Brittanie Boyd, a Texan through and through, isn’t bashful about her plans.
“It’s no secret that I aspire to be a team president one day,” said Boyd, 32, the 76ers’ new senior vice president of marketing. “Sales and marketing are the true key pillars in any business."
Of course, the key pillars of sports businesses have more to do with acquiring talent and winning games. However, more than any team in professional sports, the Sixers and their parent company, Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, have prioritized branding their teams and enhancing their game-day experience.
Boyd saw from her six-year perch as HBSE’s vice president for the New Jersey Devils' and the Prudential Center’s corporate partnerships that, even in the dreariest days of “The Process” — the Sixers’ painful, ongoing destruction and reconstruction of the franchise that began in 2013 — the team sold enthusiasm and optimism, whether it was promoting Joel Embiid or Dario Saric.
The engine pulling that promotional locomotive was Katie O’Reilly, the former chief marketing officer whose initiatives dovetailed nicely with the team’s personality. She spearheaded initiatives such as the “Welcome to the Moment” and “Phila Unite” slogans and the institution of celebrity pregame bell ringers, like Kevin Hart, M. Night Shyamalan, and, of course, the seminal moment in bell-ringing history: when it was rung by RZA, the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan.
The Sixers remain a paragon of diversity and inclusion among professional sports franchises. Last month the team and HBSE committed $20 million to social justice initiatives, and two weeks ago the Sixers hired 31-year-old Germantown native David Gould to the newly created post of chief diversity officer.
Boyd will work on two boards aimed at increasing diversity in the industry. The goal, she said, is a 50% representation in power positions by women and minorities within the next decade. But, while adding numbers is important, shuffling upward — retaining and promoting those already in your business — is crucial as well. Elizabeth Berman succeeded Tyneeha Rivers as chief human resources officer for HBSE when Rivers, the mother of Villanova/Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges, left the company earlier this year.
O’Reilly isn’t going anywhere. She will become the chief revenue officer and, as a Main Line kid, will remain in the town where she was raised, and, of course, where her loyalties lie.
And Boyd’s loyalties? She’s from Dallas, after all.
“I’m a Texas girl at heart,” she said, laughing. “I’ll leave it at that."