SOURCE: Van Wagner Communications, LLC

Van Wagner Communications, LLC

May 29, 2013 15:52 ET

Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment Names Jeff Knapple President & CEO

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 29, 2013) - Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment (VWSE) has named Jeff Knapple president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. The announcement was made today by Richard Schaps, founder and CEO of Van Wagner Communications, LLC, parent of VWSE. Knapple is a 25-year industry veteran in stadium naming rights, corporate consulting and sports business leadership. He is charged with continuing the firm's rapid growth in broadcast-visible advertising, media rights and venue-based consulting services, in addition to providing high level sports and entertainment strategic consulting services to many of the world's leading global organizations.

"Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment has been a leader in the sports industry for two decades, and I couldn't be more excited to carry the torch forward," said Knapple. "I'm honored by the support and confidence from our parent company's senior leadership team, and am inspired by this team of bright and dedicated people. Van Wagner has a well-deserved reputation as an industry innovator. My goal is to leverage that reputation and capitalize on Van Wagner's unique ability to accelerate growth and bring new and exciting leadership to an industry that is rapidly moving forward."

Since joining Van Wagner in 2012, Knapple has led the firm's Team and Venue Services group, initiating its expansion into team and venue-based consulting services. Prior to joining Van Wagner, Knapple co-founded Envision LLC with Philip Anschutz, which was later sold to Wasserman Media Group, where he led the company's sales and naming rights operation for 11 years. Knapple has been the principal on more than 15 major naming rights deals dating back to 1998, including STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA), Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA), Emirates Stadium (London), Dolby Theatre (Hollywood, CA), and MetLife Stadium (New York, NY).

In commenting on the announcement, Schaps stated, "Jeff is a highly respected leader in the sports business industry with a strong record of significant accomplishments. Our clients need and demand the best, and Jeff brings the type of enthusiasm and leadership clients value. Just as importantly, Jeff understands the fast changing nature of this business and where we plan to take Van Wagner in the future."

"We have strong leadership positions in corporate consulting, media rights and representation, in-venue advertising and the stadium revenue development business," Knapple continued. "Our challenge is to respond to our clients' evolving needs in a marketplace that has become more competitive and complex. We intend to fully utilize all of our unique assets that bring clients more creativity, efficiencies and passion than others that exist in the marketplace. By doing so, we will be providing more strategic, innovative and ultimately far more lucrative solutions."

Knapple succeeds Cliff Kaplan, who is leaving as a result of differences in strategic direction. "I want to thank Cliff for his tremendous efforts and contributions to Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment," added Schaps. "I know that Cliff will be a success wherever his future endeavors take him."

Knapple will relocate from Los Angeles to Van Wagner's headquarters in Manhattan. Succeeding Knapple as head of the firm's Team and Venue Services group is Chris Allphin, formerly vice president of VWSE.

About Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment (VWSE)
Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment is one of the nation's leading sports marketing and media sales organizations. VWSE, a wholly owned subsidiary of Van Wagner Communications, LLC, is organized into four divisions:

  • Van Wagner Dorna USA, LLC is the industry leading provider of rotational signage utilized by most MLB and NBA teams as well as over 100 NCAA institutions.
  • Van Wagner's Media and Properties division delivers advertising, sponsorship, and programming opportunities with best-in-class sports properties to corporate marketers.
  • Van Wagner Strategies and Solutions is a corporate advisory practice that works on behalf of brands to identify, develop, activate and manage a full range of sponsorship and promotional programs.
  • Van Wagner's Team and Venue Services division focuses on revenue maximization for teams by providing a suite of services focused on enhancing the fan experience.

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