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Former Nets/arena company CEO Yormark named Commissioner of Big 12 college league, must sell media rights. His Brooklyn career gets buffed.

Now Brett Yormark will be marketing college sports, notably football.

The news first surfaced in a 6/27/22 Sports Illustrated article, Sources: Big 12 Aiming to Hire Roc Nation Executive Brett Yormark as Next Commissioner:
Brett Yormark, the COO of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, is finalizing a deal to be the new leader of the Power 5 league, sources tell Sports Illustrated, a stunning move that brings yet another outsider into college sports’ most exclusive and powerful group.
Yormark, 55, has spent the last three years at Roc Nation, originally as co-CEO with twin brother Michael....
In the Big 12, Yormark has big shoes to fill. He replaces a legendary figure in college athletics in Bob Bowlsby, and he must navigate a rapidly changing world in a conference dealing with incredible change itself. Its two richest members, Texas and Oklahoma, are bound for the SEC in 2025. Their exit timing and fee are essential issues on the new commissioner’s to-do list, as well as renegotiating the league’s media rights deal, which ends after the 2024-25 season.
Yormark, before joining Jay-Z's Roc Nation, spent 14 years as CEO of the NJ/Brooklyn Nets and BSE Global, overseeing the team's move to the Barclays Center, which is operated by the company. He previously helped NASCAR boom.

The announcement

The announcement came 6/29/22, Brett Yormark Named Big 12 Commissioner, with supportive quotes (none of which mentioned his penchant for, uh, stretching the truth):
NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver:
“Brett is one of the most skilled and knowledgeable executives in sports and entertainment,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “His decades of operational experience, relentless work ethic and strong industry relationships will be of enormous value to the Big 12, its schools and fans.”

Fox Sports CEO and Executive Producer, Eric Shanks:
“On behalf of FOX Sports, we’d like to officially congratulate Brett Yormark on being named the new Commissioner of the Big 12,” said Eric Shanks, CEO and Executive Producer of FOX Sports. “Brett is a talented and innovative executive..."

Texas Tech University President and Big 12 Conference Board Chair, Lawrence Schovanec:
“In Brett Yormark, we have chosen a highly adaptable leader who thrives in dynamic times... he will bring a fresh approach and dynamic energy to the Big 12 as we engage a new generation of student-athletes and fans.”

New Big 12 Conference Commissioner, Brett Yormark:
“Thank you to the Big 12 Board, the ADs, the student-athletes, the whole Conference for giving me a chance to support what they all do,” said new Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark. “I’m here to listen, learn, find ways to add value, add resources and try to help shine a light on the importance of college athletics. I look forward to leveraging my experience and network alongside our presidents, chancellors and athletic directors to shape the future of the Big 12 brand and emphasize our collective strengths.”
Yormark starts a five-year contract in August.

The current Big 12 membership includes Baylor University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas Christian University, Texas Tech University, University of Kansas, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas and West Virginia University.

Entering Big 12 membership in the Summer of 2023 will be Brigham Young University, University of Central Florida, University of Cincinnati and University of Houston.

The reaction

From the 7/1/22 Desert News, New Big 12 boss Brett Yormark is built to lead modern-day Power Five league:
When Bob Bowlsby announced his retirement back in April, the league went head hunting for help.

It needed to find “The Greatest Showman.” It needed a money man.

The conference focused on a Madison Avenue marketing guru, a guy with NBA sales experience who understands the science of sponsorships, how deals are made, and someone who could speak the language of big-time corporate capitalism.

The Big 12 presidents believe they have exactly that in the hire of Brett Yormark.

This is a guy who has one proven talent: he’s a mega deal-maker.
The examples include NASCAR and then the Nets:
When the New Jersey Nets moved to Brooklyn, owners brought Yormark back to help do the impossible. In short order, he found a $20 million deal with Barclays to elevate the franchise and arena.
Except, of course, it was never $20 million a year but rather $15 million a year before it was revised to $10 million a year, which now seems 

From The Oklahoman, 6/29/22, Five things to know about Brett Yormark, who succeeds Bob Bowlsby as Big 12 commissioner:
2. Revitalized Brooklyn's sports scene

With the Barclays Center, Yormark secured agreements to host numerous men's college basketball tournaments, including the NCAA, ACC and A10 tournaments.

He also helped return boxing to Brooklyn for the first time since 1931 with the arena hosting multiple world championships. Yormark assisted the NHL's New York Islanders in relocating home games from the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a move that was short-lived.

The Barclays Center is consistently in the top 10 of ticket sales for all entertainment venues worldwide.
Um, "short-lived" means failed. The fact that the arena has been busy does not necessarily mean it has come close to meeting the expectations for profit.

A challenge looms
There is plenty of skepticism, especially among athletic directors who believe that campus experience is vital in a commissioner. Sports Illustrated detailed the surprise at the National Association of College Directors of Athletics convention in Las Vegas, where Yormark was viewed as somewhat of a mystery and not a great fit.

That doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice, just different. Already comparisons are being made to the Pac-12′s hire a year ago of Las Vegas casino executive George Kliavkoff. He has gotten good reviews so far, albeit basically for not being predecessor Larry Scott. Both the Big 12 and Pac-12 employed search firm TurnkeyZRG.
From Heartland College Sports, 7/1/11, Dear Big 12: The Time to be Aggressive is Now:
That means it’s hunting season folks. It’s time to grab the face paint and put on some camo. Get ready to gear up and start poaching some of those Pac-12 schools. Why should the conference do this? If some of the other power five conference want to create these “Super Conferences” then they will likely to be adding even more teams in the near future. This is why the Big 12 needs to act now.

Brett Yormark should have been calling some of these Pac-12 schools as soon as the news broke out....