Founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King, World Team Tennis was created to turn tennis into a team sport. Now in its 40th season and known as Mylan World TeamTennis, the league showcases the best in professional team tennis competing for the King Trophy. Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO is tennis like you’ve never seen it, featuring the biggest names in the world playing together in an innovative team format that offers exciting possibilities for players, fans, communities and sponsors. Many top tennis players have participated in the league over the years, including: Billie Jean King, Björn Borg, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, and Martina Hingis.
The league currently boasts six teams: the Washington Kastles, the San Diego Aviators, the Philadelphia Freedoms, the Orange County Breakers, the New York Empire and the Springfield Lasers. In March 2017, Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein and San Diego Aviators owner Fred Luddy acquired a majority stake in the league with an eye for growth and expansion. The new owners seek to move quickly in identifying a Commissioner for the league and have retained Turnkey Search to search and recruit for qualified candidates.
Responsibilities & Essential Functions:
The Commissioner shall be the top executive, reporting directly to the Board of Directors. The Commissioner will be responsible for managing and growing the business of World Team Tennis.
The Commissioner shall manage all league operations including legal, finance, human resources, information technologies, revenue (franchise expansion, sponsorship, broadcast, etc.), marketing, events. The Commissioner shall possess well developed and industry recognized leadership and team building skills who is clearly capable of leading and developing a first-class organization. Essential job functions include:
- Drive top line revenue and bottom line profit for World Team Tennis focused on league expansion, development of media partnerships, corporate partnerships, etc.
- Build and manage a world class league and business model for World Team Tennis with a strong emphasis on sales, marketing, thrilling event experiences and scalable content creation adaptable for all media.
- Confer with the Board of Directors to establish overall business objectives.
- Solicit and build ongoing support from prospective and current team owners, individual athletes, marketing partners, public sector partners and other stakeholders.
- Build a first-class management team and instill a sense of pride, passion, dedication, loyalty and cohesiveness within team members ensuring a close, collegial working environment.
- Establish short-term and long-range goals, objectives, plans and policies and ensure the organization meets said objectives.
- Develop organizational policies, coordinate functions and operations between divisions and departments, and establishes responsibilities and procedures for attaining objectives.
- Administer the management of the organization.
- Oversee the adequacy and soundness of the organization’s overall financial structure; ensure risk management focus through appropriate policies and procedures.
- Review operating results of the organization for the 40th season of World Team Tennis and beyond; compare results to budget and take steps to ensure unsatisfactory results are corrected quickly.
- Promote a diverse and highly inclusive work place for management staff, event staff and also for partners, vendors and customers.
- Adaptability: Manage competing demands; able to deal with frequent change, delays or unexpected events; able to know when to make decisions and when to change course; able to accept accountability; able to respond quickly and effectively to the most sensitive inquiries and complains; etc.
- Business Acumen: Strong business intuition; understand financial, legal and customer implications of all decisions; displays orientation toward profitability; strong knowledge of marketplace and competition; spots opportunities; exploits opportunities; constantly looking for ways to grow and improve business; open-minded toward new business opportunities; etc.
- Communication & Media Skills: Speak and present clearly and persuasively on camera and in all business environments; respond well to questions; strong group presentation skills; write clearly and informatively; present numerical data effectively; able to write and deliver speeches using original and innovative techniques; etc.
- Inspirational: Provide vision and inspiration to superiors, peers and subordinates; inspires respect; trust; dedication, loyalty and friendship; etc.
- Management Skills: Able to plan, communicate and monitor all assignments properly matching responsibility to appropriate person; set challenging expectations and monitor delegated activities; ensure programs are in place for regular performance feedback; coach, mentor and develop employees; etc.
- Revenue Orientation: Constantly setting expectations and tone to drive revenue and profitability higher with all internal and external constituencies and partners;
- Team Building Skills: Build a strong, cohesive and diverse work force; treat all people with respect; work with integrity and ethically; uphold ownership values; maintain confidentiality; able to recruit and retain top executives; employee training and development; knowledge of EEO policies; etc.
- Sales management experience
- Marketing management experience
- Creativity; innovation; ingenuity, etc.
- Demonstrated ability to build relationships
- Established relationships in the sports or media industry
- Broadcast production experience & relationships
- Excellent presentation skills and image
- Media savvy; comfortable on camera and public speaking
- Effective leader with strong interpersonal skills
- Successful in a multi-tasking environment
- Team-oriented with a healthy and positive attitude
- Possesses excellent verbal and written skills
- Experience developing planning tools, projections, etc.
- Confidence presenting plans & projections to ownership
- Possess strong negotiation skills
- Demonstrated sound organizational and coordination skills
- Passion for and knowledge of professional sports preferred; passion for tennis a plus
Master’s Degree or equivalent degree in a field of general business or other applicable field of study and/or more than 15 years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience. A law degree (J.D.), Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or other applicable advanced degree strongly preferred.