SBJ/March 10-16, 2014/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40: Amy Brooks

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Amy Brooks

League: NBA
Title: SVP, team marketing and business operations
Age: 39
Where born: Sacramento
Education: Stanford University (B.A., political science and communication), Stanford Graduate School of Business (MBA)
Career background: Marketing for a startup software company, Diba; product manager at Sun Microsystems; management consultant at Bain & Co.; joined the NBA in 2005 as a director in the global marketing partnerships department; transferred to TMBO in 2007
Family: Husband, Jon; daughters, Audrey (5) and Natalie (3)

Favorite apps: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, NBA Game Time.
Favorite way to unwind: Playing basketball or golf.
Guilty pleasure: Binge-watching Netflix programming.
Worst habit: Overchecking messages on my phone.
Groups supported: Right To Play, A Better Chance.
Person in the industry I’d most like to meet: I would have loved to have met “Pistol” Pete Maravich. I used to try to practice his ball-handling drills growing up.
I have a fear of … : Snakes.
Most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : Shark cage diving with my husband in South Africa.
2014 will be a good year if … : I don’t make platinum on any airline or hotel.


ANDREW BERNSTEIN / NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES

Amy Brooks has been leading the NBA’s team marketing and business operations department only since last July, but the league senior vice president feels as if she has been on the job far longer than that.

She began her career at the NBA in 2005 and for years has been a key player in the league’s collaborative approach to working with its teams.

When she was promoted to her current job last summer, it was a natural fit for the former Stanford basketball player who earned her MBA at the Palo Alto school, as well. It also put her into a job that has been a springboard to prime team positions for her predecessors. Chris Granger (now Sacramento Kings president) and Scott O’Neil (now Philadelphia 76ers CEO) most recently held the job Brooks has now.

SBJ Podcast:
Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and project editor Mark Mensheha talk about the Forty Under 40 selection process and the class of 2014.

“I feel like I have been doing this job for a long time,” Brooks said. “It all starts with maintaining the collaborative relationships we have with our teams and growing those relationships.”

The Sacramento native’s job calls for her to manage some 40 employees who help drive business at not just the 30 NBA teams, but also the WNBA and D-League franchises.

One particular point of emphasis for Brooks has been developing a partnership with the Disney Institute to help teams improve the in-arena fan experience. She also is continuing to guide teams in using more analytics in selling tickets and sponsorships.

“We are doubling down on analytics to help teams make data-driven decisions and to know as much about our customers as possible,” she said. “The other thing is storytelling. We have a fantastic game. It is all about telling the right story to the right people at the right time.”

Said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:  “Amy is the ultimate point guard. What makes her unique is that she brings a consulting background honed outside of sports combined with a Stanford MBA that has made her best in class in the business. She is an extraordinary teammate both for the people she leads in her group and the team businesses that are her clients.”

— John Lombardo

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