Sacramento Kings lure away NBA’s top marketing executive as new team president
With their basketball operations fully revamped, the Sacramento Kings have now turned their attention to their business operations. They’ve started the process by landing one of the NBA’s top executives.
The Kings have hired Chris Granger, executive vice president of the NBA’s team marketing and business operations, as their new team president. Granger takes over duties in Sacramento effective Aug. 1.
“This opportunity with the Kings is so extraordinary, both for me professionally and for my family, that I determined the time was now to make the move to the team side,” Granger said in the NBA’s official press release. “I believe in Sacramento. The fans are numerous and passionate, the local business leaders are sophisticated and engaged, and there is an unmatched sense of community that exists throughout the Sacramento region. I will work tirelessly with Vivek and our world-class ownership group to do something truly special for Kings fans and for the region as a whole.”
In his role as team president, Granger will oversee the Kings’ executive team, which includes president of business operations Matina Kolokotronis and chief financial officer John Rinehart. He will report directly to new Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadivé.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Chris to Sacramento,” Ranadivé said in the release. “Chris will bring an exceptional blend of expertise and innovation to Sacramento, informed by nearly 15 years of advising teams across the NBA on how to achieve success at the highest levels. I’m confident he will exceed the high expectations we’ve set for the future of this organization.”
Granger has spent the last 14 years with the league office. He’s advised NBA, WNBA and D-League teams on all aspects of business operations, including ticket, suite and digital sales, sponsor development and marketing.
Granger is also no stranger to Sacramento. He was one of a handful of executives the league dispatched to the capital city following the Maloofs’ failed attempt to move the Kings to Anaheim.
“Chris has done an extraordinary job for us, including developing a group of executives that is industry-renowned for assisting teams in growing their businesses,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said in the release. “He is known throughout the industry for his innovative approach to sales and marketing, service, and business analytics.”
Granger joined the league office in 1999. Before that, he oversaw resort business for Walt Disney World Company, managing front desk, concierge, guest service and bell service staffs for several Disney properties. In 2010, he was named winner of Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award .
“The Kings will benefit greatly from Chris’ extensive experience in all facets of team business operations as well as his passion for our game,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a prepared statement. “a passion he shares with the Sacramento business community and the great fans of the Kings.”
— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) July 10, 2013