The game changers

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2013
Monday, April 01, 2013

Chris McGowan

President and CEO, Portland Trail Blazers

0413 GameChangers 05new
// Photo by Joseph Eastburn

Upon arriving in Portland last fall to take over as president of the Portland Trail Blazers, 39-year-old Chris McGowan realized something was a little different here.

“This isn’t normal,” he says. What he’s talking about isn’t Portland as a city or the Blazers as an organization, but the level of support the team garners from fans. “I’d say in 90% of the markets, team performance impacts that greatly,” says McGowan, who came to Portland after heading up business operations for AEG Sports and its Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Galaxy teams. “The fan and sponsorship support is unbelievable here, win or lose. It’s astonishing.”

McGowan is one of three new leaders who’ve joined the organization over the past year, along with general manager Neil Olshey and head coach Terry Stotts. The trio is focused on boosting the Blazers, both as a team and as a business.

Joining the team in October didn’t give McGowan time to develop a full-on business plan for this season, but he’s already restructured for efficiency, cutting 10 positions. McGowan has also found success in landing new sponsorships from the likes of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon.

He also plans to bring more focus to sales and service, and by next season he’s hoping to have secured a naming rights deal for the Rose Garden.

“Professional sports teams should be about winning, but winning in the right way,” McGowan says. “To me, [that means] building a sustainable business model and being a successful, fan-focused organization.”

SIDELINES

"[General manager] Neil Olshey and I view ourselves as one team with a unified vision of how we run things. I don't make decisions without talking to him, and he doesn't make decisions without talking to me."



 

Comments   

 
Guest
+1 #1 The Key QuestionGuest 2013-04-02 18:16:27
They should have asked Dr. Chestnutt if he would let his boys play football. In fact I think we should take a poll of neuroscientists and perhaps medical doctors with that simple question: Would you let your boys play football? I would not and have written as much in the past:

http://knowyourbrain.org/mamas.htm
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
+1 #2 writerGuest 2013-04-02 20:36:10
Thanks for the comment. While it didn't make it into the story, we did ask Dr. Chestnutt that question. He does have a son who plays football and who in fact has had — and recovered from — a concussion himself.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Business partnerships: taming the three-headed monster

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 06, 2015
070615-businessmarriagefail-thumbBY KATHERINE HEEKIN | OB GUEST COLUMNIST

Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.


Read more...

Money Troubles

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The state’s angel investing fund gets hammered in Salem.


Read more...

Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Read more...

Big Trouble in China?

Guest Blog
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
0818-wellmanthumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.


Read more...

Car be gone

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 06, 2015
070615car2goblogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Car and ride sharing services have taken urban areas by storm. Low-income and suburban communities are left at the curb.


Read more...

Light Reading

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.


Read more...

Unshakable

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Ben Kaiser holds his ground.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS