INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA has hired Mark Lewis as its new vice president overseeing national championship events, bringing in someone with a résumé that includes TV and sponsorship experience.
Lewis will replace Greg Shaheen, who took the position on an interim basis in late 2010. The NCAA announced the move Tuesday, a week after the men's and women's basketball tournaments concluded.
"Mark has the right skill set, knowledge and experiences for this job," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to working with Mark, and I'm confident his keen insights, business acumen and leadership will greatly benefit the association and its members."
Emmert appears to be after more sponsorships for the 89 NCAA championships, and Lewis fits the profile.
He was president of Jet Set Sports, a hospitality and event company that worked closely with Olympic organizations. Since taking that job in 2005, the company said its revenues have increased by more than 400 percent -- a fact not lost on the NCAA's search committee.
"It was immediately obvious to the search committee that he was an exceptional candidate with the leadership, experience and business sense to make a huge impact in this job," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said.
Lewis also has served as vice president of sponsorship at NBC and president and CEO of Olympic Properties of the U.S., a joint venture between the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee. The NCAA said Lewis helped raise more than $1.5 billion for the 2002 Winter Games through sponsorships, ticket sales, private donations and merchandising agreements.
He hopes to produce similar results in Indianapolis.
"The important relationships with our corporate champions and partners, along with our media partners, play a critical role in our ability to support more than 430,000 student-athletes in the classroom and on the field of competition," Lewis said. "I will work tirelessly to enhance opportunities for student-athletes as we move forward."
Shaheen, the self-described "therapist of NCAA March Madness," had been in charge of the NCAA's marquee event -- the men's basketball tournament -- for more than a decade.
Under his leadership, he watched the tournament expand from 65 to 68 teams, helped secure a $10.8 billion contract over 14 years that guaranteed each tourney game would be televised live nationally, and implemented the mock bracket exercise that gave media members, coaches, university and athletic department leaders an inside look at how the selection process works.
Emmert said he would meet with Shaheen in the next several days to discuss his future role with the governing body. One possibility is that Shaheen stays with the organization but returns to his previous role, running just the men's tourney.
NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said Emmert would have no additional comments on the change Tuesday.
Shaheen, who did not respond to a request for comment, has been a popular figure with reporters and others.
"NCAA loss, apply for the AD job at Southern Miss. We need you," one fan wrote on Twitter.