People on the move: ASM Global, NBA and more

Featured image credit: ASM Global/NBA/Tynecastle Park Hotel

Venue management company ASM Global has named industry veteran Jason Rio as senior vice-president of live entertainment and content development.

Rio (pictured left) will lead expansion of ASM Global’s live event programming and seek new opportunities to develop the company’s live entertainment product. Rio previously worked at Live Nation as president of Live Nation Houston and vice-president of Live Nation Chicago, and most recently served as vice-president of music for the Ambassador Theatre Group.

In other news, ASM Global has named former Tottenham Hotspur Stadium venue director Andy O’Sullivan as the new chief executive of Olympia London.

O’Sullivan served in his previous role from October 2012 up until last month, overseeing the delivery of the venue’s guest experience and leading the business change from White Hart Lane to Tottenham’s current state-of-the-art ground.

Read our full story from last week for more details.

Sphere Entertainment has promoted Ed Lunger to the role of senior vice-president and general manager of Sphere, where he will lead the overall management of the state-of-the-art venue which opened in Las Vegas last year.

Lunger, who has more than three decades of venue experience, previously served as vice-president and assistant general manager, back of house operations, for the venue.

Check out our full story for more information on Lunger’s appointment.

The NBA has announced that Jonathan Tillman has been promoted to executive vice-president of team marketing and business operations (TMBO).

Tillman (pictured centre) has served as senior vice-president of TMBO since 2020 and will report to NBA deputy commissioner and chief operator Mark Tatum in his new role. He will oversee the department responsible for supporting NBA, WNBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League teams in all areas of business operations, including ticketing, partnerships, marketing, digital, arena experience, and data and analytics.

Prior to joining the NBA in 2013, Tillman held several leadership roles with Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, and former NHL team the Atlanta Thrashers.

The NBA has also appointed Clare Akamanzi as the new chief executive of NBA Africa.

Akamanzi, a business executive and international trade and investment lawyer, will start her position on January 23 and will report to Tatum. Akamanzi has spent the last six and a half years as chief executive of the Rwanda Development Board.

Derek Paterson has been appointed manager of a new hotel which is set to open this month at Tynecastle Park, home of Scottish Premiership football club Heart of Midlothian.

The 25-bedroom hotel and events space is the first club-owned and club-operated hotel within a UK football stadium. Paterson (pictured right) has over 24 years of hotel and hospitality management experience and will oversee all aspects of the hotel launch.

The 40-year-old, who previously served as hotel manager for Edinburgh’s Dakota Hotels, will lead an in-house team to manage the hotel, which is integrated within the main stand at Tynecastle.

National Women’s Soccer League team Washington Spirit has appointed Kim Stone as its first chief executive.

As the head of all business operations at the Spirit, Stone will work alongside team owner Michele Kang and will officially join on Thursday. She most recently served as president of UBS Arena, home of the NHL’s New York Islanders, and also worked as executive vice-president of Oak View Group East Coast.

Stone previously spent 23 years with the NBA’s Miami Heat, before working as general manager of Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors.

Welsh rugby union club Ospreys, which competes in the United Rugby Championship, has appointed Lance Bradley as its new chief executive.

Bradley most recently served as chief executive of Gloucester Rugby, and prior to that he worked at Mitsubishi Motors. During his time at Mitsubishi Motors, Bradley helped broker sponsorship deals with Gloucester, Edinburgh Rugby, Scottish Rugby and England Rugby.

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