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Steve Koonin named as CEO of the Atlanta Hawks

Koonin, a native of Atlanta and former president  of Turner Entertainment Networks will also be investing in the NBA team.

Steve Koonin / Getty

Steve Koonin former president of Turner Entertainment Networks has joined  the perennial NBA underdogs Atlanta Hawks as their new chief executive officer.

According to a statement issued by the Hawks, Steve Koonin’s role, a new one for the team, will be to represent the owners as the head of the organization at NBA functions, oversee all business, financial and strategic operations of the Hawks as well as the Philips Arena, where they play.

Announcing the appointment in a press release, Bruce Levenson,  majority owner of the Hawks stated that Steve Koonin’s reputation as a game changer in both marketing and media makes him the ideal leader to usher the Atlanta Hawks into a new era. “He has created a legacy as an expert in sports marketing, television, branding and digital media.” Summed up Levenson in his statement.

Confirming that he  will be leaving the Turner Group after more than a decade to join the Hawks, Steve Koonin first  hastened to point out that his  family has been a part of this city for nearly a century, going on to add that he was aware that he had lot to do to restore the team’s fortunes.

“ I believe my professional experience, my passion for this team and the NBA, as well as the Hawks’ great existing executive talent make this organization’s future very bright.”  Koonin went on to predict.

Koonin’s addition to the team ownership roster at the Hawks has already earned the seal of approval at the  NBA, with  commissioner Adam Silver issuing a statement confirming that he was  “thrilled” with Steve Koonin’s involvement.

Hopes are in Atlanta that Steve Koonin, one of the Georgia city’s best known  business and community leaders,   many years of marketing experience at a national level will soon make itself felt at the Phillips Stadium, where the Hawks have succeeded in averaging crowds of  just 14, 400 a game, the third lowest average of all of the 30 NBA teams. On court, the statistics are not a lot better, with the team struggling to achieve the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, despite a sub 500 record.

philips arena-  Atlanta Hawks

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Steve Koonin will be looking to provide support for Danny Ferry, President of Basketball Operations and General Manager since 2012, along with recently appointed head coach Mike Budenholzer  to bring some serious new talent to the team,

Steve Koonin graduated with a degree in marketing from  the University of Georgia.

Koonin began his professional career with Coca-Cola, where he spent 14 years before joining Turner Entertainment Networks in  2000, holding down a number of top level executive positions with the media giant.

Koonin also sits on the boards  of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Fox Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as well as being a  trustee of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

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