SBJ/August 6-12, 2012/Franchises

Houston Rockets bet on casino industry executive to fill chief strategy position

The Houston Rockets have hired gaming industry marketing executive Scott Andrews as the team’s new chief strategy officer.

Andrews, who has no previous front office professional sports experience, was hired just weeks after Chris Dacey resigned after five years as chief strategy officer for the Rockets in early July.

Prior to starting with the Rockets on July 30, Andrews, 42, worked for 10 months as chief marketing officer at the M Resort in Las Vegas. He previously worked in various marketing positions for Harrah’s Entertainment for nearly a decade after earning his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

In his new job, he will be responsible for various business analysis and development for the Rockets.

“It is a role that is relatively unique in the NBA,” Andrews said. “It is a job that will encompass all aspects of the business; market research, analysis, and general insights into how to improve the business.”

The Rockets did not use a search firm to fill the position.

Andrews reports to Rockets CEO Tad Brown, who was not available for comment.

“The job was brought to my attention from some friends who worked at the organization and it seemed like a good fit,” Andrews said. “I did not know Tad [before the job opened up.]”

Despite the lack of professional sports experience, Andrews said his background lends itself well to his new job.

“The casino business is heavily analytical and it is all about understanding what drives consumer behavior,” he said. “I have a lot to learn, but the nuts and bolts of the business strategy of the gaming industry applies to sports as well.”

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