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SALES & MARKETING
CO-MANAGING PARTNER / CEO
Al Guido serves as the CEO and managing partner of Elevate Sports Ventures while concurrently serving President of the San Francisco 49ers – for which he was named on February 15, 2016. Guido, alongside HBSE CEO Scott O’Neil serving as co-managing partner, works to bring comprehensive business solutions to the sports and entertainment industry that identify new revenue opportunities and bring new, innovative ideas to market.
With nearly two decades in the sports industry, Guido has brought concepts to fruition alongside some of the best teams, leagues, brands, venues and owners across the business – inclusive of the realization of Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., record-setting SBL sales initiatives for the home of the San Francisco 49ers totaling more than $530 million, and industry record-breaking PSL sales for the Dallas Cowboys totaling over $600 million. Guido’s success also spans the National Hockey League, where the Phoenix Coyotes achieved the first revenue increases in the 10-year history of the franchise and finished in the top five in the NHL for new business sales.
A native of Washington Township, NJ, Guido began his career in the sports and entertainment industry with Comcast-Spectacor, owner and operator of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, Comcast SportsNet and the Wachovia Complex. Guido later served as director of business development for the Lakewood Blueclaws (a minor-league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies). In 2016, Guido was named to the Forty Under 40 list by both the Sports Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times, for demonstrating industry excellence and innovation early in his career.
Howard Nuchow is the Co-Head of CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which in 11 years since its inception has become a market leader in the areas of athlete representation, property sales and sponsorship, corporate consulting, and media advisory services. Nuchow and his partner Mike Levine oversee the agency’s sports practice and have consistently been listed among the top 50 most influential executives in sports business by the Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal.
Under Nuchow’s guidance, CAA Sports has negotiated some of the industry’s most groundbreaking deals and won a multitude of sports’ most widely sought-after partnerships, while continuing to foster the growth of its player-representation business. The agency has completed more than $4 billion in new sponsorship business on behalf of its clients and orchestrated precedent-setting agreements for the new Yankee Stadium; the Marquee partnership deal at Madison Square Garden; the naming rights for the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium; and Chase Center, the future home of the Golden State Warriors. CAA Sports also works in corporate consulting, which is currently advising, managing, and activating more than $3 billion in sponsorship rights deals on behalf of client brands and includes an award-winning experiential marketing practice. In 2017, CAA Sports launched CAA ICON, the leading owner’s representative and strategic management consulting firm, which oversees the development, design, and construction of major stadiums worldwide, including the O2 Arena, Staples Center, and Chase Center. Additionally, the agency’s media practice has structured and negotiated more than $37 billion in media rights deals.
Nuchow is on the board of CAA Eleven, a company he helped form in 2012, which manages the broadcasting, sponsorship, and licensing rights to the UEFA EURO 2016 and 2020 qualifying competition, the European qualifying competition for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the 24-team UEFA EURO 2016 and 2020 final tournament, as well as the Nations League, on behalf of UEFA.
Prior to joining CAA in 2007, Nuchow was the first employee of Mandalay Sports Entertainment (MSE), one of the premier sports companies in the U.S., which owns and manages professional sports franchises throughout the country.
Nuchow was recognized by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal as one of the Top 40 sports executives nationwide under the age of 40, in 2003 and 2007, and entered its hall of fame in 2008, and appeared on the publication’s annual list of the Most Influential Executives in Sports in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Paul Danforth is the Global Head of Sales at CAA Sports, which, in 11 years since its inception, has become the foremost player representation firm and sports marketing agency in the United States. A division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), CAA Sports represents more than 1,000 of the world's best athletes, coaches, on-air broadcasters, and other sports personalities, in addition to such world renowned properties as Formula 1, Madison Square Garden, NCAA, FC Barcelona, Manchester City F.C., Red Bull Racing, Golden State Warriors, USTA, Top Rank Boxing, and Riot Games, among others. Danforth is based in the New York office, where he oversees the agency's sponsorship and athlete endorsement efforts globally.
Under Danforth's guidance, CAA Sports has completed more than $4 billion in new sponsorship business on behalf of its clients and orchestrated precedent-setting agreements for the new Yankee Stadium; the Marquee partnership deal at Madison Square Garden; the naming rights for the San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium; and Chase Center, the future home of the Golden State Warriors.
