Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

Cache and Curry

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Power Lunch at Swagat in Hillsboro.


Read more...

Everything old is new again: How the EEOC is reinventing itself

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
BY TAMSEN LEACHMAN | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

It is important to understand the EEOC’s priorities, and ensure that your leadership understands the shifting expectations of regulators and the heightened standards to which you (and they) may be held.


Read more...

Downtime with the executive director of Greater Portland Inc.

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.


Read more...

VIDEO: The 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015

videothumbVIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon


Read more...

Beam Me Up

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY DAN COOK | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

An alliance of developers, academics and timber industry executives wants to position Oregon as a front runner in the glamorous new world of wooden skyscrapers.


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


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