NEW YORK – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) 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.