Pac-10 hires marketing pooh-bah

When Larry Scott was hired as Pac-10 commissioner he said the conference needed to find more and better ways to market itself.

One step toward that goal, apparently, is to hire a chief marketing officer, which is the title that has been given to the newly hired Danette Leighton, who has been lured away from her post as vice president of marketing and brand development for Maloof Sports & Entertainment, owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and ARCO Arena.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Danette back to the Pac-10 where she got her start,” Scott said in a statement. “Since her time here, she’s amassed a wealth of marketing and business operations experience in both men’s and women’s professional and collegiate athletics, and those skills will be significant as we move forward with the transformation of the Pac-10 in the coming months and years.”

Leighton, an Arizona graduate, has spent the last decade with Maloof overseeing marketing for the Sacramento Kings and ARCO Arena as well as the business operations of the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs. Previously, she led Sony Corporation’s sports marketing division with an emphasis on the PGA TOUR and the SONY Open in Hawaii. She also has served as the executive director of the 1999 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four at Stanford University and worked in public relations with the Fiesta Bowl and the Pac-10.

Leighton will be responsible for all of the conference’s marketing and public relations activities and will be based at conference headquarters in Walnut Creek, Calif.

The appointment is effective April 5.