76ers, Devils Tap Former Rockets Executive Tad Brown as HBSE CEO

Longtime Houston Rockets executive Tad Brown will be the next CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.

Brown will oversee sales, media, partnerships and other business operations for one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies. He replaces Scott O’Neil, who announced last month that he was leaving the post.

The move will reunite Brown with former Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who joined the Sixers as president of basketball operations in November. Brown spent nearly two decades with the Rockets and the Toyota Center, 15 of those as CEO. He was a member of the NBA’s board of governors, and served on the league’s Media Committee. He also oversaw the club’s 2017 sale to Tilman Fertitta for a then-NBA record $2.2 billion.

“Tad is an exceptional leader in our industry, and one with a deep passion for innovation and community engagement,” HBSE co-founder Josh Harris said in a statement. “We are confident that he will bring a fresh energy and new ideas to our teams, organization and local communities.”

HBSE was formally launched in 2017 to be the umbrella company to hold Harris and David Blitzer’s sports empire, which includes the 76ers, Devils and the Prudential Center, the Newark arena where the Devils play. The group’s business currently spans teams, buildings, real estate, an innovation lab, venture investing and multiple esports organizations. HBSE is also a partner in consulting firm Elevate Sports Ventures. (It is unclear if Brown will have a formal role with Elevate, as O’Neil did.)

Brown joined the Rockets as vice president of corporate development for the 2002-03 season. He was named CEO in 2006. In April, he announced that we would be leaving that position at the end of this NBA season.

“This role not only allows me to work for innovators like Josh and David; it also allows me to work alongside some of the industry’s best talent that has been assembled across the HBSE organization,” Brown said in a statement. “This is a world-class sports and entertainment organization that cares about the cities and fans it serves.”

Brown graduated from Colgate, where he was a captain of the basketball team. Prior to joining the Rockets, he was founder and president of grassroots basketball property Streetball Partners International.

He will start at HBSE on Aug. 3.

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