Bob Williams Named Atlanta Hawks President

BOB WILLIAMS NAMED ATLANTA HAWKS PRESIDENT

Longtime Head of Philips Arena to Serve as President, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena,
and Executive Vice President, Atlanta Spirit LLC

ATLANTA, GA (June 18, 2010) -- Bob Williams has been named President, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, and Executive Vice President, Atlanta Spirit LLC by the partners in the parent company that owns the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena operating rights. In this capacity, Williams will have oversight of all Hawks business operations and all Philips Arena business operations, and will share oversight of all Atlanta Spirit shared services with Don Waddell who is President, Atlanta Thrashers, and Executive Vice President, Atlanta Spirit LLC.

“Bob is smart, skilled and hard-working, and has done a tremendous job in building Philips Arena into a perennial entertainment powerhouse,” said Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena co-owner Michael Gearon. “His business acumen and proven track record, combined with his knowledge of the market and history with the franchise, make him uniquely qualified and a perfect fit for this position. My partners and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the business side of the franchise to new heights.”

Williams began his career in 1975 in ticket sales with the Atlanta Hawks before moving into the concert and entertainment side of the business. He was a 22-year employee of The Omni Coliseum and was the building’s president beginning in 1994 until it was imploded in 1997. Williams was a member of the executive committee to oversee the design and construction of Philips Arena, and since its opening in 1999, he has guided the venue to repeated Top 10 national and international Pollstar rankings, including a 2009 mid-year designation as the No. 1 entertainment venue in the United States based on concert and special event attendance. Also in 2009, Philips Arena became the first LEED certified existing NBA or NHL arena in the world.

“I’m thrilled to put my experience to the test in a new, yet familiar discipline, and am grateful to our owners for their confidence in me,” said Williams. “The opportunity to help shape the relationship that our fans and business partners have with the Hawks is an exciting challenge and one I’m looking forward to immensely.”

Williams holds board positions with the Georgia Alliance for Children, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Atlanta Sports Council and Central Atlanta Progress, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. In addition, Williams recently was made Honorary First Sergeant of Fort Benning's Charlie and Delta Companies of the 30th AG Infantry. Bob was recognized for developing a program of hosting injured soldiers, soldiers preparing for assignment to fight in Iraq, and Airborne Rangers and their families at Hawks and Thrashers home games and various other Philips arena events.

The Hawks, a member of the National Basketball Association since 1949, play in the Southeast Division, along with the Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. The Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena operating rights are owned by Atlanta Spirit LLC. 2010-11 Atlanta Hawks season tickets are available by calling (866) 715-1500, by visiting www.hawks.com, or by visiting the Philips Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster Ticket Outlet. Named for founding partner Philips, Philips Arena is consistently ranked among the top concert and event arenas in the world. In April 2009, Philips Arena became the first NBA or NHL arena to achieve LEED certification for an existing building as specified by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). For more information about upcoming Philips Arena events, log onto www.PhilipsArena.com.