NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick have selected Brendan Donohue, NBA Senior Vice President, Team Marketing and Business Operations (TMBO), as Managing Director of their new, jointly formed NBA 2K eSports league, effective immediately. NBA teams participating in the inaugural season will be announced in the coming weeks, with the new league set to launch in 2018.
Donohue, a sports industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in team and league operations, will be responsible for managing the new league. Since joining the NBA in 2009, he has been instrumental in the success of TMBO, the league’s industry-renowned consulting group. There, he led strategic planning and management for all 64 teams across the NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League, helping them innovate in sales, marketing, digital and analytical areas of their business.
“We’re thrilled that we already have in place a seasoned sports executive to lead this new league,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “The fact that Brendan knows the NBA inside and out is a huge bonus and will enable us to ramp up this venture in record time.”
“We are very pleased to have Brendan join our team and lend his extensive professional basketball acumen to the NBA 2K esports league,” said Take-Two Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick. “The league will have all of the structure and polish of the NBA, coupled with the thrills and engagement of our industry-leading NBA 2K franchise to provide an exciting new entry into the world of competitive gaming.”
More than half of the NBA team organizations are expected to participate in the NBA 2K esports league’s inaugural season. The new, professional competitive gaming league will bring together the best basketball gamers in the world and follow a professional sports league format. Five competitors will face off in head-to-head competition throughout a regular season, participating in a bracketed playoff system, and concluding with a championship matchup. This marks the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.
Donohue graduated from Boston College with a degree in English and a concentration in Business. He lives in Fairfield, Conn., with his wife Patty and their two children.
About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2016-17 season featured a record 113 international players from 41 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com and the NBA App, which achieved record viewership and traffic during the 2015-16 season. The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than 1.3 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.
About Take-Two Interactive Software
Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. The Company develops and publishes products through its two wholly-owned labels Rockstar Games and 2K. Our products are designed for console systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, and are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. The Company’s common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website at http://www.take2games.com.
Founded in 2005, 2K develops and publishes interactive entertainment globally for console systems, handheld gaming systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, which are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. 2K publishes titles in today’s most popular gaming genres, including shooters, action, role-playing, strategy, sports, casual, and family entertainment. The 2K label has some of the most talented development studios in the world today, including Firaxis Games, Visual Concepts, Hangar 13, and Cat Daddy Games. 2K’s stable of high quality titles includes the critically acclaimed BioShock®, Borderlands™, Mafia, and XCOM® franchises, the beloved Sid Meier’s Civilization series, Evolve™, Battleborn®, the popular WWE 2K franchise and NBA 2K, the highest rated* annual sports title of this console generation.
Source: Press release