Executive Stories

Executives Spotlight stories appeared on this website starting in 2001. Some of the executive's professional experience may have changed since they were published.

Executive Spotlight - March 28, 2007

Scott O'Neil


Senior Vice President, Team Marketing and Business Operations, NBA


Chad Estis, Chief Marketing Officer for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Andy Dolich emphasized to his potential recruits at the most recent NBA/WNBA/ D-League Teams Job Fair presented by CareerBuilder.com in Chicago the following traits teams seek in their young executives:

  1. Come prepared to be a professional
  2. Put yourself in an environment to be successful
  3. Continue to create a positive impression of yourself to your bosses and colleagues
  4. Go the extra mile and be a student of the game. Learn about the business and how to sell.

Charlie Chislaghi, a 20-year veteran trainer of sports sales people, told young people at a recent sports conference to create a path that separates you from others.

Scott's a die-hard Villanova fan and 1992 grad. He went after a sales job with the New Jersey Nets during the renowned rein of Jon Spoelstra, author of "How to Sell Ice to Eskimos" and one of the most innovative marketers of sport. He was tutelaged under the unrelenting sales efforts of Brett Yormark, the most current CEO of the New Jersey Nets as they move to Brooklyn. He's a younger sibling to very successful brothers. Scott survived by being smart and competitive. That, along with solid sales experience and excellent choices of employers, Scott caught the attention of the Philadelphia Eagles who lured him into another corporate sponsor sales role. Then 25, Scott padded his resume and stepped back to attend the prestigious Harvard Business School.

By 29, Scott landed a Presidency position at HoopsTV.com. He led the company and its staff of 55 to be the second most frequented basketball site on the internet registering 1 million visitors a month. A partnership with ESPN helped.

By this time, Scott had established himself as a legitimate star. He separated himself from the others by being a professional, entering into the best environment and going the extra mile in his education and sales efforts. David Stern, ever so mindful of drafting the best talent in sports, lured him into the league's Team Marketing & Business Operations department. After the departure of Dr. Bernie Mullin to head the Atlanta Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena, Scott was promoted to lead a staff of nearly 50 who consult with NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League teams in driving their revenue.

Confident, polished, highly competitive, aggressive, and relentless, Scott leads a new breed of NBA executives and is building this young, energetic, and sometimes fellow Ivy-league educated statisticians and practitioners into the league. His staff works with teams to sell more tickets, hire more staffs, sell more sponsorships and build their bottom lines.

That same energy, confidence and electricity Scott embodies could be seen in the candidates and league staff members at the latest NBA/WNBA/D-League Teams Job Fair. Over 150 young and up-coming graduates were selected from a pool of over 1300 applicants to attend this highly coveted by-invitation only job fair.

A young potential recruit was asked why she would be the best ticket sales hire for the Orlando Magic. She said, "I'm a woman, and you have all said that the women were the best candidates here. And I'm the best of the women. I'm competitive as noted by being captain of my college's soccer team. I'm smart. And I'm good at selling." Asked to expand, she said, "to be good at selling, you have to be confident. And confidence I don't lack." That said, she was offered a full-time job.

Scott's attributes set his foundation. His choice of employers aided him in developing his path for success. His education expanded the differences. He went the extra mile by being professional and creating a positive impression of himself to bosses and colleagues.

My Pulitzer prize-winning friend, Connie Schultz, reminds me, "We must all be teachers and students at the same time." Scott O'Neil is just that; he's been both a teacher and a student....of the game

- Buffy Filippell


"Scott is always learning, teaching and doing 'A' work. That being said, the truly special gift he offers to everyone he meets is his positive energy and the fact that he cares so much about that person."

--Chris Heck, Vice President, Team Sponsorship Development, NBA


What I do...

Scott is responsible for overseeing the Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO), an in-house team marketing and business consultancy for all NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League teams.

HOW I GOT HERE...

NBA; New York, NY; 2004-Present
Senior Vice President, Team Marketing & Business Operations

NBA; New York, NY; 2001-04
Vice President, Team Business Development

HoopsTV.com; Paoli, PA; 1999-2001
President

Philadelphia Eagles; Philadelphia, PA; 1998-99
Vice President of Sales

Philadelphia Eagles; Philadelphia, PA; 1994-96
Director of Corporate Sales

New Jersey Nets; E. Rutherford, NJ; 1992
Corporate Marketing Manager - 1993

New Jersey Nets; E. Rutherford, NJ; 1992
Marketing Assistant

TeamWork Innovators

Daryl Morey, General Manager, Houston Rockets

Daryl Morey brought some amazing talents to the sports industry. Upon graduating from Northwestern where he worked part-time while in school for Stats, Inc., before entering graduate school at MIT Daryl was hired as a Senior Knowledge Management Engineer and helped Mitre develop a computer program for NSA which could scan all the international videos and bring up clips of specific items - such as "Hussein" - and show just those clips across all international broadcasts. This technology was later developed for commercial use and marketed under the company, Virage. Mr. Morey wrote the code and algorithm. He could convert speech to text and frames and mark when a story started and ended on the video. Is it a surprise he has become the thought leader in advancing database analytics, algorithms and technology in the sports industry?

Learn more

Others Say

"Morey is the whiz-kid stats analyst who made news last month when he was hired from the Celtics, where he worked on the business side, to take over as (GM) Dawson's eventual replacement. With his background as a Bill James disciple, Morey's hiring was hailed as the NBA's first venture into "Moneyball."

- Marty Burns, Sports Illustrated