Madison Square Garden Sports President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Mills today announced the selection of Michael Bair, an executive with wide experience in the media, sports and entertainment industry, to the role of Senior Vice President, Marketing and Business Operations for the New York Rangers hockey club.
Before joining the Rangers, Mr. Bair held executive positions at HBO, Showtime Networks, Ogilvy and Mather Advertising and Cablevision, where he served in several capacities, including Executive Vice President of Sports for Rainbow media, overseeing Sportschannel's eight regional sports networks. Most recently, Mr. Bair served as CEO of Resorts Sports Network, an outdoor sports media company and prior to that was CEO of Dsports, an internet sports retailer.
"Michael has distinguished himself as a creative, entrepreneurial leader in sports, marketing and media over the course of his career, and we are delighted he is joining the Rangers management team," stated Mr. Mills, to whom Bair will report. "His experience in building strong brands, developing innovative strategies and reputation for teamwork will be invaluable as the Rangers head into an exciting new era. We are confident that his leadership will bring a new level of energy and creativity to the organization in our effort to create greater value for our fans and sponsors. "
In this role, Mr. Bair will serve as the team's chief marketing officer and will be responsible for the strategic business direction and P&L management of the team. He will oversee all non-player aspects of the club, including team and marketing partnerships, merchandise and concession sales, community relations and fan development, new media, field marketing, event presentation and all new business initiatives.
"The Rangers are one of the most storied brands in sports with a deep and passionate following." Mr. Bair said. "Having been a fan for many years, I am thrilled to join the team at a time when there are so many opportunities to create compelling new experiences for Ranger fans and sponsors, and to further deepen our relationships within the community."
Mr. Bair spent 10 years at Cablevision and it's subsidiaries, including posts as President, Product Management & Marketing for the company's cable division where he was responsible for product strategy development, design and marketing as well as brand management for integrated video, voice and online services. During his tenure, he helped lead the successful introduction of numerous new products and marketing campaigns for digital, data, VOD and HDTV services. Prior to that Mr. Bair served as Executive Vice President of Sports for Rainbow Media, where he was responsible for overseeing national and regional sports partnerships with FOX and was involved in rights negotiations with the NHL, NBA, MLB and the NCAA. In addition, he was responsible for SportsChanel's eight regional networks, where he overhauled the brand and distribution strategies and grew the business by over 90 percent.
The NHL's New York Rangers hockey club, currently entering its 79th year of operation, is part of Madison Square Garden, L.P. Cablevision Systems Corporation owns a controlling interest in MSG L.P., which also includes the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Liberty (WNBA), the Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League), the MSG Network, Fox Sports Net and the Madison Square Garden arena complex, located in the heart of the New York metropolitan area.