Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 17
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

NBA panel to study biz, game initiatives

The NBA has formed a new committee that combines top business and basketball operations team executives who have been tasked to study new growth opportunities within the league.

The 12-member Business and Basketball Committee made up of general managers, team presidents and CEOs (see chart) will hold its first meeting on Dec. 5 via conference call to focus on both new business and basketball operations strategies.

The Knicks’ Steve Mills will serve on the committee.
Photo by: NBAE / GETTY IMAGES
“It’s an efficient way to get input from teams to allow us to increase the speed of decision-making as we look at new initiatives,” said Amy Brooks, NBA chief innovation officer.

Brooks would not disclose any specific agenda items for the new committee.

“The expectations are getting quick reactions and input on new initiatives and getting new ideas to allow us to be nimble in identifying whether or not we try new things going forward,” she said. “It is really about new initiatives that intersect growing our business and growing the game of basketball.”

It’s not the first time that NBA executives from both basketball and business have served on committees together, but it does represent the mingling of both sides of team operations that at times can have different priorities.

In 2016, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver created a six-member collective bargaining committee made up of basketball and business operation team executives to work with the seven-member owners’ labor relations committee.

The NBA for years also has relied on its eight-member team advisory committee made up of team presidents, but unique to the new committee is its focus on combining both basketball operations and business strategies.

“As we look at growth opportunities, many have both basketball and business impact so collaboration across the league and teams is key to drive innovation,” Brooks said. “It is a new committee made up of general managers and presidents that are close to our fans and the game.”

No committee chair has been named but Brooks and Byron Spruell, president of league operations for the NBA, will oversee the committee. It’s not clear how often the group will meet.

The creation of the new committee comes after Brooks was recently named the league’s first chief innovation officer and promoted the longtime NBA executive to president of the league’s team business and marketing operations division.

“It fits in with my new role but we have been planning this for a while,” Brooks said.