January 13, 2023 – TurnkeyZRG has assisted in the recruitment of seasoned sports executive and business leader Erik Moses as executive director and chief executive officer of the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. “It was important to identify the right person who could guide the future of the Fiesta Bowl, and help build innovative ways to engage our fans, community, stakeholders, and partners at every touchpoint,” said Randal Norton, board chair. “The landscape of college football and fan expectations continue to evolve. We selected a dynamic leader who we believe will deliver and meet those expectations and position us as the premier bowl game providing world-class hospitality. We are excited to welcome Erik to the Fiesta Bowl family.”
“Thank you to our exceptional staff, board, committee and volunteers for their support through the hiring process,” Mr. Norton said. “I would also like to mention our partners at TurnkeyZRG for producing an exemplary slate of candidates who expressed interest in being a part of the 52-year history and tradition of the Fiesta Bowl.”
For more than two decades, Mr. Moses has built successful ventures for sports and entertainment properties through the creation of innovative events and development of community-centric programming and as a leader in elevating teams and organizations. He comes to the Grand Canyon State with a track record as an attorney, entrepreneur, economic development professional, and chief executive. His professional experiences reflect the goals of the Fiesta Bowl organization, delivering innovative and new experiences for college football fans and sports fans.
Mr. Moses played an integral part in creating, operationalizing, and hosting the Military Bowl and AT&T Nations Football Classic. During his tenure in Washington, D.C., he delivered unprecedented corporate partnerships initiatives throughout the community, helped establish a professional football team into one of the league’s top organizations in ticket sales, enabled unique gameday experiences and access, and created extensive social media engagement.
Mr. Moses was previously with the Nashville Superspeedway where he served as president and general manager since 2020. In Nashville, he very quickly revived and repositioned a dormant race track into a world-class event venue to host NASCAR’s top series for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Prior to that role, he led three sports and entertainment organizations in the nation’s capital for more than 12 years. As CEO of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, Mr. Moses oversaw the formation and founding of the Military Bowl, now celebrating its 14th anniversary, and also facilitated the creation of the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic featuring the tradition, unity and heritage of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Mr. Moses’ last position in Washington was as the founding president of the DC Defenders of the newly-launched XFL spring professional football league, where he guided all aspects of the team’s business operations and fan experience.
“The Fiesta Bowl has a rich history for innovation and a commitment to meaningful impact on and off the college football field,” said Mr. Moses. “I’m excited to join this high achieving organization and to continue and enhance its inspiring work within Arizona’s communities.”
“The joy of sports, entertainment and charitable giving is how we help to connect our communities make our state a better place to live, work and visit,” he said. “I look forward to working with the talented staff, collaborating with our dedicated board of directors, Yellow Jacket committee and our incredible volunteers to ensure our prominent standing in a vastly changing college football landscape.”
TurnkeyZRG Places Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as Next Head of NCAA
TurnkeyZRG has assisted in the recruitment Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as the next president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the major governing body for intercollegiate athletics, effective in March of next year. Gov. Baker’s term as governor ended on Jan. 5. He succeeds Mark Emmert, who will continue to serve the NCAA as a consultant through June.
“College sports is undergoing significant transformation,” said Len Perna, chairman and CEO of the search firm. “The legal and policy environments are shifting continually, threatening the NCAA’s ability to maintain a consistent experience and a level playing field for student-athletes across the country. The best way to continue to support student-athletes is for the NCAA’s next leader to bring a new set of skills that meet the challenges of the moment. Gov. Baker’s record of bipartisan leadership in both the public and private sectors will be invaluable in the hard but critical work of bringing Democrats and Republicans in Congress together to secure a stable, sustainable future for college athletics.”
The Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. The Fiesta Bowl delivers an average of approximately $175 million in annual economic impact to the State of Arizona and fills more than 7,500 hotel room nights per year. Over the last 14 years, the total is approximately $3 billion in economic impact.
Serving Sports, Media and Entertainment Organizations
Founded in 1996, TurnkeyZRG is a specialized talent recruitment/executive search firm filling C-level, senior-level and mid-management-level positions throughout sports, media, and entertainment. Over the past 25 years, the firm has filled more than 1,400 positions. TurnkeyZRG helps teams, leagues, stadiums, arenas, theaters, college athletic departments, events, sponsors, agencies, media companies, private equity companies and other clients identify, recruit, and hire the best management talent.
Len Perna, chairman and CEO of TurnkeyZRG, has 30-plus years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry, with senior-level management experience in sales, event marketing and management, sponsorships, venue feasibility and development, facility operations, licensing, and legal affairs. Since founding Turnkey, Mr. Perna has managed over 1,400 executive searches, according to the firm.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media