Alumni Advisory Board
Amy Brooks (BA '96, MBA '02)
As President, Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO) and Chief Innovation Officer at the NBA, Amy Brooks drives innovative decision-making and growth across the league’s business through the development and execution of new ideas and initiatives, and collaborates with the NBA’s senior leadership on setting the league’s global strategic priorities.
Brooks is also responsible for growing NBA, WNBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League team profitability through strategic consulting on all aspects of business operations, including ticket and sponsorship sales, marketing, digital, customer retention, arena operations, staffing, analytics and expense control.
Under her leadership, TMBO develops best practice sales and marketing strategies and industry-leading analytics on behalf of 85 teams in four leagues. Brooks also advises teams via in-market visits and more than 20 annual workshops and training sessions.
Since joining TMBO in 2007, Brooks has helped drive results across all leagues, including numerous records for attendance, ticket revenue and sponsorship revenue. In 2016-17, the NBA set a third consecutive all-time attendance record. Prior to joining TMBO, she served as the NBA’s senior director of marketing partnerships, where she led a team responsible for developing innovative marketing platforms for many of the league’s global sponsors.
Prior to joining the NBA in 2005, Brooks worked for Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm. Previously, she was a product manager at Sun Microsystems.
Brooks received her M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where she was a member of the women’s basketball team that won three conference championships and went to the NCAA Final Four. She also has been recognized by SportsBusiness Journal (Forty Under 40) and Forbes (Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports).
Dave Kaval (BA '98, MBA '03)
On Nov. 17, 2016, David Kaval was named the seventh president in the history of the Oakland Athletics. He replaced Michael Crowley, who has served as club president since Sept. 28, 1998.
Kaval currently serves as the president of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, a position he has held since October 2010. He oversees the business and soccer sides of the franchise and represents the club on the Major League Soccer Board of Governors. He will continue to serve in this capacity as he transitions to his new role with the Athletics.
During his time with the Quakes, Kaval has led a transformation of the organization both on and off the pitch, elevating the stature and awareness of the club. It began with the Quakes winning the 2012 Supporters’ Shield, which is awarded to the MLS team with the best regular season record, and culminated in the opening of Avaya Stadium—the Quakes’ $100M privately financed soccer stadium—on March 22, 2015.
Since its opening, the 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium has received numerous awards, including the Silicon Valley Business Times Structure Award and the Product Innovation Award from the Stadium Business Awards in Barcelona. The Quakes have sold out every home MLS match since the stadium opened and boast a season ticket base of 13,000 fans, with an additional 4,000 on the wait list.
The stadium also has played host to world-class events such as USA Rugby matches, the Women’s NCAA College Cup, Mexican soccer matches, the MLS All-Star Game, and friendly matches with Manchester United and Club America.
In addition to events at Avaya Stadium, Kaval spearheaded the creation of one of the Bay Area’s signature annual sporting events at Stanford Stadium. The Earthquakes play the LA Galaxy every summer at Stanford in the California Clásico, an event that features a world- class halftime show and the largest Fourth of July fireworks display in the Bay Area. The event has sold out with 50,000 fans for the past five years.
Kaval developed the innovative $20M naming rights partnership with Avaya, which helped create the world’s first cloud-enabled stadium and some of the fastest wifi speeds of any sports venue open today.
In an effort to improve communication with fans and community stakeholders, Kaval launched a weekly blog on SJEarthquakes.com, started a twitter feed at @QuakesPrez, and initiated weekly office hours.
Prior to joining the Earthquakes, Kaval founded the independent Golden Baseball League (GBL) in 2003. Memorable GBL alumni include Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, Daniel Nava, Jose Lima, and Mark Prior. Kaval has also spent time in the Office of the President of the United States in Washington, D.C., where he worked on the National Security budget as part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
He serves on a number of boards, including the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the Bay Area Council, and Rocketship Education. Additionally, he serves on the National Governing Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and is a member of San Jose Rotary and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
In 2000, Kaval co-authored a book entitled “The Summer that Saved Baseball,” which highlighted a tour of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the summer of 1998. He is also a lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) where he teaches sports management.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Kaval earned a B.A. with honors in International Relations and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He is a long- time resident of Menlo Park and lives there with his wife and two daughters.
