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Official: Brett Yormark Named Big 12 Conference Commissioner

Bob Bowlsby's replacement has been named, and Brett Yormark will serve as the Big 12's fifth commissioner.

The Big 12 has officially named Bob Bowlsby’s replacement.

Brett Yormark has been named the fifth Commissioner in the history of the Big 12, the league announced on Wednesday morning.

Before taking on the challenge of leading the Big 12, Yormark served as the chief operating officer and co-CEO of Roc Nation Unified, the commercial side of Roc Nation.

Yormark will officially begin on August 1, 2022, and his initial contract term is for five years.

"Thank you to the Big 12 Board, the ADs, the student-athletes, the whole Conference for giving me a chance to support what they all do," Yormark said in a press release. "I'm here to listen, learn, find ways to add value, add resources and try to help shine a light on the importance of college athletics.

“I look forward to leveraging my experience and network alongside our presidents, chancellors and athletic directors to shape the future of the Big 12 brand and emphasize our collective strengths."

A graduate of Indiana University, Yormark got his start in sports by joining the ticket office of the then-New Jersey Nets in 1988.

Yormark was eventually named as the CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclay’s Center, a role he served in from 2015-2019.

During his stint at CEO with the Nets, Yormark oversaw the team’s move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, where the organization build the first new arena in New York City in 60 years.

More than just marketing an NBA franchise, the Barclay’s Center attracted the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament and the Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament under Yormark’s leadership.

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"Brett is one of the most skilled and knowledgeable executives in sports and entertainment," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in the press release. "His decades of operational experience, relentless work ethic and strong industry relationships will be of enormous value to the Big 12, its schools and fans."

Before he took on his leading role with the Nets, Yormark served as the Vice President of corporate sponsorships with NASCAR. During his tenure, NASCAR landed a $750 million partnership agreement, the largest in history at the time, which gave Nextel Communications the naming rights to the NASCAR racing series.

"On behalf of FOX Sports, we'd like to officially congratulate Brett Yormark on being named the new Commissioner of the Big 12," Eric Shanks, CEO and Executive Producer of FOX Sports, said in the release. "Brett is a talented and innovative executive who brings a remarkably unique perspective to the position. Under his leadership and vision, the conference is set up for success, and we look forward to continuing to build on our relationship as a premier partner of the Big 12."

Yormark was named to Crain’s “40 Under 40” list twice and Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list three times for his creative business approaches.

The Big 12's Board of Directors, comprised of the presidents and chancellors of the ten current Big 12 members, participated in the Commissioner interview process, along with the four new members of the conference who will enter the Big 12 in 2023. The Big 12's current membership made the final selection of the Commissioner.

“In Brett Yormark, we have chosen a highly adaptable leader who thrives in dynamic times. The landscape of college athletics is evolving to look more like the world Brett has been leading," Lawrence Schovanec, President of Texas Tech University and Chair of the Big 12 Conference Board of Directors, said. "He's authentic and genuine in the way he builds relationships and partnerships, and he works relentlessly to deliver impact. As Brett immerses himself in college sports and connects with all our stakeholders, he will bring a fresh approach and dynamic energy to the Big 12 as we engage a new generation of student-athletes and fans."

"I want to thank my fellow board members and our partners at TurnkeyZRG. Turnkey is more than just a search firm; they orchestrated a flawless strategy and process, delivering strong interest and strong candidates from college and professional sports, as well as the media and entertainment industries.”

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