Pac-12 hires CEO for new networks

Longtime sports media executive Gary Stevens has been hired as the head of the new Pac-12 Enterprises company.

According to the press release on Stevens' hire, that means he will be in charge of "the Pac-12 Networks, the Pac-12 Digital Network, and Pac-12 Properties, which will handle all sponsorship, licensing and event management [including the new Pac-12 Football Championship Game and Pac-12 Basketball Tournaments] for the Conference. He will also be responsible for creating a new integrated sales team across all of the new Conference owned media and event platforms, and for creating and executing a strategy to extend Pac-12 programming to international audiences, especially in the Pacific Rim."

So here's a guess he'll keep fairly busy. From the press release:

Stevenson brings 30-plus years of experience to the Pac-12 including senior positions at the NBA, the PGA TOUR, the Golf Channel, and as head of his own highly successful consulting firm, OnSport.

“Gary is one of the true visionaries of the sports and entertainment world and I am thrilled he has agreed to join us,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement “He will lead Pac-12 Enterprises at an exciting time in our Conference’s history, just as we are poised to serve millions of our fans via our innovative new media platforms.”

Last month, the Pac-12 announced the creation of six regional cable networks and a national network, in conjunction with four leading U.S. cable companies.

Before coming to the Pac-12, Stevenson was chairman and CEO of OnSport, a consulting company he founded in 1997 and sold 10 years later to the Wasserman Media Group, which he joined as a principal. OnSport’s clients included American Express, Nationwide, Travelers, NASCAR, the PGA TOUR, the Big Ten and the then-Pac-10. It was a major force in the sports world as the principal architect of the Wachovia Championship, the U.S. Tennis Association’s U.S. Open Series, and NASCAR’s Nationwide Series.

From 2000-2007, he taught “The Business of Sport” at Duke University, and in 2003 he received a grant from the Kellogg Foundation to create a summer internship program that placed students in such major organizations as ESPN, Comcast, NBC Sports, and elsewhere. He also helped create and launch the Minority Internship Program at the PGA TOUR, which helped introduce many worthy candidates to the world of sports marketing.

Prior to founding OnSport, Stevenson headed NBA Properties’ Marketing and Media Group, where he spearheaded the launch of the WNBA. Before that, he was Executive Vice President of Business Affairs at the PGA TOUR, and had been Chief Operating Officer at The Golf Channel at its inception in 1995.

Stevenson holds a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from The George Washington University.