A high-ranking marketing and business executive with the NBA has been named the new president of the Sacramento Kings.
Chris Granger, an NBA executive for 14 years, will oversee the team's role in the development of a new downtown sports arena and its business operations.
He'll report to Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive and oversee the franchise's executive team, including president of business operations Matina Kolokotronis and chief financial officer John Rinehart. General Manager Pete D'Alessandro will oversee player personnel issues.
Granger said this morning he was "thrilled" to take on the new role, but acknowledged it's been "a tumultuous few years in Sacramento from a Kings standpoint."
"I think we need to do everything we can to reconnect with our fans, reconnect with the business community and reconnect with the community at large," he said.
Granger has led the NBA's Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO), which advises NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League franchises on business operations, ticket sales and sponsorships. Granger and TMBO have driven the Kings' current marketing and ticket sales efforts; the Kings lead the NBA this off-season in new full season ticket sales for the 2013/14 season.
"We have a long way to go," Granger said.
When the Kings threatened to move to Anaheim in 2011, the NBA dispatched Granger to Sacramento to meet with local business leaders to test the strength of the local market. He said he remains confident in the market and its ability to complete a new downtown sports arena.
"I have extreme confidence in the city, in our ownership group, in the mayor and in the political environment (in Sacramento)," he said.
In a statement, Ranadive said he is "confident (Granger) will exceed the high expectations we've set for the future of this organization."