June 6, 2006
- The Seattle Sonics & Storm today announced the promotion of Brian Byrnes to the position of senior vice president of sales and marketing for the organization. Byrnes, currently the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will expand his responsibilities to include facilities and telecommunications, suite and club services and guest relations. He will report to Sonics & Storm President and Chief Executive Officer Wally Walker.
Since his arrival at the Sonics & Storm in April of 2005, Byrnes has played a major role in increased sales production for the Sonics including a nine percent revenue increase with the Sonics and 1,550 new season tickets sold compared to the 2004-05 NBA season. Also under Byrnes’ leadership, the NBA has continued to recognize the Sonics’ event presentation as one of the best in the league.
“Brian has done a great job achieving results and reinforcing a positive sales culture in his time with the Sonics and Storm,” said Walker. “Under his guidance, the club has already received over 1,100 season ticket deposits for next year.”
A longtime professional in the sports and entertainment industry, Byrnes brings more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience to his new position. Prior to joining the Sonics & Storm, he served as chief marketing officer and business operations executive vice president for the National Hockey League’s (NHL’s) Phoenix Coyotes. In Phoenix, Byrnes oversaw all sales and marketing programs including ticket sales, luxury-suite sales, corporate sponsorships, fan development, advertising, public relations and Coyotes Charities. Under his guidance, the Coyotes experienced significant revenue increases in corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and the doubling of luxury-suite sales.
On the hockey club’s marketing side, Byrnes led the integration of creative services, media buying, advertising and promotions into an in-house group. He directed the successful launch of a new Coyotes logo and team uniforms. In addition, Byrnes devised and directed e-commerce initiatives with a focus on a “news-first/unique-content” formula to drive incremental traffic and activation. The strategy resulted in award-winning platforms and new revenue streams.
During his tenure in Phoenix, the Coyotes built a new arena in Glendale, Ariz. with Byrnes representing the organization on the facility’s design, sightlines, seating environment, luxury suites, club seating, sponsorship programs, signage, private venues, restaurants and fan-friendly amenities. Additionally, Byrnes led a committee of Coyotes executives, team owners, City of Phoenix officials and Glendale community leaders to negotiate, plan and land the 2006 NHL All-Star Weekend.
In 1993, Byrnes joined the NHL’s Dallas Stars Hockey Club and was promoted to director of ticket sales. After four years in the role, he was promoted to the Stars’ vice president of sales. Two years later, Byrnes was elevated to the role of vice president of sales for Southwest Sports Group where he developed a comprehensive sales strategy that fully integrated the Stars, Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers, Mesquite Championship Rodeo, Frisco Professional Baseball and the Big 12 Baseball Tournament sales efforts. Ticket sales and ticket revenue increased for all of the group’s properties through strategies that leveraged each brand in the marketplace. Simultaneously, Byrnes developed and led the sales efforts to maximize season-ticket and suite-sales revenue at the American Airlines Center in Dallas when it opened in 2001.
Byrnes, a native of Long Island in New York, attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in marketing