Scott O’Neil, chief government officer of the Philadelphia 76ers in New York, Sept. 26, 2016.
Christopher Goodney | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs
Add one other process to the Philadelphia 76ers offseason to-do record.
The workforce introduced Wednesday that CEO Scott O’Neil is leaving the franchise to hunt “new alternatives.” Employed in 2013, O’Neil is credited for serving to rebrand the Sixers over his eight seasons with the membership. He landed the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation’s first jersey patch deal in 2016, a brand new follow facility and helped the Sixers end first attendance in 2019.
O’Neil served as CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports activities and Leisure, which owns the Sixers and Nationwide Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils. The sports activities firm is run by Apollo International Administration co-founder Josh Harris and Blackstone government David Blitzer.
In a press release, O’Neil mentioned working for HBSE was one of the crucial tough challenges of his profession “and probably the most enjoyable I’ve ever had, as a result of on daily basis introduced a brand new alternative to study and develop.”
In 2016, O’Neil orchestrated a deal that made the Sixers the primary U.S. professional sports activities franchise to personal an e-sports workforce. That helped the workforce rank twelfth on the Sports activities Innovation Lab’s 25 most revolutionary groups on the earth.
“Scott has completed a lot on behalf of the group in a comparatively brief period of time, driving our development, tradition, and dedication to strengthening the communities through which we reside, work, play, and win,” Harris mentioned in a press release. “I can’t overstate how a lot we worth Scott’s huge contributions to the corporate and the way grateful I’m for his management and partnership in making a best-in-class tradition at HBSE.”
Earlier than becoming a member of HBSE, O’Neil was president of Madison Sq. Backyard Sports activities and a long-time NBA league workplace government. His departure comes at a time the Sixers are in transition on and off the court docket.
Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball towards the Atlanta Hawks throughout Spherical 2, Recreation 7 of the Japanese Convention Playoffs on June 20, 2021 at Wells Fargo Middle in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Jesse D. Garrabrant | Nationwide Basketball Affiliation | Getty Photographs
The workforce failed to succeed in the convention finals regardless of ending first within the East. Co-franchise star Ben Simmons struggled within the postseason, and his future with the workforce is unclear. And on Tuesday, long-time play-by-play TV announcer Marc Zumoff introduced his retirement.
The workforce’s subsequent CEO will probably be tasked with retaining the franchise secure on the enterprise entrance, touchdown the Sixers a brand new area, and probably steering the NBA’s All-Star Recreation again to the town. Earlier than the pandemic, rumblings across the league recommended the Sixers and metropolis officers may make a bid for the 2026 occasion, however a choice to current a proposal to the NBA has not been made.
If a bid is submitted, Philadelphia may doubtlessly host two main league all-star video games in a single yr. The town is already set to host Main League Baseball’s All-Star Recreation on the Phillies’ Residents Financial institution Park that yr.
On the Devils entrance, O’Neil landed the workforce the NHL’s first helmet sponsor final December. Nevertheless, the workforce completed with a 19-30-7 this season and have not made the playoffs since 2018.
The franchise worth Devils declined 4% and now price $530 million, in accordance with Forbes. The outlet additionally notes the Sixers are price $2 billion.