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Career in focus: Len Komoroski’s Executive Tree – Sports Business Journal

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The cascade of emails, texts and calls arrived in bunches on Len Komoroski’s phone on April 7, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse CEO humbled and emotionally moved on the heels of his announcement that he was stepping away from his role after a distinguished 19-year tenure with the organization.

Komoroski, 62, was integral in helping the once moribund franchise reach new heights in revenue, ratings and attendance, creating an impactful social responsibility platform and renovating Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

But a defining aspect of his legacy transcends those achievements, centering instead on the very faces at the other end of those messages, specifically the ones who once called him their boss. They now oversee large teams and make industry-shaping decisions in various corners of the sports business world and beyond.

After more than 42 years in the industry, Komoroski, now senior adviser of Rock Entertainment Group, is proud owner of an ever-expanding executive tree as vast as it is impressive.

“Wherever he has been, he has left a constellation of stars,” said Scott O’Neil, the former CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment who worked under Komoroski in the mid-1990s with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Many of those who reported directly to him — or worked alongside him — say their professional philosophies were shaped by his leadership traits, from his grand vision and no-stone-left-unturned preparation to strategic planning and unrelenting positivity. A guiding light for Komoroski’s own journey has been the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken.” The Pittsburgh native has long sought the biggest professional mountains to scale — the steeper the incline the better — and many of his employees say he empowered them to join him on the ascent.

“He is such a great cheerleader or baton passer, if you will,” said Hallie Yavitch, who worked under Komoroski in Cleveland for more than a decade before becoming senior vice president for booking and marketing for Crypto.com Arena, Microsoft Theater and L.A. Live. “He creates people who can be successful. He helps you realize your potential even if you didn’t know that’s what you wanted him to do.”

That started decades ago. At an early career stop, Komoroski — a mere 27 in 1988 — sprung into a role as vice president of sales with the expansion Minnesota Timberwolves. The 35-member staff of mostly 20-somethings leaned into innovation to such an extent — taking cues from indoor soccer’s use of fog machines, laser shows and pulsating music — that even the perpetually forward-thinking, then-NBA Commissioner David Stern would call and say half-jokingly, “What the heck are you guys doing in Minnesota?” But during Komoroski’s six-year stint, the new franchise became one of the league’s strongest revenue-driving teams.

In this photo taken in 1989 while Komoroski worked for the Minnesota Timberwolves are: Shawn Hunter (left), Komoroski, Tim Leiweke, John Thomas and Brenda Tinnen.cleveland cavaliers

Among those benefiting from Komoroski’s instruction was Shawn Hunter, who arrived as an intern 31 years ago before being quickly hired in the sponsorship division under Komoroski. The two shared many drives through the Upper Midwest to secure logistics for preseason games, diving deep into philosophical discussions about sales, sponsorship and branding and how they could integrate the most creative, irreverent concepts from minor league baseball into business strategy. Hunter likened his tenure with Komoroski to getting a Ph.D.

“It changed the …….

Source: https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Journal/Issues/2022/09/05/Portfolio/Career-in-focus.aspx

getty images

The cascade of emails, texts and calls arrived in bunches on Len Komoroski’s phone on April 7, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse CEO humbled and emotionally moved on the heels of his announcement that he was stepping away from his role after a distinguished 19-year tenure with the organization.

Komoroski, 62, was integral in helping the once moribund franchise reach new heights in revenue, ratings and attendance, creating an impactful social responsibility platform and renovating Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

But a defining aspect of his legacy transcends those achievements, centering instead o…….

getty images

The cascade of emails, texts and calls arrived in bunches on Len Komoroski’s phone on April 7, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse CEO humbled and emotionally moved on the heels of his announcement that he was stepping away from his role after a distinguished 19-year tenure with the organization.

Komoroski, 62, was integral in helping the once moribund franchise reach new heights in revenue, ratings and attendance, creating an impactful social responsibility platform and renovating Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

But a defining aspect of his legacy transcends those achievements, centering instead o…….

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