Longtime sports executive John Collins is investing in the NHL’s New York Islanders, and will become the team’s operating partner, according to an internal email circulated Thursday by owner Scott Malkin.
Collins, who was the NHL’s chief operating officer from 2008 to 2015, will run the team’s business operations, according to the email, which was viewed by Sportico. Malkin’s partner Jon Ledecky will remain in his role leading the team’s community efforts, the email says.
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It’s unclear how much Collins is investing, or how large his stake will be. A representative for the Islanders didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Islanders are worth $920 million, 13th highest in the league, according to Sportico’s annual valuations. Two years ago the team opened the $1.1 billion UBS Arena, in partnership with Oak View Group. The Islanders are also a partner (alongside OVG and former Mets owner Jeff Wilpon) in a $1.3 billion redevelopment project of nearby Belmont Park.
Collins has wide experience across the industry, working with teams, leagues and related companies. He was the primary developer of the NHL’s Winter Classic and Stadium Series games, which are played in outdoor venues and key marketing events for the league. Prior to joining the NHL, he was a marketing executive at the NFL and CEO/president of the Cleveland Browns. After leaving the NHL, he ran On Location Experiences, the NFL-backed hospitality company, up until its $660 million sale to Endeavor, and he is currently an investor and director in gambling operator Super Group.
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