David Stern completed his 30-year tenure as NBA commissioner on February 1, 2014.
As commissioner, Mr. Stern built the model for professional sports in league operations, public service, global marketing, television distribution and digital technology. He oversaw the NBA’s extraordinary growth with seven new franchises, a more than 30-fold increase in revenues, a dramatic expansion of national television exposure and the launch of two leagues, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League. He negotiated the first anti-drug agreement in professional sports and introduced the salary cap system and revenue sharing to the NBA.
The NBA experienced tremendous global growth during Mr. Stern’s tenure, and that growth continues today: The NBA has 12 offices outside the United States; its games and programming are televised and streamed in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages; and it offers fans 19 international online destinations. The NBA was the first U.S. professional sports league to stage regular-season games outside North America, and the league has played more than 165 international preseason and regular-season games to date.
Mr. Stern also oversaw the launch of the leagues’ digital assets, including NBA.com, WNBA.com, and NBADLeague.com; social media platforms; NBA LEAGUE PASS; NBA TV; and mobile applications, all of which reach hundreds of millions of fans every day.
An intense commitment to social responsibility both in the United States and around the world marked Mr. Stern’s tenure as commissioner. Under his leadership, the league launched NBA Cares, a global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. NBA Cares supports a host of community outreach initiatives, including a myriad of internationally recognized youth-serving programs that focus on education, youth and family development, and health and wellness.
Mr. Stern was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2014 and the International Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. He is a 2013 recipient of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, awarded by Harvard University in recognition of contributions to African and African-American culture, and a recipient of the Yale Executive Leadership Institute’s Legend in Leadership Award which celebrates contemporary business leaders who have made transformational contributions across sectors. He is the chair emeritus of the Trustees of Columbia University and serves or has served on the boards of the Rutgers University Foundation, the NAACP, the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Paley Center for Media and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A native of New York City, Mr. Stern is a graduate of Rutgers University and Columbia Law School.
Currently, as CEO of DJS Global Advisors, Mr. Stern is a Senior Advisor to the NBA, investment bank PJT Partners, venture capital firm Greycroft Partners and PWC’s Entertainment and Media Advisory Practice, as well as an advisor to several sports technology start-ups.