People on the Move: Ticketmaster, ICC, MSE and more

Dale Ballentine has returned to Ticketmaster after being named director for Olympic Hospitality at Ticketmaster Sport.

Ballentine was most recently the chief executive of Motorsport Tickets, and the chief operating officer for Eventim UK. He was originally with Ticketmaster for almost four years, with roles such as senior technical ticketing manager, business transformation manager and ticketing systems manager for England’s 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Ballentine wrote on LinkedIn: “I’m delighted to have (re)joined Ticketmaster Sport today, managing the Olympic Hospitality project alongside On Location.

“This exciting project will see us deliver a range of products and services for the next three Olympic Games. I’m looking forward to working with our great partners and reuniting with some great people.”

Geoff Allardice has been appointed chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) after eight months in the role on an interim basis.

Allardice, a former first-class cricketer, was the ICC general manager, cricket for eight years having previously held a similar role at Cricket Australia.

Cricket is hoping to be included in the programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, and the first major ICC event is to be held in the USA in 2024 when it co-hosts the T20 World Cup.

Allardice said: “My continued focus will be on doing the right thing for our sport and working closely with Members to deliver long-term success and sustainability. I would also like to thank the ICC staff for their commitment and support over the last eight months and I’m looking forward to continuing to serve cricket with such a talented team.”

Meanwhile, Iain Higgins, USA Cricket’s chief executive, has resigned after spearheading the nation’s bid for the 2024 competition.

USA Cricket said the process for identifying Higgins’ replacement will be agreed in the coming days.

USA Cricket Chairman, Paraag Marathe, said: “Iain has driven governance improvements and provided leadership and direction across all areas of the business. Iain has also been the driving force behind USA Cricket’s current bid to co-host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024 together with Cricket West Indies and we are hopeful that event will be the lasting legacy of his tenure with USA Cricket.”

Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), which owns Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, has announced the promotion of three members of its senior leadership team to lead in specific areas of expertise.

Tommy Sheppard becomes president and general manager of the Washington Wizards, with Sashi Brown becoming president of Monumental Basketball and Special Advisor to the Office of the CEO, and Zach Leonsis named president of media and new enterprises.

All three will report directly to founder and chief executive, Ted Leonsis.

“These elevations place deeper focus and executive attention on two of the top growth areas for our company — the NBA’s Washington Wizards and our work in traditional and new digital media,” said Leonsis.

“In streamlining the organisation and acknowledging those whose incredible work has already propelled us forward, we know we can achieve even more and faster for the benefit of our fans and community.”

Jen Prince is departing Twitter after eight years to join the Los Angeles Rams NFL team as its first chief commercial officer.

Prince, previously head of content partnerships at Twitter, will oversee all Rams partnerships — including sales, activation and strategy — as well as the commercialisation of its media business.

Prince said: “My next play is with the Los Angeles Rams as chief commercial officer. The time is now to join their team, driving impact as a female leader in sports with 25 years in digital and tech.”

Kevin Stark has become manager, event operations at Prudential Center, the home of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, under Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment.

Stark was previously manager, facility operations and events at MetLife Stadium and prior to that was events solutions manager at Javits Center.

Stark said: “I’m incredibly blessed for this opportunity, and owe a big thanks to Jamie Marino and Joseph Altenau for welcoming me into the events family at the Prudential Center.”

Steve Lyons, executive vice president and chief business officer of the MLS’s Columbus Crew, is leaving his day-to-day role to transition into a strategic senior advisory role for the club within Haslam Sports Group.

Lyons joined the Columbus Crew in 2019 and helped navigate the club through the development of Lower.com Field and the complete renovation of its training facility.

“Steve’s business acumen, coupled with his vast experience and relationships in the Columbus community, has been critical to enhancing our business operations and our fan engagement throughout the Columbus Region,” said Dee and Jimmy Haslam, CEO and chairman of Haslam Sports Group.

“His leadership helped quickly drive the club forward as a premier Major League Soccer team in multiple facets. We look forward to Steve continuing to provide significant guidance and direction for our team as a senior advisor.”

Premier League chairman Gary Hoffman has confirmed plans to step down after just 18 months in the job.

Hoffman has come under pressure to quit after a backlash from clubs over the league’s handling of the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United.

Hoffman took on the chairmanship of the Premier League in June 2020, prior to the resumption of top-flight fixtures following the COVID-19 lockdown.

He said in a statement: “It has been a privilege to lead the Premier League through the last two seasons – when the spirit of English football has been more important than ever. Now, I have decided the time is right for me to stand aside to allow new leadership to steer the League through its next exciting phase.”

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.