SBJ/March 12-18, 2012/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40



Photo by: ANDREW BERNSTEIN
Chris McGowan was recently promoted to a new position within a new division: COO of AEG Sports. There, he’ll oversee the Los Angeles Kings, the MLS Galaxy and several other AEG sports properties.

The reasoning was simple, said AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke. McGowan has been able to sell the Kings in Los Angeles. According to Leiweke, that isn’t an easy thing to do.

“So he has learned about how you sell and how you create momentum in markets which may not be top of mind,” said Leiweke, who hired McGowan two weeks out of college as a sales associate for the Kings in 1996. “I don’t think it’s only developed a great work ethic, but within Chris a never-say-die spirit. Seldom do I see him down, and I think Chris also has wonderful, contagious enthusiasm in him that tends to spread wherever he goes.”

Although he had only been overseeing the Galaxy for about a month, McGowan already has increased its season-ticket base by about 1,000, bringing the club’s number to around 7,500, Leiweke said.

“I think what he is going through right now is the most proud I have ever been of him,” Leiweke said. “He is overseeing the Kings day-to-day on the business side and he is doing the Galaxy on the business side, and the fact that he is able to multitask and handle all of those responsibilities is impressive.”

Communication and having good structure within an organization are two keys to success, McGowan said. Another one, he says, is being positive.

“I think you have to be that way in business,” McGowan said. “Because I can’t control whether you are winning or losing, and every morning when you come in you have to be positive, because being negative is not going to accomplish anything.”


Age: 38
Title: COO
COMPANY: AEG Sports
Education: B.A., University of Delaware, 1996
Family: Wife, Susan; children Ryan (9) and Kyle (8)
Career: Started career with AEG and the Los Angeles Kings in 1996
FIRST JOB: Grocery store bagger at a military commissary in Carlisle, Pa.
Last vacation: Northern California — started in San Francisco and worked our way down the Pacific Coast for a week.
what's on your ipod? Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons.
Guilty pleasure: TMZ
Best stress release: Running
Pet peeve: Meetings without agendas
Fantasy job: Part-time roadie for Pearl Jam and part-time tasting room manager at a winery in Napa, Calif.
WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT: Ticket sales numbers
Business advice: Learn how to sell and hire great people and get out of their way.


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