Scott O’Neil is the Chief Executive Officer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, an organization with the mission of becoming the most impactful sports and entertainment company in the world through the pursuit of innovation and performance, the industry’s most passionate and driven executives and engagement in the communities where its properties live, work, play and win.
O’Neil is responsible for the organization’s leadership, strategic vision, operations and growth, including the pursuit and acquisition of sports, entertainment and consumer-facing properties. He is the acting Chief Executive Officer over all properties within the organization’s portfolio and under the ownership of Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, including: the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the New Jersey Devils (NHL), Prudential Center, a top five-ranked performance venue in the U.S. located in Newark, New Jersey; Team Dignitas, an internationally renowned esports team, the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball, the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, the Delaware 87ers (NBA G League), and the Binghamton Devils (AHL).
With more than 20 years of experience in the NBA, NHL and NFL, O’Neil has earned a reputation as a leader of leaders and is one of the most connected, dynamic and driven executives in the industry today. Previous executives whom he has mentored and managed run many of the top organizations in sports and entertainment today; those he currently manages are poised to lead the industry into the next generation.
The sports industry veteran’s reputation for authentic leadership, an unparalleled drive to innovate, and an emphasis on the importance of corporate culture has placed him at the forefront of the industry vanguard. In merely five years overseeing operations for the properties in HBSE’s portfolio, O’Neil led the Philadelphia 76ers to sign the first jersey patch sponsorship in “Big Four” sports history; construct the largest and most technically advanced training complex in professional sports, the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex; establish an industry-leading Innovation Lab, and become the first U.S. professional sports franchise to acquire a world-renowned esports team. In that same period, under O’Neil’s ambitious and aggressive leadership, Prudential Center has become a top ten and top five most-played venue in the U.S and the world by Billboard and Pollstar, respectively, and welcomes over 1.75 million fans and event attendees through its doors annually.
Of his professional accomplishments, O’Neil considers his organizations’ corporate culture and dedication to community service his greatest successes and future legacy. The Philadelphia 76ers have been named one of the “Top 50 Cultures” in the U.S. by Entrepreneur (2017), three-times named a “Best Place to Work in Philadelphia” by the Philadelphia Business Journal (2016, 2015, 2014), and named a “Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania by the Central Penn Business Journal (2017). Prudential Center was named a “Best Business” by NJBiz (2016). O’Neil’s belief that those who steward iconic sports and entertainment brands have the responsibility and privilege to use those platforms to mentor the next generation of leaders and make the world a better place is the driving force behind HBSE’s community engagement initiatives.
Recognizing the important role HBSE’s properties play within its communities, O’Neil’s employees individually volunteer 76 hours of service annually in the communities where their fans and patrons live, work and play, resulting in more than 30,000 hours of dedicated community service each year. The Philadelphia 76ers’ charitable endeavor, the Sixers Youth Foundation, has additionally raised more than $1 million for Philadelphia-area youth last year alone and is leveraging sports to help children in need.
The former President of Madison Square Garden Sports, O’Neil has had the opportunity to oversee some of the most iconic brands in all of sports, including the New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Rangers (NHL). O’Neil was the key architect in some of the largest deals in history, resulting in record-setting revenue in sponsorships, tickets and suites, while helping in transforming the “World’s Most Famous Arena” forever. Preceding his post at MSG Sports, O’Neil spent seven years as the Senior Vice President of the NBA’s renowned Team Marketing and Business Operations group, where he advised NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League teams on all business operations. Earlier in his career, O’Neil served as the President of HoopsTV.com and held positions with the New Jersey Nets (NBA) and Philadelphia Eagles (NFL).
O’Neil serves as an Alternate Governor for the NBA and NHL. O’Neil’s influence and experience has earned him a place at the podium at some of the largest industry conferences in the world, delivering keynotes at events such as: Leaders in Sport, Beyond Sport, Sports Business Journal’s World Congress of Sport, the IEG Pivot Conference, the Ivy Sports Symposium, Sport Marketing Association’s Conference and more. O’Neil’s leadership practices have been chronicled and applauded in The Outward Mindset by the Arbinger Institute, publishers of The New York Times Best Seller Leadership and Self Deception, as well as in The Orange Revolution by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. He has made numerous appearances on CNN, CNBC, FOX Business Network, and has twice co-hosted Bloomberg television’s Bloomberg <GO>. He also interacts daily with his more than 16,000 and 25,000 followers on Twitter and LinkedIn, respectively.
O’Neil earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Villanova University and his Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Lisa, and daughters Alexa, Kira, and Eliza, who oversee the family’s charitable organization, Give and Be Happy.