Appointments round-up: MSG, New York Knicks, RFU and more

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) has today (Friday) announced that its president, Andrew Lustgarten, is expected to be named president and chief executive overseeing all business operations for its pure-play sports company, which is set to be renamed Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (MSG Sports).

The announcement was made as MSG shed further light on the proposed spin-off of its entertainment businesses from its sports businesses, with “important progress” having been made. MSG’s new entertainment company is set to be called Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment).

James Dolan, MSG’s executive chairman and chief executive, is expected to serve as executive chairman of the sports company and as executive chairman and chief executive of the entertainment company. Lustgarten is also expected to assume the position of president of the entertainment company alongside his aforementioned roles with MSG Sports.

Lustgarten will set MSG Sports’ business strategy and oversee all aspects of business operations for its premier collection of sports franchises, which includes the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers. Dolan will continue to oversee team operations for the two franchises.

Earlier in the week, the Knicks appointed Leon Rose (pictured) as the team’s new president.

Rose, a former agent, joins the Knicks from CAA Sports, where he served as co-head of its basketball division. Rose will oversee all basketball operations and personnel for the Knicks.

Prudential Center, home to the New Jersey Devils NHL team, has named Tyler Bates as its new vice-president of booking.

Bates will oversee concert, family show and live event booking at the arena. He will report to Sean Saadeh, executive vice-president of entertainment at Prudential Center.

Bates most recently worked as general manager of Kings Theatre, an Ambassador Theatre Group venue in Brooklyn.

Taki Pappas has been named director of event booking and business development for the 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center arena in Louisville, Kentucky.

Pappas most recently worked as a senior talent buyer for Nashville-based National Shows 2 and previously spent four years at North Carolina’s Durham Performing Arts Center, where he served as director of programming.

ASM Global-operated KFC Yum! Center serves as the home of the University of Louisville’s basketball teams. Pappas’ new role will also cover the soon-to-open Lynn Family Stadium, which will house USL Championship football club Louisville City FC, and the Norton Health Sports Athletics & Learning Center.

England’s Rugby Football Union has appointed Kathryn Williamson as its new communications director.

Williamson will take up the role on March 9 and joins the RFU from Hyperoptic, where she served as PR director. She will report directly to RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney in her new role.

Williamson previously spent eight years at British Airways as head of global PR and has also held roles at Camelot, Virgin and Asda.

English League One football club Wycombe Wanderers has named Neil Peters as its chief commercial officer.

Peters will head up the club’s new-look commercial department, which has been tasked with increasing revenue through VIP match-day packages, partnership opportunities and conference centre bookings.

Peters has previously worked at Wycombe as head of sales.

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: NBA/New York Knicks