John Collins is the NHL’s chief operating officer, providing strategic direction and oversight for the League’s business and media operations, as well as NHL Communications and Club Consulting functions. Collins reports directly to Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Collins joined the NHL in November 2006, and in May 2007, he assumed the title of NHL Senior Executive Vice President, Business and Media, overseeing the League’s marketing and licensing programs, all business sales, the production and creation of League content across all platforms, and the League’s existing and future traditional and new media relationships. He was promoted to COO in August 2008.
During Collins’ tenure at the NHL, the League has experienced record breaking seasons in terms of revenue, attendance, television ratings and NHL.com traffic. In his time at the League, Collins integrated the League’s business and media operations; oversaw the development of new, strategic corporate marketing partnerships with companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Bridgestone and ScotiaBank; spearheaded the creation of the NHL Winter Classic (for which he was named Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age Magazine), oversaw the launch of NHL Network in the United States; and he initiated NHL Network Online, the League’s landmark broadband media experience.
Collins has more than 15 years of experience managing business and media properties in a professional sports league context. Prior to joining the NHL, Collins was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Browns after being recruited for this position from the National Football League office by new Browns owner Randy Lerner. During his two seasons with the Browns, Collins oversaw all aspects of the club and worked with Lerner in the development, strategic planning and implementation of organizational goals and initiatives while also representing the Browns in National Football League matters.
Prior to joining the Browns in April 2004, Collins served in a variety of key business roles with the National Football League since 1989. In his last role as NFL Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Collins led all the marketing, programming, corporate sponsorship and advertising sales of the League. He was a key member of the team that launched the NFL Network.
Collins is credited with leading a renewed brand and consumer focus to the NFL that resulted in that league becoming one of the most visible and successful brands in the world. During his tenure at the NFL, he developed and negotiated marketing partnerships with corporate America valued in excess of $1.9 billion in rights fees, activation, and advertising commitments and doubled annual corporate sponsorship revenues to over $200 million. These marketing initiatives drove a significant increase in the media and corporate world’s commitment to the NFL.
Collins began his NFL career with NFL Films where he was responsible for the development, distribution and sales of more than 3,500 hours of annual programming distributed across broadcast and cable television, syndication, home video and DVD platforms. Collins left the NFL in November 1999 for a brief stint with Broadband Sports before being recruited back to NFL headquarters in September 2000.