Danforth began his career in the NBA working with the Detroit Pistons and the New Jersey Nets. In January 1994, he joined the New York Mets in its ticket sales department. Danforth rose through the organization in corporate sales sponsorship, ultimately reaching the position of Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Services. During his 13-year tenure, Danforth oversaw more than 90 corporate partnerships and finalized the Citi Field naming rights deal, which was the largest naming rights deal in the history of the United States. Danforth joined CAA Sports in May 2007.
In 2010 and 2011, Danforth was recognized by Street & Smith's The Sports Business Journal as one of the top 40 sports executives nationwide under the age of 40.
Danforth graduated from Hartwick College with a degree in Management. He resides in New Jersey with his wife Christy and two children, Matthew and Katherine, and is a board member for the Covenant House.
Scott O'Neil is the Chief Executive Officer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, an organization with the mission of becoming the most impactful sports and entertainment company in the world through the pursuit of innovation and performance, the industry's most passionate and driven executives and engagement in the communities where its properties live, work, play and win.
O'Neil is responsible for the organization's leadership, strategic vision, operations and growth, including the pursuit and acquisition of sports, entertainment and consumer-facing properties. He is the acting Chief Executive Officer over all properties within the organization's portfolio and under the ownership of Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, including: the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the New Jersey Devils (NHL), Prudential Center, a top five-ranked performance venue in the U.S. located in Newark, New Jersey; Team Dignitas, an internationally renowned esports team, the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball, the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, the Delaware Blue Coats (NBA G League), and the Binghamton Devils (AHL).
O'Neil serves as Co-Managing Partner for Elevate Sports Ventures, a recently launched company formed in partnership between HBSE, the San Francisco 49ers and CAA Sports. Alongside Elevate Sports Ventures CEO, San Francisco 49ers President Al Guido, and fellow Co-Managing Partners, CAA Sports' Co-Heads Howard Nuchow and Michael Levine, and CAA Sports' Global Head of Sales Paul Danforth, Elevate Sports Ventures offers brands, teams and sports and entertainment properties innovative strategies surrounding Stadium Licenses, Premium Ticketing and Corporate Hospitality.
With more than 20 years of experience in the NBA, NHL and NFL, O'Neil has earned a reputation as a leader of leaders and is one of the most connected, dynamic and driven executives in the industry today. Previous executives whom he has mentored and managed run many of the top organizations in sports and entertainment today; those he currently manages are poised to lead the industry into the next generation.
The sports industry veteran's reputation for authentic leadership, an unparalleled drive to innovate, and an emphasis on the importance of corporate culture has placed him at the forefront of the industry vanguard. In merely five years overseeing operations for the properties in HBSE's portfolio, O'Neil led the Philadelphia 76ers to sign the first jersey patch sponsorship in "Big Four" sports history; construct the largest and most technically advanced training complex in professional sports, the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex; establish an industry-leading Innovation Lab, and become the first U.S. professional sports franchise to acquire a world-renowned esports team. In that same period, under O'Neil's ambitious and aggressive leadership, Prudential Center has become a top ten and top five most-played venue in the U.S and the world by Billboard and Pollstar, respectively, and welcomes over 1.75 million fans and event attendees through its doors annually.
Of his professional accomplishments, O'Neil considers his organizations' corporate culture and dedication to community service his greatest successes and future legacy. The Philadelphia 76ers have been named one of the "Top 50 Cultures" in the U.S. by Entrepreneur (2017), three-times named a "Best Place to Work in Philadelphia" by the Philadelphia Business Journal (2016, 2015, 2014), and named a "Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania by the Central Penn Business Journal (2017). Prudential Center was named a "Best Business" by NJBiz (2016). O'Neil's belief that those who steward iconic sports and entertainment brands have the responsibility and privilege to use those platforms to mentor the next generation of leaders and make the world a better place is the driving force behind HBSE's community engagement initiatives.
Recognizing the important role HBSE's properties play within its communities, O'Neil's employees individually volunteer 76 hours of service annually in the communities where their fans and patrons live, work and play, resulting in more than 30,000 hours of dedicated community service each year. The Philadelphia 76ers' charitable endeavor, the Sixers Youth Foundation, has additionally raised more than $1 million for Philadelphia-area youth last year alone and is leveraging sports to help children in need.
