Bulls announce new strategic management team

Team hires Susan Goodenow to lead branding and communications efforts; promotes John Viola to Vice President of Corporate Sales
John Viola
Susan Goodenow

January 5, 2012 — The Chicago Bulls today announced the creation of a new Executive Committee to assist in the long-term strategic planning and daily management of business operations, according to Bulls President and COO Michael Reinsdorf.

Reinsdorf also announced the hiring of Susan Goodenow as Vice President, Branding & Communications, and the promotion of John Viola to Vice President, Corporate Sales. Both represent new positions in the organization and will join Steve Schanwald, Executive Vice President, Business Operations; Irwin Mandel, Senior Vice President, Financial & Legal; and Keith Brown, Vice President , Ticket Sales, as members of Reinsdorf’s new Executive Committee.

“This is an exciting time in Bulls franchise history, both on the court and off,” Reinsdorf said. “We intend to better utilize all the resources of our franchise to grow the Bulls brand, to deliver more information and entertainment to our fans, to play a larger and more defined philanthropic role in the Chicago community, and to bring more value to our business partners and sponsors. I certainly grew up knowing what the Bulls mean to Chicago and to Bulls fans all over the world. Today’s announcement better equips us to meet the challenges of remaining one of the great sports brands of the 21st Century.”

Susan, who joins the Bulls this month, will direct, integrate and coordinate the team’s branding strategy and communications efforts, and help the team grow its philanthropic efforts. Reporting to Reinsdorf, her responsibilities will include public and media relations, corporate communications, community relations, publications and new media, as well as involvement in advertising and broadcasting. A veteran of more than 18 years in communications and sports, Susan spent the last four years with the Boston Red Sox, most recently as Senior Vice President/Public Affairs & Marketing. She was previously Vice President/Business Public Relations with Major League Baseball/Office of the Commissioner, and held positions with the American Red Cross and Washington, DC-based public affairs firm Sanderson Strategies Group where she advised MLB and several professional teams, including the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls.

John, now in his seventh season with the Bulls, is responsible for all Bulls marketing partnerships, game operations, and United Center premium seating. John’s focus on the daily operation of these key areas will help enhance coordination of corporate sales into organization-wide efforts and meet the expanding needs of key constituencies, including fans, corporate partners, and United Center Premium Seating clients. John, who will continue to report to Schanwald, previously held the position of Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships and brings more than two decades of experience to the Bulls, including stints as COO of Gameday Giveaway, a national sports marketing company, and years in broadcast sales and management in New York and Chicago.

“Simply put, the new Executive Committee, including Susan and John, better allows us to respond to the growing demands of our fan base, of new technologies, and of our partners and sponsors,” Reinsdorf said. “The Committee is also intended to encourage more creativity and participation from employees throughout the Bulls organization. We think we have put together a winning team.”