A round-up of key appointments from within the sports and events industries over the past week.
MGM Resorts International has appointed George Kliavkoff as president of entertainment and sports. Kliavkoff will drive MGM Resorts’ entertainment and sports operations and develop and maintain partnerships within the industry.
In his new role, Kliavkoff is responsible for the operations, finance, strategy, booking, marketing, sponsorships and ticketing for MGM Resorts’ more than 30 theatres, showrooms and arenas, including T-Mobile Arena, MGM Grand Garden and Mandalay Bay Events Center. Kliavkoff will be based in Las Vegas and report to MGM Resorts president Bill Hornbuckle.
MGM Resorts will also continue its business relationship with Richard Sturm, the company’s existing president of entertainment and sports, by securing an exclusive three-year consulting agreement with Sturm’s new company, Las Vegas Live Entertainment and Sports. Kliavkoff joins MGM Resorts with more than 20 years of experience leading media and entertainment strategies. He most recently served as the CEO of Jaunt, an augmented and virtual reality start-up.
Niels de Vos, chief executive of UK Athletics for more than a decade, has been hired as the executive director of Oregon21, the local organising committee for the 2021 World Championships in Athletics.
De Vos, who left his position at UK Athletics in September, will be responsible for the organisational management for the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, including the development of all strategic plans, associated budgets, national and international partnerships, sponsorship and broadcast negotiations and other operational functions.
Fan entertainment and engagement company Game Changer MVP has announced the hiring of several sports industry veterans as the company continues to strengthen its focus on client services, business development and further enhancing its interactive platforms.
Nicole Storrs becomes director of client services, joining Game Changer MVP from the marketing and corporate partnerships teams at NFL American football franchise the Dallas Cowboys. Bret Wright has been hired as director of interactive having worked on multiple interactive environments for Walt Disney Park & Resorts among other companies.
Regina Lyn Pierce becomes senior business development director having previously served as vice-president of entertainment for Minor League Baseball team Frisco RoughRiders. Vy Nguyen comes in as interactive manager having previously managed creative teams for several gaming properties at Warner Bros and EA Sports.
Haleigh Curlee has been appointed as client services manager, having previously worked for Texas Christian University athletics in production. In addition to the several new hires announced by Game Changer MVP, the company also announced the promotion of Courtney Daniel to senior manager of client services.
Sports data and intelligence company STATS has hired Blake Konrardy as vice-president of product management. In this role, Konrardy will be responsible for overseeing a comprehensive product roadmap that will direct the creation and update of STATS’ fan engagement and team performance solutions worldwide, including a host of new AI-powered products. Prior to STATS, Konrardy was a founding member and vice-president of insurance product for HiRoad, a new InsurTech company from State Farm.
Kevin Acklin will join the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 1 as senior vice-president and general counsel of the NHL ice hockey team. Acklin most recently worked as chief legal officer for Peoples Natural Gas Company. In addition to overseeing the Penguins’ legal affairs, Acklin will be responsible for development of Civic Arena, the team’s former home before it moved to PPG Paints Arena in 2010.