154. Atlanta Hawks CEO Recounts His Three Lifetime Careers
Steve Koonin became CEO of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club in April 2014. In his first full season of leadership in 2014-15, the Hawks led the NBA in year-over-year attendance increase and set single-season franchise records for retail sales, sellouts and season ticket memberships, including a record 500% uptick in season ticket sales.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Steve’s late-day cold call to Coca-Cola’s marketing director in 1986 opened doors to 13 different positions in 14 years, including running Coke’s worldwide sports and entertainment marketing, and responsibilities that he never imagined. A call to a friend at Turner Broadcasting led to the top position at TNT for 14 years.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“If that gentleman at Coca-Cola had not answered my phone call, I can assure you we probably would not be having this conversation today,” Steve tells podcast host Don Hutcheson. “I have found moments in time that changed the trajectory of my career more than any issues, obstacles or plans.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“There are obstacles in the path every day for everyone. That’s just life. But being aggressive, seeing opportunities, and trying to create my own opportunities, has given me three very distinct chapters over the last 29 years that have turned out pretty well. They came to me through relationships, performance and skills.”
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