Appointments round-up: AEG, RLWC, COTA and more

Earlier this week, the AEG Global Partnerships division of sports and entertainment giant AEG named Nickole Raymond Tara as senior vice-president of its global portfolio.

Raymond Tara (pictured) will work out of AEG’s New York office and will report to Nick Baker and Andrew Klein, chief operating officer and managing director of AEG Global Partnerships, respectively.

Raymond Tara will be responsible for expanding the division’s New York footprint and will also focus on driving international sales revenues and results for AEG and its partners. She will also be responsible for crafting multi-property partnerships with major brands and companies.

Raymond Tara joins AEG having spent four years at entertainment gaming company Topgolf, where she created and developed global partnerships. She began her career at the WME|IMG agency (now Endeavor).

Stephen Brown has been appointed as the chief operating officer of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, which will be held in England.

Brown has held the role on an acting basis since the start of the year and worked on the bid project from an early stage. Brown previously worked for the English Football Association (FA).

RLWC2021 has also appointed Terri Lynam as head of customer for the event. Lynam has over 20 years of marketing communications experience and has worked on events such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics, the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2017 UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff.

Kait Ludwig has joined the RLWC2021 team as customer lead. Ludwig previously worked for the Canberra Raiders NRL team and has held roles with the Super League and Rugby Football League (RFL) since moving from Australia in 2014.

B Hunter has also been added as the tournament’s digital lead and joins from British Cycling. Additionally, Esther Crane will join the team in January as special projects and protocol lead.

John Kimball has been appointed as the new president of Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of NBA basketball team Utah Jazz.

The announcement was made by Jim Olson, president of Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, which operates the arena. Kimball will be responsible for the planning, execution and day-to-day operations of the arena and will continue to serve as managing director of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah cycling race.

Kimball will transition from his current position as vice-president of corporate partnerships at LHMSE. Prior to joining LHMSE, he served as president and general manager of Real Media in Salt Lake City.

The Circuit of the Americas (COTA), home of Formula One’s US Grand Prix, has named Tim Prukop as its new chief revenue officer.

Prukop joins from VenueNext, where he worked with major sports stadia to help deliver an improved fan experience, drive ticket sales and increase customer engagement.

Rick Abbott has also joined COTA as executive vice-president of operations. He started his operations career as head of global operations at ESPN and has also worked at NBCUniversal.

Australian sports and entertainment business KOJO has appointed Emily Livacari to lead its move into the US market.

Livacari will be tasked with taking KOJO Sport’s Australian success in game-day presentation and production to the US and will also have input in the strategic delivery of the company’s Australian work.

Livacari previously worked for NBA basketball team the Chicago Bulls.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball team has named Travis Williams as its new president.

Williams will oversee the day-to-day operations of the organisation. He previously worked as chief operating officer of the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL ice hockey franchise, for whom he oversaw day-to-day business and arena operations.

Williams most recently worked as president of business operations for the NHL’s New York Islanders, a position he held since November 2018. The Islanders broke ground on a new arena at Belmont Park during Williams’ tenure.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing news.editor@thestadiumbusiness.com and we’ll include it in our next round-up.

Image: AEG Global Partnerships