NFL's Seahawks name new prez
The National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks have named its new president after seven-year Chief Executive Officer Tod Leiweke told the team he was leaving in July, according to the organization
Peter McLoughlin is coming to the Seahawks from the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues, where he served as CEO, which, interestingly enough, is the league Leiweke is heading to after he agreed to be a part owner and CEO for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In addition to the Seahawks, McLoughin will work as president of Sounders FC, Seattle’s Major League Soccer team, and First & Goal Inc., the developer and operator of Qwest Field and Event Center, the football squad’s home venue.
The new hire is charged with the Seattle-based franchises’ business operations, sales, marketing, sponsorship, administration and operations, as well as overseeing the management of Quest Field.
"Peter is a bright, proven leader who believes as I do that the fans always come first and understands the importance of community, “ Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen, Seahawks’ owner and Sounders FC’s minority owner, said in a prepared statement. “He is experienced in all aspects of the business side of sports.”
During his tenure with the Blues, McLoughin led all business operations – including sales, marketing and finance – while the team saw dramatic increases in season ticket sales, sponsorship sales and television ratings.
The Seattle Seahawks are members of the NFL’s National Football Conference’s Western Division. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since it played and lost in its first and only Super Bowl in 2006.
The organization has made big changes this season, most notably hiring University of Southern California’s famed coach Pete Carroll, after finishing with a dismal 5-11 record last year.
During a press conference Thursday, outgoing CEO Leiweke and General Manager John Schneider introduced the Seattle Seahawks
’ new president, who stated he will serve the fans, give back to the community and work to bring championships to Seattle.
As president, McLoughlin will report to Allen and oversee all of the team’s financial and business operations. Schneider and Carroll will report to Allen for football operations and to the new hire for budgetary and financial issues.
Schneier said during the conference that McLoughin was hired partly because he has the skills necessary to take off where veteran Leiweke left off without creating any huge changes.
“When Coach Carroll and I came here, there were really attributes that were important to us: communication, support - having supportive people and staff around you and having positive forward thinkers,” Schneider added. “After we were able sit down and talk to the finalists for this job, it was evident to Coach Carroll and I that Peter shared those same attributes.”
Bert Kolde, one of Allen’s advisors at Vulcan Inc. – the owner’s investment and property management company – said during the conference that McLoughlin also shows some of the same characteristics Leiweke exhibited when he came to Seattle from the NHL’s Minnesota Wild seven years ago.
“Tod made a big difference to the fan base,” Kolde continued. “And I think Peter will carry that forward.”
The new hire shared this sentiment during a post-conference interview
provided on the Seahawks’ Web site.
While the football squad has struggled during the past two years, it still is in better shape than the Blues when McLoughlin first joined them. Still, the new president acknowledges that there are challenges that he will meet head on.
“I think I’m an innovative thinker and a creative thinker,” he added. “I went to the San Francisco 49ers game the other week and I saw the fans in action. I saw how loud they were. I saw the positive impact they had on the team. I was high-fiving some of the fans, and they didn’t even know who I was, but I felt like I was a part of them.”
Reaching these fans and creating new die-hard Seahawks followers is one of McLoughin’s long-term goals, while getting acquainted with his staff in the near term.
According to The List database, the Seattle Seahawks develop their media in-house, and began using Seattle-based Wexley School for Girls this year as its agency of record for television, outdoor, print radio and guerrilla marketing.
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