John Browne has been involved in pro baseball for most of his career, but now he has turned his focus toward the NHL and the Phoenix Coyotes. As executive vice president of business development for the Coyotes and Glendale Arena, Browne’s responsibilities include overseeing the corporate and suite sales departments of the Coyotes and Glendale Arena, managing the company’s relationship with the Bonham Group and working on Westgate City Center sponsorship opportunities with the Ellman Cos. and Clear Channel Spectacolor. Throughout his career Browne has had the good fortune of working with such stars as Bo Jackson, Michael Jordan and now Coyotes managing partner and Coach Wayne Gretzky.
New title: Executive vice president of business development, Phoenix Coyotes and Glendale Arena
Previous job title: Vice president, marketing and broadcasting, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
First job: Assistant general manager, Burlington (N.C.) Indians
College education: Bachelor of science, athletic administration and minor in business, 1988, St. John’s University
Grew up: Wayne, N.J.
Favorite vacation spot: North Carolina
Last book read: “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins, “Leadership” by Rudolph Giuliani, and “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable,” by Seth Godin
What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
To maximize all of the assets and opportunities that the integration of the Westgate City Center, Glendale Arena, Phoenix Coyotes and Arizona Sting will provide our organization with over the next few years as the Westgate City Center emerges and becomes a world-class destination.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
This position is probably the biggest risk only because it’s a bit different than what I’ve done for the last 17 years, which is professional baseball. However, with that said I am confident that many of the skills and experiences I’ve learned throughout my career in baseball are transferable and applicable to what I will be doing in my new position.
What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?
Seek as many internship opportunities [as possible] while you are pursuing your degree. The practical experience is invaluable as are the contacts you will make. Always work hard, treat people well, be willing to learn and welcome opportunities to expose yourself to new areas of the business. If you do that the rest (i.e., titles, money, etc.) will take care of itself.
What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?
The continued strong emergence of the NHL post-work stoppage and the emergence of new media as it relates to the sports industry.
This career spotlight is courtesy of the Sports Business Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.