NEW YORK — David Stern informed the NBA’s Board of Governors today that he will step down as NBA Commissioner on Feb. 1, 2014, 30 years to the date he took over the position. Stern also announced that the Board of Governors voted unanimously to accept his recommendation that Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver succeed him as Commissioner.
“Adam is a world-class business executive who has influenced so many areas of our business during his tenure with the NBA,” Stern said. “I am pleased that the Board has chosen him as my successor and I know the NBA will be in very good hands.”
During his over 28-plus years as Commissioner, Stern has built the model for professional sports in league operations, public service, global marketing and digital technology. He has overseen the league’s growth with seven new franchises, a 30-fold increase in revenues, a dramatic expansion of national television exposure and the launch of two leagues, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League.
Interest generated by the leagues’ growing international initiatives has led to the opening of offices in 15 global markets, the televising of games in 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, and the creation of 13 language-specific Web destinations. The leagues’ digital assets, including NBA.com, WNBA.com, and NBADLeague.com; social media platforms; NBA LEAGUE PASS; NBA TV, which is available in nearly 60 million U.S. homes; and mobile applications reach hundreds of millions of fans every day.
Stern’s intense commitment to social responsibility both in the United States and around the world has been a signature of his tenure as commissioner. In 2005, the league launched NBA Cares, through which the NBA, its players and teams have raised more than $205 million for charity, provided more than 2.1 million hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 750 places where children and families can live, learn, or play. NBA Cares supports a host of community outreach initiatives, including a myriad of internationally recognized youth-serving programs that focus on education, youth and family development, and health and wellness.
Silver has served as the NBA’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer since July 2006, following more than eight years as President and COO, NBA Entertainment. Silver has been instrumental in many league accomplishments, including playing a key role in the negotiations of the league’s last two television agreements, the last three collective bargaining agreements with the National Basketball Players Association, the development of the WNBA and NBA Development League, the partnership with Turner Broadcasting to jointly manage the NBA’s digital assets, the formation of iHoops – a partnership with the NCAA focused on basketball development and the creation of NBA China as a separately incorporated operating entity.
During Silver’s tenure, the NBA has seen rapid expansion of its digital activities as NBA Entertainment launched NBA TV – the league’s 24-hour television channel – and developed the NBA.com network, which consists of more than 60 unique websites, including NBA.com, WNBA.com, NBADLeague.com, team sites for the three leagues, and 13 international sections of NBA.com.
The NBA’s Global Merchandising Group – responsible for the product development, merchandising, licensing, sales development, e-commerce, retail, and direct-to-consumer initiatives of the NBA and WNBA – has seen record growth during Silver’s tenure, and sales of NBA and WNBA merchandise exceeded $3 billion at retail last year.
Silver has consistently been named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Sports by BusinessWeek, the Sporting News and the SportsBusiness Journal. He has also been recognized by Time Magazine and CNN on their list of Global Business Influentials, which features 20 of the world’s leading corporate executives.
Silver joined the NBA in 1992 and previously served under Commissioner Stern as Special Assistant to the Commissioner; NBA Chief of Staff; Senior Vice President and COO, NBA Entertainment before his appointment as the President and COO, NBA Entertainment and his current role as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the NBA.