnsworth left for the NBA in 2001.

“SFX was morphing into Clear Channel when the NBA called, and it was a good ride,” he said. “At the NBA, it is about evolving into a world of brand extension and broader defined business development.”

With the NBA expanding its global footprint, Farnsworth will be charged with bringing more international deals to the league. “These arena projects [in China] are more like sports-anchored real estate projects,” he said. “We will see a lot of NBA-themed anchored real estate projects having multipurpose events.”

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