RedBird Capital-backed On Location Experiences named John Collins, former chief operating officer of the National Hockey League, as its chief executive officer. Prior to the NHL, Collins worked as a senior executive with the National Football League for 15 years. On Location, a hospitality business, is owned by RedBird, Bruin Sports Capital and the NFL.
On Location Experiences (previously “NFL On Location”), a premium experiential hospitality business owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital and the National Football League, today announced that it has appointed John Collins, former Chief Operating Officer of the National Hockey League (“NHL”), as its Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.
Mr. Collins is a world-class executive with over two decades of experience in sports business, including holding prominent leadership roles with NHL and NFL. Most recently, as COO of the NHL, Mr. Collins spearheaded some of the league’s most important financial and commercial initiatives, including:
Growing annual league-wide revenues from $2.2 billion to $4 billion, negotiating a $2.2 billion media rights deal with NBC in 2011, a $5.2 billion landmark rights agreement with Rogers in 2013, and a $1B digital media rights partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media in 2015;
Leading the NHL’s brand and business strategy, successfully transforming the league into a global leader in media and entertainment;
Implementing the redesign of NHL.com and the league’s overall direct to consumer media strategy;
Launching of the NHL Network – the League’s own 24/7 TV network; and
Introducing the highly-popular “Winter Classic” outdoor hockey series.
Prior to joining the NHL, Collins was a senior executive with the National Football League for 15 years.
He began his career at NFL Films and held his last role at the NFL as Senior Vice President of Marketing, Programming and Sales before being appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Browns for the 2004-06 seasons.
Mr. Collins commented, “I’ve always wanted to fulfill my passion for building a great global business from the ground up, and with On Location Experiences, I could not be more excited to work with Gerry and George who have an impressive track record of investing in and building tremendous companies at the intersection of sports and entertainment. I cannot wait to get started working with the entire On Location Experiences team to leverage this platform to create a unique experiential live events
“When I think about how we have built our companies in the past and the tremendous opportunity we have with On Location Experiences across sports and entertainment, I honestly can’t think of a better and more capable Chief Executive than John Collins,” said Gerry Cardinale, Managing Partner and Founder of RedBird Capital Partners. “His track record at the NFL and NHL speaks for itself – and even better, he is one of the most well regarded and respected executives in professional sports. What we
are trying to create in our partnership with the NFL and its owners is a live event experiential platform that really does not exist today in either sports or entertainment. We have been looking for a fairly unique executive who has the experience and network as well as the commercial and entrepreneurial instincts to help us take this platform to a whole other level. John is that person.”
“Innovation and creative customer engagement has been a hallmark of John Collins’s impressive career, and I’m thrilled he will be bringing that experience and demonstrated talent to On Location Experiences,” said George Pyne, founder and CEO of Bruin Sports Capital. “John’s strategic focus on delivering dynamic, high-quality content makes him the perfect choice to execute our vision for the company. We see enormous opportunity and value in the unique offerings of On Location Experiences, and global rights holders, media partners and sports fans will be well served by his leadership.”
“John Collins has been a successful executive at two leagues and at a franchise,” said Eric Grubman, Executive Vice President, Business Ventures, at the National Football League. “He has had decades of experience with a proven track record in sales, marketing, operations and general management. He will bring all those skills and more to lead this exciting new venture.”
Leading up to historic Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA on February 7, 2016, the Company has seen unprecedented demand for its experiences and hospitality platforms through Super Bowl Weekend, with nearly all of its premium packages already sold out. On Location Experiences will build on this success next year in Houston for Super Bowl LI, as well as over the course of 2016 with its other marquee NFL events, including the 2016 NFL Draft and the International Series Games in London.
About Bruin Sports Capital
Bruin Sports Capital is a privately held international media, sports, marketing and branded lifestyle
company. Bruin Sports Capital raised $250 million in equity capital, which provides for $500 million
dollars in buying power to acquire, operate and build businesses in the respective segments. WPP, the
world’s largest communications services group, is leading Bruin Sports Capital’s international syndicate
of investors. George Pyne, an international business executive, founded Bruin Sports Capital in 2015.
Pyne’s twenty-five year record of accomplishments in building businesses and superior management
teams led to the transformation of both NASCAR and IMG, creating billions of dollars in shareholder
value for the respective companies. Bruin Sports Capital’s investor base, along with Pyne’s reputation,
will allow access to the best deals, and will provide a long-term and flexible capital structure, operating
expertise and a heightened speed of execution. Bruin Sports Capital’s global access and wherewithal will
position the company for unparalleled value creation opportunities. For more information, go to
About RedBird Capital Partners
RedBird Capital Partners is a New York and Dallas based principal investment firm focused on providing
flexible, long-term capital in growth equity, build-up, and structured equity investments to help
entrepreneurs grow their businesses. RedBird seeks investment opportunities in growth-oriented
private companies in which its capital, investor network, and strategic relationships can help prospective
business owners outperform operationally, financially and strategically by virtue of RedBird’s
involvement. For more information, go to www.RedBirdCap.com.