The National Basketball Assn.'s No. 3 executive will move to Los Angeles this summer to serve as president of a new division housing Fox Entertainment Group's sports team and arena interests, Fox said Tuesday.
Rick Welts, 46, has spent the last 17 years at the New York-based NBA, where he handled the league's marketing, consumer products and sponsorship activities. As its executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Welts also directed marketing for the premiere season of the Women's NBA and for the "Dream Team" basketball squad at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Welts will serve as president of Fox Sports Enterprises, a new company that will oversee Fox's growing sports holdings, including the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fox also owns part interests in the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden and the new Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. The company holds options for stakes in the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings.
Sports marketers say Welts' challenge will be crafting a cohesive marketing plan for Fox, which is best known for its feature film, television and cable holdings. The company is locked in a rivalry with Walt Disney Co. both on athletic fields and in the competitive world of television and cable sports.