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SBJ/May 21-27, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
iHoops finds its man in MLBAM’s Godfrey
Published May 21, 2012, Page 4
|iHoops CEO Derrick Godfrey
Godfrey will be responsible for growing iHoops, which was created in 2008 as a joint venture between the NBA and the NCAA to develop youth basketball training and educational programs. He signed a three-year contract in becoming the third iHoops CEO since the venture was launched, following Elmore and current Pac-12 Conference Deputy Commissioner Kevin Weiberg, who worked for iHoops from 2008 to 2010.
Godfrey, who captained the basketball team as an undergraduate at Colgate University, is counting on his previous digital media background to grow iHoops.com, which counts 750,000 unique visitors a month.
“We need to figure out how to monetize the site in a better way,” he said. “The way kids digest information is more mobile and we have to do a better job of providing access on the go.”
Since its inception, iHoops has signed Nike and Adidas as founding partners. The iHoops venture also has formed partnerships with USA Basketball, the Amateur Athletic Union and the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Parker Executive Search was retained by iHoops to recruit for the CEO job, with Godfrey chosen among seven finalists.
“Derek stood out with a strong background digitally,” said NBA executive Kathy Behrens, who was involved in the search as a member of the iHoops board of directors. “We want to figure out some new opportunities in the digital space. We are pleased with the traffic in terms of iHoops.com but there is more we can do.”
Godfrey also will be responsible for creating additional iHoops grassroots programs, as Behrens acknowledged, “The grassroots programming side has been a bit of a challenge for us.”
Godfrey will be based in Indianapolis and will lead a staff of nine employees, with more staff expected to be added.
“We are looking to add some resources,” Behrens said. “We feel like we have a terrific CEO in place and the NBA and the NCAA are committed to make this work.”