Seahawks’ Arnold: The path to the top
Chuck Arnold, 47, celebrated his silver anniversary season at the Seattle Seahawks last month by being named president of the team and its First & Goal Inc., which runs CenturyLink Field. He started as an intern in the public relations department in 1994 after graduating from Washington State and worked his way through the business side, reaching COO in 2013 before his latest elevation in this, his 25th season with the team. Arnold takes over for Peter McLoughlin, whose departure after eight years was announced late last month with his contract about to expire. Sports Business Journal caught up with Arnold, the newest NFL top team executive.
What is your proudest achievement?
ARNOLD: It all starts back in 1994, just the very first thing was getting the internship coming straight out of college, that was a really proud moment for me because I knew once I had my foot in the door I wasn’t going to let it go out. … We have had lot of success at CenturyLink Field, 131 consecutive sellouts now, the launch of the [MLS] Seattle Sounders was a great thing and the success we had there, probably one of the most successful professional sport launches in our country. (The Seahawks shared business operations with the Sounders until 2014, though the two teams still have a relationship through their shared home field.)
What are the keys to business success?
ARNOLD: I look for good communication through the process and good collaboration through the process. If you have effective communication then that communication creates good culture and the collaboration at the same time.
Are you planning any changes?
ARNOLD: I have been on the job now for about a week, so I haven’t mapped the changes out yet. In my role as COO since 2013 I was responsible for a lot of the different business departments in our organization and so I plan to continue to work with those and add a few (finance, legal, communications, human resources) that Peter had under his watch. Over the next couple months I will kind of figure out the balance of that. The good thing is Peter left us in a great spot.
Will you take over Peter’s role representing the Seahawks at NFL owners’ meetings?
ARNOLD: Yes … we will also look at who will join me.
Do you have any new initiatives planned?
ARNOLD: [Seahawks owner Paul Allen’s sports and entertainment company] Vulcan Sports, just what opportunities that has for us to create some synergy amongst Mr. Allen’s other teams, other properties and other interests. … Right out of the gate that is one of the things I am going to focus on. (Vulcan also owns the Portland Trail Blazers.)