The former President of Madison Square Garden Sports, O'Neil has had the opportunity to oversee some of the most iconic brands in all of sports, including the New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Rangers (NHL). O'Neil was the key architect in some of the largest deals in history, resulting in record-setting revenue in sponsorships, tickets and suites, while helping in transforming the "World's Most Famous Arena" forever. Preceding his post at MSG Sports, O'Neil spent seven years as the Senior Vice President of the NBA's renowned Team Marketing and Business Operations group, where he advised NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League teams on all business operations. Earlier in his career, O'Neil served as the President of HoopsTV.com and held positions with the New Jersey Nets (NBA) and Philadelphia Eagles (NFL).
O'Neil serves as an Alternate Governor for the NBA and NHL. O'Neil's influence and experience has earned him a place at the podium at some of the largest industry conferences in the world, delivering keynotes at events such as: Leaders in Sport, Beyond Sport, Sports Business Journal's World Congress of Sport, the IEG Pivot Conference, the Ivy Sports Symposium, Sport Marketing Association's Conference and more. O'Neil's leadership practices have been chronicled and applauded in The Outward Mindset by the Arbinger Institute, publishers of The New York Times Best Seller Leadership and Self Deception, as well as in The Orange Revolution by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. He has made numerous appearances on CNN, CNBC, FOX Business Network, and has twice co-hosted Bloomberg television's Bloomberg
O'Neil earned his Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Villanova University and his Master's in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Lisa, and daughters Alexa, Kira, and Eliza, who oversee the family's charitable organization, Give and Be Happy.
Michael Levine is Co-Head of CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Levine is based in New York and oversees the agency’s sports practice, including its growth into property representation for naming rights and sponsorships, media rights, licensing, hospitality, and corporate consulting. In the 11 years since its inception, CAA Sports has become a prominent athlete-representation firm and sports marketing agency in the United States, representing more than 1,000 of the world’s best athletes in football, baseball, hockey, basketball, tennis, soccer, and golf, in addition to icons in individual sports, coaches, broadcasters, and other sports personalities.
Under Levine’s guidance, CAA Sports has negotiated some of the industry’s most groundbreaking deals and won a multitude of sports’ most widely sought-after partnerships, while continuing to foster the growth of its player-representation business. The agency has completed more than $4 billion in new sponsorship business on behalf of its clients and orchestrated precedent-setting agreements for the new Yankee Stadium; the Marquee partnership deal at Madison Square Garden; the naming rights for the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium; and Chase Center, the future home of the Golden State Warriors. CAA Sports also works in corporate consulting, which is currently advising, managing, and activating more than $3 billion in sponsorship rights deals on behalf of client brands and includes an award-winning experiential marketing practice. In 2017, CAA Sports launched CAA ICON, the leading owner’s representative and strategic management consulting firm, which oversees the development, design, and construction of major stadiums worldwide, including the O2 Arena, Staples Center, and Chase Center. Additionally, the agency’s media practice has structured and negotiated more than $37 billion in media rights deals.
In 2006, 2007, and 2008, Levine was recognized by Street & Smith’s The Sports Business Journal as one of the top 40 sports executives nationwide under the age of 40. He was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2008. He has been recognized as one of the top 50 most influential people in sports business for the last nine years. In 2013, Levine earned the Honoree of Year Award from UJA-Federation of New York’s Sports for Youth. Levine resides with his wife Aly in Rye, and they have three children, Charlotte, Jack and Max.
Elevate Sports Ventures is a collaboration between three of the most iconic brands in sports and entertainment – Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), San Francisco 49ers, and Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Our mission is to deliver an unrivaled offering of services and experience to help clients discover and analyze new opportunities, execute mission critical projects, and grow their brand and bottom line. With over 100 years of combined industry experience, Elevate Sports Ventures brings proven expertise and historic success managing sports teams, venues, and businesses spanning the last five decades.
Led by our people-first culture, Elevate Sports Ventures will deliver solutions across your business at every stage, including Project Transformation, Execution, and Sales and Marketing. Our shared philosophies and proprietary platform will deliver value beyond just professional organizations and be impactful in the larger sports business and entertainment ecosystem.
Our mission is to significantly alter the sports business landscape by delivering results while fostering lifelong relationships with our associates, clients, and stakeholders.
By Michael Long, SportsProMedia.comFULL ARTICLE
By Darren Heitner, Forbes.comFULL ARTICLE