President of Business Operations
Gillian Zucker in 2019-20 enters her sixth season as President of Business Operations of the L.A. Clippers. She oversees all aspects of the Clippers’ business functions, from corporate partnerships, marketing and ticket sales, to finance, legal, communications and community relations. Her focus is creating a culture of constant improvement, and a fan-first philosophy with innovative strategic discipline to support the team efforts around operating as an elite championship franchise. She is further committed to positioning the Clippers as a powerful community asset that positively impacts lives far beyond the court.
Zucker was a driving force in the recent evolution of the team’s hungry, humble brand voice and narrative that has transformed the organization’s culture. Combining the personality of the hard-working players on the court with the diverse, determined nature of Clipper Nation and an innovative business operations team that just doesn’t give up, the Clippers’ “L.A. Our Way.” campaign represents – and aims to unify – every facet of the Clippers family.
With a focus on the fan, Zucker has led the creation of new experiences for every segment of the Clippers’ audience. She spearheaded the transformation of the in-arena experience into what has been widely heralded as best in class and led the introduction of the Chuck the Condor mascot and the Clippers’ updated brand positioning in 2016. Zucker also conceived and introduced the exclusive courtside Star Seats, the Lexus Courtside Club and the award-winning Clippers Season Ticket Club while improving the fan experience for 300-level ticket buyers.
Alongside Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer, Zucker is overseeing the development of the world’s best basketball arena and the future home of the Clippers, the Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Center. The privately-financed, transformative community project will feature an intense, fan-focused NBA arena, team basketball and business operations headquarters and an unparalleled player-centric training center.
Other major business initiatives under Zucker’s guidance have included the launch of the revolutionary new Clippers CourtVision digital broadcast product, which is redefining the sports broadcast experience and has already won awards from the NBA, Sports Business Journal and Leaders, following its introduction at the start of the 2018-19 season. Zucker also launched the Clippers G-League team, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, and spearheaded negotiations for broadcast relationships with television home Fox Sports Prime Ticket and radio partner iHeartMedia Los Angeles/AM 570 L.A. Sports. She has led and developed innovative new team partnerships with brands from connections app Bumble, whose logo is displayed on Clippers uniforms as an Empowerment Badge promoting gender equality, to L.A.-based tech company Honey, whose investment in the Clippers can be seen with the renamed Honey Training Center: Home of the L.A. Clippers, and ticketing partner Vivid Seats, which provides Clippers fans with seamless top-to-bottom mobile ticketing integration.
In 2015, Zucker led the re-launch of the L.A. Clippers Foundation with a focus on leveling the playing field for L.A. children. Major foundation initiatives since that time have included Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers and non-profit Baby2Baby making a gift of one million backpacks to reduce stress on low-income families headed back to school across Southern California and a partnership with non-profit Vision to Learn that has solved the vision problem for children in the Los Angeles, Inglewood and Long Beach Unified School Districts. The Clippers have also made a multi-million-dollar gift to the city of Los Angeles that is funding the updating of 350 indoor and outdoor Clippers Community Courts at City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facilities and bringing youth sports programming to all of L.A.’s diverse geographic and economic regions. Additionally, the Jr. Clippers youth basketball program, which counts more than 120,000 participants, is one of the largest in the NBA.
Zucker is a sports industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. She joined the Clippers after spending 16 years in motorsports, nine as the President of Auto Club Speedway, the largest race track on the West Coast. She also served on the International Speedway Corporation executive management team overseeing the Chicagoland and Kansas Speedways, and was named one of the top five most powerful women in motorsports by MSN and FOX.
Prior to her time at Auto Club Speedway, Zucker served as Daytona International Speedway’s Vice President of Business and Development. She joined International Speedway Corporation (ISC), the owner of Auto Club Speedway, in 1998. Before joining ISC, Zucker worked in Minor League Baseball, serving as Assistant General Manager of the Durham (NC) Bulls.
Zucker was honored by Los Angeles Magazine in 2016 as one of 10 Wonder Women changing L.A., by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2018 as the Enterprise Executive of the Year and by CSQ Magazine in 2018 as a Visionary in Sports and Entertainment. In 2019, she and the Clippers were honored by United Nations Women L.A. as Champions of Change.
A graduate of Hamilton College, Zucker serves on the board of the Young Presidents Organization and acts as the Clippers’ NBA Alternate Governor.