Media and sports executive David Levy has been announced as the new CEO for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center in New York. The announcement was made by Joe Tsai who, through entities controlled by him, completed the acquisition of full ownership of both the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center today.
Levy will also serve as the president of J Tsai Sports, the sports investment and holding vehicle controlled by Tsai. Levy will join Tsai’s family office as a venture partner, with coverage of sports, media and entertainment investments globally.
“I have a passion for sports and I have a passion for building out entertainment and it is kind of the best of both worlds here,” Levy tells Billboard. Nets GM and head coach, respectively, “Sean [Marks] and Kenny [Atkinson] who have built a winning culture here have helped the building itself. If the building’s vibrant during our sports opportunities, this building is going to be vibrant in anything we put it because it’s just a great place to come and have a great experience.”
In his role as CEO of the Nets and Barclays Center, Levy, who has more than a 30-year career working with the NBA, will oversee all business, revenue, strategy and operations for the franchise and arena. Levy spent 32 years at Turner Broadcasting, the last six years as President of the company. In his role as President, Levy had oversight of Turner’s leading portfolio of brands and businesses, including TNT, TBS, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and truTV, as well as Ad Sales and Distribution.
Levy also has experience running events such as March Madness and Final Four activations.
“I do have an understanding of what it’s like to sell tickets and how to get people in arenas and how we get our food and things of that nature, but nothing to the size of Barclays Center,” Levy says. “I am going to rely on a lot of people that have been doing it here for a long time and get to understand what has worked and hasn’t worked. I will try to enhance that experience as best I can with the staff that we have here.”
Over the last few months, Levy has been in talks with Tsai about the position and looks forward to working with the new ownership.
“It is nice that [Tsai] is the voice,” says Levy. “He is somebody that lets people do their jobs. You’re accountable and you need to do your job. Hopefully with the relationship I have with him, I’ll do my job and we’ll have a long and successful career together.”
Going forward, Levy says he plans to expand the content options for the Barclays Center with more non-sports entertainment. He hopes to host esports events and music including the possibility for courtside concerts.
“This community love music, It’s a vibrant area,” adds Levy. “It is a busy time for the Barclays Center. There are opportunities that I am going to learn. I am going to listen. We have 365 days a year that we have to fill here.”