Andrew Lustgarten has been upped to the new role of President of the Madison Square Garden Co, effective immediately. David O’Connor, a former partner in CAA had been leading MSG for the past two years but abruptly exited last month and the company’s exec chairman/CEO James Dolan stepped in. Lustgarten will report to Dolan.
By choosing Lustgarten, MSG choose to promote from within its own ranks. Lustgarten had joined MSG in 2014 from the NBA to become exec VP of corporate development and strategy. Since then, the company noted, he has played an important role in driving MSG’s growth initiatives, significantly expanding its portfolio of live experiences.
As President, he will now be responsible for driving both internal and external opportunities for growth, the company said. He will oversee MSG’s entertainment and sports bookings and productions businesses, as well as all aspects of the business operations of the company’s professional sports franchises. He will also continue to drive the
company’s corporate development activities, including pursuing new strategic opportunities, initiatives and
“Andy is the perfect person to help lead MSG at this point in its history,” said Mr. Dolan. “His unique experience
in sports, live entertainment management and corporate development will be critically important as we continue
to focus on enhancing our core businesses and identifying compelling opportunities that further our presence and
influence in live experiences.”
For the past three years, Lustgarten has been considered a key member of MSG’s management team, which has been focused on implementing a strategic plan for growth. During his tenure, he oversaw MSG’s live operations, including its bookings businesses at all of the venues. In addition, the company credited him with diversifying its portfolio of live offerings, including overseeing acquisitions of controlling interests in TAO Group, Boston Calling Events (which produces the premier Boston Calling Music Festival) and Counter Logic Gaming (an esports organization) as well as the purchase of a minority stake in Townsquare Media.
Lustgarten also played an integral role in MSG’s investment in and marketing partnership with DraftKings, the fantasy sports giant, and has introduced innovative new opportunities such as bringing the first-ever esports events to The Garden and spearheading strategic investments in virtual reality leaders, Jaunt and NextVR.
Lustgarten spent seven years at the NBA, where he served as senior VP, global strategy, and before that, Special Assistant to the Commissioner. He played a key role in the negotiation of the league’s landmark media rights deals in 2014 and its collective bargaining agreement. He oversaw the NBA’s global strategy group, which focuses on the league’s global initiatives, media opportunities and new ventures, including equity investment structuring and strategic initiatives, including the league’s revenue sharing plan, the formation of a $253 million external investment in NBA China, and the investment in one-day fantasy sports operator FanDuel.
Prior to joining the NBA, he worked at Cablevision Systems Corporation in finance and in
investment banking at Bear Stearns & Co.