Paraag Marathe (MBA '04)
Paraag Marathe is in his 16th year with the 49ers, and first as Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Marathe is also a Managing Partner in the investment entity created by the York Family.
On the team side, Marathe reports directly to 49ers CEO Jed York and has a significant role in major strategic decisions for the club as Chief Strategy Officer. He also continues in his long-respected role as the team’s chief contract negotiator and salary cap architect, while overseeing the team’s football analytics department.
As part of the 49ers York family’s investment entity, Marathe has already led a number of transactions as the team looks for investment opportunities in and out of sports to expand the 49ers brand. In 2015, Marathe was selected as a member of the Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
While serving as team President for two years (2014-15) and Chief Operating Officer for four years (2010-13), Marathe helped bring to life the vision of an unparalleled fan experience at Levi’s Stadium. The vision was to be a physical representation of all that is special about the Bay Area, in particular its innovative technology, sustainability, and culture. Levi’s Stadium features several elements that accomplish those goals, including the 49ers Museum presented by Sony, Michael Mina’s world-class restaurants - Bourbon Steak and Bourbon Pub, television and radio production studios, the flagship 49ers Team Store, a 27,000 square foot green roof and the Levi’s Stadium mobile app that allows fans to personalize their visit to the venue. Marathe played a critical role on the small team that founded and incubated VenueNext, a company whose vision is to use technology to set a new standard for the live event experience.
Marathe also holds a significant leadership position on the football side. He is responsible for the 49ers compliance with the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement and works alongside general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly on all aspects of the club’s football operations.
Prior to being named team President, Marathe spent several seasons as the team’s COO. Under his direction, the 49ers experienced tremendous progress off the field, with the construction of Levi’s Stadium being the focal point of the club’s efforts. His leadership has proven integral to the club’s short-term and long-term business strategy, as he set the vision and hired many of the current executive team members, while the club transitioned from Candlestick Park to Levi’s Stadium.
Prior to joining the 49ers, Marathe spent several years at management consulting firm Bain & Company, as a Senior Associate Consultant, where he advised clients in a variety of industries including private equity, venture capital, software, retail, sports footwear, consumer products, and health clubs. Before that, Marathe worked in the sports consulting group at the International Management Group (IMG), where he concentrated primarily on stadium naming rights deals, corporate sponsorships, and athlete endorsements.
A native of Saratoga, CA, Marathe’s passion for the 49ers was instilled at a very young age. As an avid Bay Area sports fan, he has rarely missed any 49ers games since he was six years old. Marathe’s Bay Area roots run deep, having received his bachelor’s degree with high honors from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley and his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Marathe, his wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Juniper, live in Los Altos, CA.
Jon oram (Ba/ma '96)
Jon H. Oram is a Partner in Proskauer’s Corporate Department and a member of the Sports Law Group. Jon has a broad-based transactional practice with an emphasis on clients in the sports industry, including teams, leagues, owners, financial institutions, corporate sponsors and private equity funds.
Since joining Proskauer, Jon has represented the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the ATP Tour, the WTA Tour and various other sports leagues in their most significant transactional matters, including team ownership transfers, financings, expansions, relocations, bankruptcies and investigations.
Araceli ortiz (BA/ma '08, ma/mba '12)
Araceli Ortiz joined Stanford Athletics in 2014 and serves as Assistant Athletics Director, Marketing. In this role, Ortiz is responsible for managing the Stanford Athletics brand, driving revenue and setting the marketing strategy for Stanford’s 36 varsity sports, in addition to oversight of licensing for Stanford Athletics.
