Former Rockets CEO Brown heads to HBSE

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), parent company of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the latter’s Prudential Center home arena, has named Thaddeus Brown as its new chief executive.

Brown will replace Scott O’Neil, who announced his exit from HBSE on June 30. O’Neil had been in the role for eight years but elected to step away from the organisation to pursue new opportunities.

Brown will oversee all business and growth functions for the HBSE brand and its properties. He will begin his new role on August 3.

Brown joins HBSE after nearly two decades with the NBA’s Houston Rockets, Toyota Center and Clutch City Sports and Entertainment, 15 of which were spent as chief executive. He also served as a member of the NBA’s Board of Governors, as the representative to the Executive Committee, and on the league’s Media Committee.

Under Brown’s stewardship, Toyota Center set records for sellouts, attendance and total events. The arena also hosted the NBA’s All-Star Game in 2006 and 2013, becoming the first NBA venue to stage the event twice over a seven-year period.

In 2017, Brown oversaw the sale of the Rockets by Leslie Alexander to Tilman Fertitta for a then-NBA and global sports franchise record $2.2bn (£1.6bn/€1.9bn). His move to HBSE will see him reunited with Daryl Morey, the 76ers’ president of basketball operations who worked at the Rockets from 2007 to 2020.

HBSE co-founder David Blitzer said: “Tad has an extensive track record of success in the sports and entertainment industry, and we are excited to have him on board to lead our elite management team for HBSE’s next chapter. With his experience and passion for growing businesses and global brands, he is poised to continue our organisation’s path forward and reach new levels of achievement.”

Brown added: “I want to thank Josh Harris and David Blitzer for this incredible opportunity to lead HBSE in its next chapter. This role not only allows me to work for innovators like Josh and David; it also allows me to work alongside some of the industry’s best talent that has been assembled across the HBSE organisation.

“This is a world-class sports and entertainment organisation that cares about the cities and fans it serves. My family and I are thrilled to begin our new journey and I’m eager to help guide HBSE to even greater heights.”

Image: Andrew nyr/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size