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Prudential Center names new senior execs for arena, Devils

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The Prudential Center mural
The Prudential Center mural - (Wally Gobetz / http://flic.kr/p/8YEGmV)

The new management of the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center has added three senior executives to the team aiming to reenergize the business side of the Newark-based franchise and arena.

The moves were announced this week by the ownership group, which acquired the properties in August and also owns the Philadelphia 76ers. The new hires include:

 - Andy Goldstein as chief financial officer and executive vice president. He has spent the past decade in those roles with InterMedia Outdoors Holdings Inc, a TV, digital and print media company geared toward outdoor enthusiasts.

 - Brad Shron as executive vice president and general counsel. He was most recently an associate with New York-based Proskauer Rose LLP, where he handled transactions such as team acquisitions, stadium funding, and naming rights and sponsorship deals.

  - Jim Leonard as senior vice president of community investment. He most recently was chief of staff for the state Treasury Department since 2012. He also served for two years as a senior policy advisor in Gov. Chris Christie’s office.

The three executives will be based in Newark and focus primarily on the Devils and the 17,000-seat Prudential Center, according to a news release. All three will report to CEO Scott O’Neil, a former Madison Square Garden president, who came on in August after the properties were acquired by investors Josh Harris and David Blitzer.

O’Neil heads the team hoping to rejuvenate the business behind the Devils and the 6-year-old venue, which faced well-chronicled financial troubles before they were sold last summer. A key focus has been marketing the assets to New Jersey’s corporate community, in part by selling new sponsorships and filling the arena’s luxury suites.

In a prepared statement, O’Neil cited the need to attract top talent to capitalize on “the growth and opportunities ahead of us in both New Jersey and Philadelphia.”

“The best organizations in the world are driven by talented people working in a progressive culture, with a commitment to innovation and continued improvement,” O’Neil said. “(A)nd with this announcement we are moving along that path.”

One of his earliest moves was to tap Hugh Weber, the former president of the New Orleans Hornets, as president of the arena. The team now oversees an arena that will take center stage in three weeks, when it hosts NFL’s Super Bowl media day.

The newest executives were announced Monday alongside the hiring of Tim McDermott as the new chief marketing and innovation officer of the 76ers. He joins the group as the former chief marketing office for the Philadelphia Eagles.




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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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