Group Created with Sketch.
Past Events
Back to Speaker Faculty

Andy Appleby

Chairman & CEO, General Sports and Entertainment; Founder, AppleTree Advisory

Andrew D. Appleby

Owner and CEO 

Andy Appleby, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Sports and Entertainment, LLC, and Founder of AppleTree Advisory, LLC has more than 30 years of sports management experience. Since founding General Sports in 1998, Andy has led the effort to develop all of its operational divisions, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, as well as having created the General Sports Foundation. Andy was awarded the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002. Under Andy’s leadership, General Sports has had a very strong rise into the upper echelon of the sports and entertainment industry.

Through the Team Acquisition & Management division, Andy successfully completed the acquisition of English Premier League Derby County Football Club in January 2008. Andy served as the Club Chairman until 2015 when the franchise was sold. Andy also successfully completed the acquisition of the Fort Wayne Wizards Minor League Baseball team (Class A Affiliate of the San Diego Padres) in May 1999. Under the ownership of General Sports, the Wizards were named “Team of the Year” in the Midwest League in 2003 and 2004, and the team experienced attendance increases each year. General Sports sold the Wizards franchise in 2006. In 2015, Andy created the United Shore Professional Baseball League, a professional baseball league in Utica, MI.

The league plays its games at the $17 million privately-financed Utica ballpark, and was hugely popular while selling out 42 of 75 games during its inaugural season. The USPBL had an extremely successful second season in 2017.  A fourth team was added, and the league sold out 60 of its 75 games while increasing its summer group outings total from 281 to 746 in 2017.

Of all his business strategy goals this year, perhaps the most important for Andy was the success of his baseball instructional effort, a finishing school for ballplayers that has had 20 players signed by MLB organizations.  Getting minor-league players into the major league systems has given the USPBL tremendous credibility and legitimacy already among MLB clubs and players.

Prior to founding General Sports, Andy helped lead the ascent of the Palace Sports and Entertainment organization to the top of the sports and entertainment world. As Senior Vice President of Palace Sports and Entertainment, Andy oversaw an executive sales staff responsible for promoting and operating the Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Vipers Hockey Club, Detroit Shock of the WNBA, Meadow Brook Music Festival, and DTE Energy Music Theatre (formerly Pine Knob).

Andy’s drive for top-level achievement has long been evident in his pursuits and successes. He was an All American high school wrestler, and he won three State Wrestling Championships. He went on to become the New England Wrestling Champion in 1981. He also was an All-State Cross Country Runner, and home course record holder.

Andy has a Masters Degree in Sports Management and a Bachelor of Science in English from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. He serves on the Board of Directors for the General Sports Foundation/Suite Dreams Project. He resides in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with his wife Kristiana, son Brock, and daughters MacCall, Avery and Quinn.

Wednesday, June 20

Eyes Wide Open: What’s Keeping Team Presidents and C-Level Executives Up at Night?

This kickoff roundtable discussion sets the tone for the day, as these executives discuss the biggest issues they face in running their businesses and the trends they are monitoring. As today’s franchise heads manage multiple areas of business, you’ll hear how they monitor the day-to-day operations while keeping an eye on the future.

Andy Appleby, Chairman & CEO, General Sports and Entertainment; Founder, AppleTree Advisory
Tom Garfinkel, Vice Chairman, President & CEO, Miami Dolphins & Hard Rock Stadium
Chris McGowan, President & CEO, Portland Trail Blazers & Rose Quarter
Lara Price, COO, Philadelphia 76ers
Guest Moderator: Len Perna, President & CEO, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment