Earlier this week, Sports Business Daily reported that former Philadelphia Eagles executive Mark Donovan would be named the Kansas City Chiefs new Chief Operating Officer. Indeed Chiefs owner Clark Hunt made the move official today.
"We are very excited to have Mark join our executive team," said Chairman Clark Hunt. "Mark's track record of success in the business of the NFL has earned the respect and praise of the entire league."
Team President Denny Thum also praised the move as the Chiefs enter into the era of the 'New Arrowhead'.
"Mark will be a great asset to the Kansas City Chiefs as we make the transition to the New Arrowhead. We are very fortunate to add his business acument and expertise to the Chiefs organization."
Prior to joining the Eagles in 2003, Donovan helds stints as the Director of Marketing and Sales for the NFL and the Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing for the NHL. In all, he spent six years as the Eagles Senior Vice President of Business Operations.
We've chided former GM/President/CEO Carl Peterson for wanting to maximize revenues even if it's at the expense of on-field product. Now it appears the Chiefs are going about revenue generating the right way by hiring someone with the pedigree of Donovan.
A 2007 Forbes Magazine report found that the Eagles brand was number one in the NFL and the "fastest growing brand" of the four major pro sports growing 113% in three years.
We've heard a few complaints about how "boring" the Chiefs website is. I agree (to an extent) and I would also add that the Chiefs approach to media is certainly antiquated. Donovan's experience with media and projecting the team's message has been outstanding and he will hopefully help implement a similar atmosphere at One Arrowhead Drive. Here are a few of his accomplishments in this area while with the Eagles:
- PhiladelphiaEagles.com selected best team website three times
- Eagles Television Network has won 32 Emmys
- Recipient of Sports Business Journal's 40 Under 40 award
Donovan and the Eagles sold the stadium naming rights to Lincoln Financial for $139.6 million over 21 years. In addition to that, the team raised money by implementing personal seat licenses (which basically means you pay for the right to buy season tickets).
One of the things I've always liked best about Arrowhead Stadium is that it doesn't have a corporate name. We're a smaller, midwest city and I think the Chiefs approach to the stadium is reflected in that. There's no word on whether part of Donovan's expertise includes selling the naming rights to Arrowhead Stadium.
Donovan thanked the Chiefs organization for the opportunity.
"I want to thank Clark Hunt and the Hunt family for giving me this opportunity to expand my responsibilities and experience base at a critical time for the franchise. I look forward to being part of the next chapter in Chiefs history."
H/T to PSUkegreen in the FanShots