Filling this arena for the first time

Steve’s breakdown: The Golden Knights of Los Vegas have just named their first CMO and if I were him, I’d be taking meetings with every ad agency out there. Be the first.

LOS VEGAS, NV: The Golden Knights moved quickly to fill the No. 2 vacancy on the business side, hiring Brian Killingsworth as senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Killingsworth, 40, who spent the last five years in the NFL overseeing marketing and branding for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the St. Louis Rams, will be responsible for coordinating the Knights’ marketing as well as assisting majority owner Bill Foley in some of his other business ventures, including cross-promoting Foley’s domestic wineries and his Rock Creek resort properties in Montana and Idaho.

Killingsworth also spent 10 years working with the Tampa Bay Rays as senior director of marketing and promotions for the Major League Baseball team.

“We talked to three or four people but he really resonated with me,” Foley said of Killingsworth following Wednesday’s announcement by the team. “The fact is, he’s a brand-builder. He helped build back the Rays and his NFL experience will come in handy as well. He’s a low-ego person and we were fortunate to get him.”

Killingsworth, who is already on the job, replaces Nehme Abouzeid, who resigned his position at the end of June after eight months with the Knights. Abouzeid has launched his own consulting firm to help start-up companies market and brand themselves.

“Las Vegas has shown it is hockey-ready,” Killingsworth said. “This market is a lot deeper than I thought it was and we have a chance to do some exciting things.”

Killingsworth was with Tampa Bay for two seasons and St. Louis for three years. But while working for an NFL team has its obvious benefits, to work with an expansion team that has no history is special, he said.

“It’s a marketer’s dream to launch something from scratch,” Killingsworth said. “I was so impressed by Bill Foley’s vision and what he stands for and I’m looking forward to the challenge of building the Golden Knights brand in Las Vegas and beyond.”

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