The Milwaukee Bucks have hired Ted Loehrke as chief revenue officer, a newly created position, making the club at least the third NBA franchise to add the title to its front office in the past year.
Loehrke comes to the Bucks from the NBA’s headquarters, where he worked as senior vice president in the team marketing and business operations department (SportsBusiness Journal, Oct. 22-28 issue). He joined the NBA in 2007.
“The Bucks see opportunities to continue to grow revenue, and I’m thrilled to join their talented staff in the new CRO role to help capture these opportunities across the organization,” Loehrke said.
Earlier this year, the Cleveland Cavaliers hired Brad Sims, who also worked in the NBA’s team marketing and business operations division, as senior vice president and chief revenue officer. The Atlanta Hawks in June hired Andrew Steinberg as their senior vice president and chief revenue officer.
With the CRO additions, the Bucks, Cavs and Hawks join six other NBA teams — Charlotte, Indiana, Memphis, Orlando, Sacramento and San Antonio — that have executives with similar, chief-revenue responsibilities. These executives have oversight of all team revenue operations, ranging from ticket sales and sponsorships to arena-related income.
“Instead of having different silos — one for tickets, one for sponsors, one for the arena — you have one person driving the revenue,” said Bill Sutton, a former NBA executive who now runs his own sports marketing consultancy, Bill Sutton & Associates, which counts NBA teams as clients.
Sutton said he expects more NBA clubs to create CRO positions as teams look to better coordinate and streamline all revenue-generating responsibilities.
“I think it is essential,” he said. “You are not hung up on department results, you are hung up on organizational results.”