In a series of moves over the last several weeks, John Abbamondi, the CEO of the Nets and its parent company, has made a number of appointments that essentially remakes much of the team’s executive staff.
The new hires come from a variety of backgrounds, including the Dodgers, Celtics and Alibaba, Joe Tsai’s company, and represent a broad swatch of diversity. They also put Abbamondi’s personal stamp on the parent company. Abbamondi, who worked for the NBA and MSG, was installed in late July by Tsai.
The lead hire is that of Michael Wandell as Chief Commercial Officer of BSE Global, a new position that is effectively the No. 4 position in the company that controls Tsai’s sports entities in New York, the Nets, Barclays Center and Liberty, BSE Global is headquartered in offices one floor below the Nets training facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
As chief commercial officer, Wandell will lead marketing and revenue generation across all BSE Global properties, he will be responsible for the development and growth of BSE Global’s ticket sales, corporate hospitality and global marketing partnerships businesses, as well as the long-term brand strategy for the company.
Abbamondi noted Wandell’s international background with the NBA prior to his most recent job as senior vice president of global partnerships with the Dodgers. Wandell, among other roles he had with the NBA, was in charge of overseeing all business development for NBA China, on whose board Tsai sits. Global marketing of the Nets and Liberty’s brands are seen as a top priority for Abbamondi.
“I am thrilled to welcome Michael to the BSE Global family,” said Abbamondi. “I had the opportunity to work with Michael during our time together at the NBA league office, where he was instrumental in developing ground-breaking partnerships with innovative global brands. He is a proven leader with an impressive track record of leading commercial teams. With his hiring, BSE is proud to add yet another best-in-class senior executive dedicated to taking our company to the next level.”
Wandell will begin work at BSE Global shortly after the launch of the 2020-21 NBA season, and he will report directly to Abbamondi.
Prior to announcing the hire of Wandell, Abbamondi announced the hiring of five senior executives to help lead the company’s business and venue operations.
BSE Global named Emerson Moore as Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer; Peter Stern as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer; and Jackie Wilson, II as Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion.
In a pair of joint announcements with arena partners ASM Global and Levy, Adina Erwin was named as General Manager, Barclays Center, and Chris Giacalone as Vice President of Hospitality.
“We are thrilled to welcome five top executives into our business operations,” said Abbamondi. “The executives are accomplished leaders in their respective fields, and their incredibly deep expertise will be instrumental as we prepare for an NBA season like no other. I am extremely excited and look forward to working with them to take our fan experience to the next level.”
As EVP and Chief People Officer, Moore will lead Human Resources for BSE Global. He joins the organization after spending 13 years at TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, a global leader in talent acquisition technologies, where he most recently held the positions of EVP, General Counsel, Head of Human Resources & Secretary.
As EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Stern will oversee the finance department for BSE Global. In his prior role, Stern was Head of U.S. Investments at Alibaba Group, the e-commerce Tsai co-founded. Earlier in his career, he held various banking and investing positions in New York, Beijing, Hong Kong and Sydney. Stern is also known for his criminal justice reform work at San Quentin prison and as Senior Advisor at The Last Mile, which prepares incarcerated individuals for successful re-entry. As a founding member of the E-Town Scholarship fund, he helps to support educational pursuits of children of formerly incarcerated individuals.
As Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Wilson oversees BSE Global’s Diversity and Inclusion strategies and initiatives, and will help develop and execute the company’s overall social justice vision. Wilson began his career as a litigation associate at Graham Curtin law firm, before becoming General Counsel at All Pro Sports & Entertainment, Inc., where he spent five years as a certified player agent and spearheaded the social responsibility and community efforts of professional athletes.
Erwin joins as General Manager of Barclays Center, coming into the role with more than 25 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry. Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President of Business Operations at TD Garden Arena in Boston. Prior to TD Garden, Erwin spent 15 years at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta where she held various roles including Vice President and General Manager, and ultimately, Chief Operating Officer. During her tenure, the venue received multiple accolades, including the ranking of #1 Theatre of the Decade Worldwide by Billboard.
“Adina is one of the most respected venue operators in the sports and entertainment industry and we are thrilled to have her as part of the ASM family” said Bob Newman, Chairman, ASM Global, which operates the arena. “She’s a talented leader and we are very fortunate to be able to leverage her wealth of expertise as we plan for a new NBA season at Barclays Center and look forward to a robust entertainment season sometime soon.”
Giacalone joins Barclays Center as Vice President of Hospitality, overseeing the arena’s premium hospitality spaces and the concourse concessions, and working closely with Livio Velardo, who recently joined as Senior Executive Chef after serving as Executive Chef at the iconic Balthazar Restaurant and Bakery in New York City.
“We’re proud to bring aboard two incredibly talented hospitality experts in Chris Giacalone and Chef Livio Velardo as we look forward to welcoming guests back to Barclays Center,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO, Levy. “Chris is one of the best in the business and has deep expertise in operating iconic sports and entertainment venues. He’ll partner with Chef Livio to deliver the food, beverage and hospitality that define the Brooklyn Taste experience.”
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