SBJ/January 9-15, 2012/Franchises

Bulls create exec committee, add VPs

Chicago Bulls President and COO Michael Reinsdorf is deepening his imprint on the franchise by creating a new executive committee along with adding two new executive positions to help drive the team’s business.

It’s the biggest organizational move made by Reinsdorf since he was named team president and COO by his father and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in September 2010.

Goodenow
The five-member executive committee includes the hiring of Susan Goodenow as vice president of branding and communications, along with the promotion of John Viola from senior director of corporate partnerships to vice president of corporate sales.

They join Steve Schanwald, executive vice president of business operations; Irwin Mandel, senior vice president, financial and legal; and Keith Brown, vice president of ticket sales, as members of the new executive committee that will report directly to Reinsdorf. There are no departures of the team’s front office staff under the reorganization.
Viola

Reinsdorf said he formed the committee to better develop a long-term business strategy for the team and bring a more collaborative approach to the front office.

“Our business has evolved, particularly in just the last couple of years and especially in terms of how teams communicate given the rapid growth of social media,” Reinsdorf said. “To meet the growing demands — and take advantage of new opportunities — I believe we needed to expand our team. By putting people in positions to take on more of the day-to-day operations, that allows all of us, particularly those at the most senior levels, more time and energy to focus on developing a long-term strategic vision for the organization.”

Goodenow comes to the Bulls from the Boston Red Sox where she worked as senior vice president of public affairs since 2008. Prior to her stint at the Red Sox, Goodenow worked in public relations for Major League Baseball from 2006 to 2007.

She began her job with the Bulls on Jan. 1 and will oversee all branding and communications efforts for the Bulls. She reports to Reinsdorf while Viola reports to Schanwald.

The organizational changes come as the Bulls remain one of the top brands in the NBA. The team last season led the league in attendance, drawing an average of 21,792 fans a game at the United Center while posting the NBA’s best record at 62-20. Local television ratings on Comcast SportsNet Chicago were up 90 percent from the 2009-10 season as the team, led by NBA MVP Derrick Rose, lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

This year, the Bulls rank among the top clubs in season-ticket sales and the team is among a handful in the NBA with a season-ticket waiting list.

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