Ortiz and her teams have created and rolled out branding guidelines and key messages, including a university-wide consistent visual identity, negotiated a new e-commerce deal for Stanford Athletics and increased digital ticket sales revenue by over 20%. Ortiz is also leading the ambitious “Home of Champions” project, a one-of-a-kind hall of fame for Stanford Athletics set to open in summer 2017.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Ortiz previously worked at Pac-12 Networks and the United States Golf Association. A former four-year member of Stanford’s rowing program, Ortiz graduated with an undergraduate degree in international relations (Portuguese minor) and a co-terminal master’s degree in Latin American studies, as well as a joint MBA and MA in education from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education, respectively.
MICHAEL SPIRITO (MBA '06)
Michael Spirito currently serves as the head of digital media at the FOX Sports regional sports networks as well as the head of business development and digital media at the YES (Yankees Entertainment and Sports) Network, which he joined in 2006. Over the past 10 years, Michael has been a pioneer in the digital media business, highlighted by the launch of the first in-market live game streaming product in MLB history in 2009, which was also the first authenticated ‘TV Everywhere’ product in professional sports. Other achievements include establishing YES’s industry leading presence in social media and first of their kind deals with Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Google, YES’s partnerships with Arsenal Football Club and Manchester City and multiple traditional and digital distribution initiatives. Since he took over digital at the FOX RSNs, digital video production and consumption has increased over 500%.
From 2000 to 2004, Michael was a founding member of Time Warner Ventures, where he invested in the digital media space. Michael sourced, led series A and B rounds and served as a board member of N2 Broadband, which was acquired by Tandberg TV (ERIC) in 2005. Michael began his career as an investment banking analyst in the Media/Telecom group at Credit Suisse.
Michael is a 2-time Emmy Award winner, has been named to Multichannel News' "40 under 40" list and has been named to CableFax's "Digital Hot List" for seven consecutive years. In his spare time, he has served as a founding investor in and advisor to Bonobos Inc. and Tecovas, as well as a Series A investor in Trunk Club.
jamie zaninovich (BA '93, MBA '01)
Deputy Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich comes to the Pac-12 after six years as the commissioner of the West Coast Conference. At the Pac-12, Zaninovich has responsibility for all aspects of the Pac-12 Conference’s administrative operations, including television administration, sport management, championships, football bowl relationships, governance, enforcement, compliance, and officiating.
In his time with the WCC, Zaninovich led the conference through a period of unprecedented membership growth, transformed the conference basketball championships into successful events, and brought forward television and digital media advances that showcased the WCC’s brand regionally, nationally and internationally. Zaninovich was a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee from 2011-2014 and is a past Chair of the Division I Collegiate Commissioners Association Division I Subdivision. He is also a founding member of the Board of Managers and Competition Committee of the Men’s Basketball Officiating LLC, a past member of the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics and was named one of the prestigious “40 Under 40” honorees by the Sports Business Journal in 2010.
A native of Eugene, Oregon, Zaninovich is a graduate of Stanford University and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Prior to the WCC, he served as a sports administrator at both Stanford and Princeton University.
MOUNIR ZOK, INNOVATION SHOWCASE ADVISOR
Mounir Zok is the Director of Technology and Innovation for the U.S. Olympic Committee and plays an instrumental and strategic role in bringing emerging technologies to Team USA. He is responsible for championing, setting up and running high-performance technology programs that increase the medalling chances of Team USA athletes at the future Olympic and Paralympic Games; such programs
usually lie at the intersection of various emerging technologies, among which: wearable technology, smart textiles and fabric, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. In this role, he leads and manages a group of internal and external individuals (technologists, engineers, data scientists, hardware/software developers, designers, business partners) as well as works very closely with the US Olympic Committee's leadership to ensure alignment with organization policies and strategies. Given the innovative topics that he deals with on a daily basis, Mounir is a very strong advocate of Design Thinking and Lean Startup methodologies.
Prior to joining the USOC, Mounir helped grow a couple of emerging technology startups in Italy into internationally renowned firms. Besides being a co-founder, he led the Product and Business Development teams and spearheaded the development of various applications that are currently being used at a number of organizations in Italy and around Europe.
Mounir holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, speaks at major national and international conferences and meetings on Technology and Innovation, and is fluent in 4 languages. He currently lives with his wife and 2 children in the Silicon Valley, USA.