April 27, 2022 – TurnkeyZRG has been retained to recruit a senior vice president/chief revenue officer for professional hockey’s Pittsburgh Penguins. The CRO will serve as a forward-thinking leader shaping the continued innovation of the sales and marketing strategy for NHL team.
“The individual will be responsible for developing and implementing a forward-looking, fully integrated revenue and marketing plan that delivers strong revenue and profit growth across all revenue lines in the ever-changing sports, entertainment, and events world of today and tomorrow,” said TurnkeyZRG. “It will be imperative that the CRO deliver innovative thinking combined with a strong proficiency in fundamentals and an acute understanding of the marketplace and the community to achieve growth in consumer-centric and corporate-centric business lines. The CRO will develop and lead a world-class sales and marketing team.”
The position oversees all aspects of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ sponsorship, premium seating, and ticketing, closely coordinating with the team’s marketing and media functions including content, broadcasting, digital, social, brand, and creative, said the search firm. The CRO will be expected to execute sales strategies that deliver revenue targets and maximize profit margins while overseeing departmental budgets, working closely with vendors, undertaking a collaborative effort with all stakeholders toward an overall fan and partner engagement strategy.
The CRO will also lead all integrated marketing and media programs that retain and grow the audience and maximize revenue on the Penguins’ owned and operated partner channels, enhances the brand reputation, and ensures a consistent marketing message and positioning consistent with the strategic direction.
Duties and responsibilities of the role will involve both executive leadership and sales and marketing skills, said TurnkeyZRG.
On the executive leadership side, the new CRO must develop, implement, and lead sales and marketing strategic plans for achieving annual and long-term revenue and profitability growth targets. He or she will also be expected to maintain focus on maximizing profitability, creating new revenue streams, reducing operating expenses, identifying efficiencies, synergies and economies of scale that lead to tangible economic value creation, among other responsibilities.
On the sales and marketing side, assessing the existing sales approach and ensuring that standards, processes, and solution-selling methodologies are in place to serve existing and new potential customers most effectively will be critical the new leader must also proactively ensure the sales team successfully drives new profitable business opportunities and maximizes customer retention. Developing pricing strategies based on various selling-process situations is also a key aspect of the job.
Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on marketing, business management, or a related field; a master’s degree in business, marketing, management, or a related field is preferred, said TurnkeyZRG. Twenty-plus years of progressive responsibility and relevant experience in sales and marketing is required. The Pittsburgh Penguins are seeking a proven sales and marketing leader with a demonstrated track record of performance and business achievements.
Prospects should have an exceptional track record of developing and implementing sales and marketing strategies that have consistently met or exceeded planned objectives. Evidence of being a strategic thinker with the ability to develop and implement processes and plans is essential. Candidates should also show evidence of planning acumen, analytical expertise, and long-term strategic outlook with proven results.
Founded in 1967 as one of the NHL’s first expansion teams during the league’s original expansion from six teams to 12, the Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the top brands and businesses anywhere in sports. The Penguins have appeared in the Stanley Cup finals six times and have won the championship five times, including back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. The Penguins were the first back-to-back champions since 1998, and the first ever since the NHL salary cap was implemented.
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.
Collectively, the members of TurnkeyZRG have placed coaches and athletics directors at many PAC-12 universities, including Arizona, Cal, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. Late last year, TurnkeyZRG helped the ACC hire its next commissioner, James J. Phillips, the Combe Family vice president for athletics and recreation at Northwestern University. TurnkeyZRG spoke with stakeholders across the ACC in developing the job description, and assembled a diverse array of candidates across sports, education, business and government.
Two years ago, prior to its acquisition by ZRG, Turnkey Search placed Jenny Darling as the Penguins’ chief financial officer. Ms. Darling provides strategic financial leadership to the team, while overseeing the administrative, financial and risk management operations of the organization.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media