DALLAS ( Associated Press) — Brett Yourmark, an executive at Jay-Z’s Rock Nation and former Brooklyn Nets CEO, was named Big 12 commissioner Wednesday, another unconventional move by a major convention amid the rapidly changing landscape of college athletics. The rent was
Yourmark is replacing Bob Bowlesby, who came to the league a decade ago after working as athletic director at Stanford, Iowa and Northern Iowa.
Yourmark’s background is not in college athletics, but with the imminent departure of Oklahoma and Texas could play an interesting role for a conference to face challenges in revenue while adjusting for athletes to capitalize on their use of celebrity. .
Yourmark is expected to debut on August 1, but will likely make its first public appearance in the Big 12 football media days in the Dallas area on July 13-14.
“I’m here to listen, learn, find ways to add value, add resources, and help shine a light on the importance of college athletics,” Yourmark said. “I look forward to leveraging my experience and network with our presidents, VCs and athletic directors to shape the future of the Big 12 brand and emphasize our collective strengths.”
Yourmark’s appointment is similar to the Pac-12’s pick for commissioner last year – former MGM Resorts International executive George Klewkopf, who also had a broad background in digital media.
The biggest issue for Yourmark is a new media rights deal, which excludes the mighty brands of Sooners and Longhorns. The multibillion-dollar TV deal with ESPN and Fox Sports expires after the 2024-25 academic year, when Oklahoma and Texas will join the Southeastern Conference if they haven’t already gone before.
OU and Texas by SEC . within a few weeks of accepting an invitation from, the Big 12 expanded by adding BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston. It could be a 14-team league for two years if the Sooners and Longhorns don’t leave early.
Yourmark joined Jay-Z’s marketing agency in 2019 as co-CEO of Rock Nation Unified, which handles licensing and branding. The 55-year-old was promoted as the company’s overall chief operating officer in January.
Prior to Rock Nation, Yourmark spent nearly 15 years with the Nets, overseeing the club’s move from New Jersey and the construction of Barclays Center. Yourmark left the Nets in 2019 after an interesting control buyout by Joseph Tsai.
Yourmark was with NASCAR prior to the Nets, overseeing a $750 million agreement with Nextel Communications for the naming rights to the circuit’s top racing series.
“Brett is one of the most skilled and knowledgeable executives in sports and entertainment,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “Their decades of operating experience, tireless work ethic and strong industry relationships will be of immense value to the Big 12, its schools and fans.”
Yourmark joins the Big 12 during a time of uncertainty, although it was not as dire as it was when Bowlesby took over. Bowlesby, 70, is retiring But is planning to transition to an interim role until her contract expires in 2025.
In 2012 the league was coming out of a two-year period when it lost four schools to three other conferences and appeared to be on the verge of collapse at times. The Big 12 eventually settled as a 10-team league with the addition of TCU and West Virginia, and secured a lucrative media deal shortly after Bowlesby was hired.
The Big 12 enjoyed nearly a decade of relative stability before the Oklahoma and Texas stunner last summer. Now the conference will have to grapple with the notion that the loss of the Sooners and Longhorns has knocked it down a notch from the other Power Five conferences
More Associated Press College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25