NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other
Fresh off the ice, the National Hockey League, Chicago Blackhawks and Coors Light, share an insider’s perspective of an ambitious 2014-15 NHL season, inaugural Coors Light NHL Stadium Series and Stanley Cup Championship defense on and off the ice. Learn firsthand about the high expectations on- and off- the ice for epic events such as the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, the incredible under taking by the league to pull off 6 outdoor games in two months and thoughts on where momentum will lead.
This session is part of the brand new SXsports programming at SXSW 2014.
Dir, Sports & Ent Mktg
Adam is responsible for leading MillerCoors efforts in sports and entertainment marketing inclusive of the NHL league partnership and Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. Before joining MillerCoors, he spent two years at GMR Marketing leading the agency work for MillerCoors. Prior to GMR, Adam spent more than 10 years in brand, retail and sports marketing building innovative marketing strategies and driving growth for some of the world’s most recognized beverage brands, including The Gatorade Co. and Jim Beam Brands. Adam received his Bachelor of Arts from Alma College and a Master in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
As Executive Vice President / CMO, Brian is responsible for the League’s global marketing strategies, including the consumer products licensing and design business that continues to generate more than one billion dollars annually. Jennings also leads the Integrated Marketing team that is responsible for ensuring the consistent and strategic delivery of marketing messages and further extending the reach and promotion of the NHL brand across all departments, channels and business partners. Brian’s strong leadership and commitment to the NHL brand has created solid League-wide relationships that provide deeper integration of the brand and product lines among all of the NHL’s business partners including TV rightsholders, licensees and sponsors, as well as the Clubs.
In addition, Brian oversees the day-to-day efforts of Partnership Marketing and Club Marketing/Services, traditional Marketing Services, brand/promotional responsibilities for the NHL Network, NHL.com and NHL digital products, Cause and Grassroots Marketing, Entertainment Marketing and the operational aspects of our digital NHL Shop and NHL Store retail outlets. He is committed to giving fans a voice and getting to know the fans better than ever through the various platforms and relationships that his team manages. As of September 2013, Brian will also oversee the brand/promotional responsibilities for the NHL Network, NHL.com and NHL digital products.
SVP Events & Ent
National Hockey League
Pres & CEO
John F. McDonough joined the Blackhawks in 2007 as President, and was named President and Chief Executive Officer on June 1, 2011. Under his guidance, in what Forbes Magazine has called the “The Greatest Sports-Business Turnaround Ever,” the Blackhawks have revitalized the team’s profile and re-energized its fan base. On June 24, 2013, the Blackhawks won their fifth Stanley Cup championship, becoming the first organization to capture two titles in the salary cap era. Three years prior, on June 9, 2010, the team achieved their “One Goal” by winning their first Stanley Cup since 1961.
With McDonough’s leadership, the Blackhawks have become one of professional sports’ biggest success stories. The Blackhawks have entertained 256 consecutive capacity crowds at the United Center and have grown a season ticketholder base from 3,400 to more than 14,000. In addition, the Blackhawks have led the NHL in attendance for five consecutive seasons. For the first time in franchise history, the Blackhawks welcomed over 1 million fans to the United Center during a single season in 2008-09 (1,052,261), while establishing an NHL club record by attracting a league-leading average of 21,783 to their 40 home dates at the United Center. The Blackhawks’ success was recognized by SportsBusiness Journal in 2009, when the team earned a coveted nomination for the publication’s Professional Sports Team of the Year.
McDonough was also instrumental in bringing the NHL Winter Classic to Chicago in 2009, a contest that matched up the Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings in front of 40,818 fans at Wrigley Field on Jan. 1, 2009. The game drew an 11.8 overnight rating, a 21 share on NBC in Chicago and over 4.4 million U.S. viewers overall, making it the most-watched NHL game in almost 34 years at that time, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Shortly after his arrival, the club welcomed back Blackhawks legends and Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito and Denis Savard as official team ambassadors and instituted the annual Blackhawks Convention, the first of its kind in the National Hockey League. In addition, in a landmark partnership with Comcast SportsNet and WGN-TV Channel 9, the Blackhawks announced that all 82 regular-season games would be televised for the first time in franchise history in 2008-09. That year, the Blackhawks also announced an exciting new radio partnership with WGN Radio AM-720.
Prior to joining the Blackhawks, McDonough served as President of the Chicago Cubs. During his tenure, the Cubs won the 2007 National League Central Division while setting an all-time franchise attendance record. As the Cubs’ chief, and in his previous role as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Broadcasting, he was widely viewed as a sports marketing and management innovator who played a major role in increasing the Cubs’ fan base and attracting sponsorships for one of the most successful professional sports franchises in America.
During his 24 years with the Cubs organization, the club consistently reached record attendance and revenue figures. In addition, McDonough was the architect of the seventh-inning stretch celebrity “guest conductor” concept at Wrigley Field and created the annual Cubs Convention, which is now viewed as a prototype for team and league fan festivals.
With McDonough’s many achievements have come several honors and awards, including Major League Baseball’s Marketing Excellence Award, the Chicago Baseball Veterans Committee Man of the Year, Chicago Baseball Executive of the Year and a place in “America’s Top Ten Marketing Executives” by Promo Magazine. In addition, McDonough was named to The Hockey News’ “100 People of Power and Influence,” as well as being named to the Chicago Tribune’s “10 Most Powerful Sports Figures” in 2010.
He has also been recognized with the St. Mary’s University of Minnesota Presidential Medal for Outstanding Merit, the Bill Veeck Lifetime Achievement Award, a place in the Notre Dame High School Hall of Fame and the 2008 Executive of the Year Award by the Chicago chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. McDonough served as a guest speaker at the 2010 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, was named to the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and served as commencement speaker for the Loyola University School of Communication.
McDonough serves as a frequent lecturer at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, and Northwestern University, and sits on the Faculty Advisory Board for its Master of Arts in Sports Administration Program. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Illinois chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the Athletic Advisory Board of St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., the Special Olympics Illinois Foundation Board, the NHL Club Business Advisory Board and the NHL Board of Governors.
A Chicago native, McDonough is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Niles, Ill., and St. Mary’s University. He currently resides in the northwest suburbs with his wife, Karen. They have three children: Colleen, Ryan (Katie) and Michael.