SBJ/March 21-27, 2011/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40

Skotarczak

Skotarczak
ANGELA CRANFORD/MSG PHOTOS
Ron Skotarczak spent more than 18 months running point on Madison Square Garden Sports’ recent massive deal with JPMorgan Chase. But neither the size nor scope of the 10-year, $300 million sponsorship rattled Skotarczak, given his broad range of business experience, from struggling to make payroll to leveraging sales for one of the biggest sports companies in the world.

“I’ve done a lot of deals, but sometimes it is the smallest deals that require an unbelievable amount of attention because you are not dealing with people who think the same way,” Skotarczak said. “The reality [with Chase] was that both sides felt it was right for each other and I just tried to keep it moving.”

Though certainly the biggest for MSG, the Chase sponsorship is just part of a growing portfolio of deals involving Skotarczak, who as MSG Sports senior vice president of sales is living up to his reputation as a skilled dealmaker.

“Ron asks the right questions, he does his homework, and when he gets in front of partners he is a tremendous listener,” said Scott O’Neil, president of MSG Sports, who hired Skotarczak. “[MSG] is a big place with a lot of different platforms, and Ron has a unique way of seeing how he can synthesize different brands and assets to help drive a partner’s business.”

Skotarczak was one of O’Neil’s first hires at MSG, joining the company in 2008 after founding Lightning Gaming in 2005. He brings to the Garden a strong blend of both team and brand sales experience, beginning in 1994 in ticket sales with the Philadelphia 76ers. He also worked for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he met O’Neil, and then worked for HoopsTV and And1 before helping start Lightning Gaming.

Now, working under O’Neil and backed by MSG consultant CAA Sports, Skotarczak wields tremendous leverage in driving sales revenue as the arena undergoes its more than $800 million renovation.

“It has been a dramatic change where you go from a startup mentality on a shoestring budget every month to a large public environment,” Skotarczak said.

Age: 39
Title: Senior vice president, sales
Company: Madison Square Garden Sports
Education: Villanova University
Family: Wife, Erin; children, Drew (7), Alexandra (6) and Ryan (2)
Career: Started with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1994 (ticket sales); Comcast-Spectacor (advertising sales), 1996-98; Philadelphia Eagles (director, corporate sales), 1998-2000; Hoopstv.com (VP, content acquisition), 2000-01; And1 (VP, marketing and entertainment divisions), 2001-05; Lightning Gaming (president), 2005-08; joined MSG in 2008.
Last vacation: Avalon, N.J.

What's on your iPod: New Kids on the Block
Guilty pleasure: Talking smack on the basket-
ball court
Best stress release: Lifting weights
Pet peeve: Lateness
Greatest achievement: Marrying my wife Erin
Greatest disappointment: It taking two years
to get a date with her
Fantasy job: Becoming Scott O’Neil’s boss. (He’s been my boss three different times in our careers
and I am ready and able for a role reversal.)
Business advice: Work with people you respect and like, and on something you are personally passionate about.
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