Blues announce hiring of new CEO on business side

News-DemocratJune 16, 2014 

St. Louis Blues Chairman Tom Stillman announced Monday that the franchise has appointed Chris Zimmerman as President and CEO of Business Operations.

Zimmerman, 54, comes to the Blues with more than 30 years of experience in sports, marketing, and business management. From 2006 to 2009, Zimmerman was President, CEO, and Alternate Governor of the Vancouver Canucks.

During his tenure, Zimmerman led a number of key initiatives to create new revenue streams, expand the club's digital presence, enhance community involvement, and develop innovative programs with the team's corporate partners.

He was also chosen to be a member of the NHL's Business Advisory Council.

Prior to joining the Canucks, Zimmerman was with Nike for 11 years. He joined Nike in 1995 as North America Advertising Director and helped fuel a period of dramatic growth for the Nike brand. In 2000, Zimmerman was named General Manager of Nike Golf; he played a key role in repositioning the business by entering new product categories and leveraging relationships with Tiger Woods and the PGA Tour.

In 2003, Zimmerman took charge of Nike's hockey business as President and CEO of Nike Bauer Hockey, leading a dramatic turnaround that returned Bauer to the top spot in the hockey equipment industry.

Zimmerman began his career with Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world's top advertising agencies. During his 12-year tenure, he worked on marketing brands and growing revenues for such companies as Procter & Gamble, Nabisco, Tyson Foods, and Wendy's. He was also a member of the agency's Operating Board.

Over the last four years, Zimmerman served as President of Easton Sports (a leading supplier of baseball and hockey equipment), was a member of the Los Angeles Kings' Business Advisory Group, and operated his own strategic consulting business.

Zimmerman played hockey at the University of Vermont, and he served as an assistant hockey coach at Babson College while working toward his MBA there.

"Chris has an exceptional record of building fan and consumer engagement for a diverse set of sports brands," said Stillman. "He is known in the sports industry as a creative marketer who develops innovative partnerships that drive business results. Chris has a passion for the game of hockey and a commitment to building great organizations, and I am confident he will drive our business forward as we continue to pursue a Stanley Cup for St. Louis."

"I am thrilled with the opportunity to join the St. Louis Blues and to contribute to the club's storied history," said Zimmerman. "I feel especially fortunate to be coming on board at a time of tremendous progress and momentum for the Blues. I can't wait to start working with everyone in the Blues organization, as well as fans, corporate partners, and the rest of the community, as we continue building a championship-caliber franchise."

In addition to overseeing all aspects of the Blues' business operations, Zimmerman will be responsible for the Scottrade Center and for the Blues' role and interest in the Peabody Opera House.

Bruce Affleck, formerly the Blues' President of Business Operations, decided earlier this year to move to a new role in which he will focus on developing enhanced relationships with key St. Louis companies.

Affleck's new title is Executive Vice President, and he will work closely with Zimmerman.

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