The Oregon Sports Authority announced today that it has selected sports marketing and events veteran Jim Etzel as its new Executive Director, effective January 1, 2018. A native Oregonian and the founder, CEO and Chairman of ETZEL Agency, a national live event and brand experience firm headquartered in Portland, Etzel brings to the Oregon Sports Authority more than 30 years of leadership experience in sports and event marketing and management. Etzel will step down as CEO of ETZEL Agency to join the Oregon Sports Authority.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Jim as our new Executive Director,” said Oregon Sports Authority President Doug Obletz. “His unique skill set, strong local ties and extensive network of industry contacts put him in an ideal position to take the organization to even greater heights.”
Etzel has a proven track record of winning major-league event business and cultivating fruitful partnerships with diverse organizations and properties – ESPN, College Football Playoff, USA Today/Gannett, TrackTown USA, Nike, adidas, MLS and NBC Sports Northwest. Etzel’s expertise, relationships in sports at every level, passion for excellence and fresh perspective set the stage for a new era of success at the Oregon Sports Authority and an exciting future lineup of events for Oregon sports fans and stakeholders.
“I’m truly excited, honored and proud to have been selected to lead this fantastic organization, which has worked so hard to make Oregon relevant on the national sports scene, and to utilize my years of experience and breadth of contacts to build on the success Drew Mahalic has built,” said Etzel. “The Oregon Sports Authority has immense potential to positively impact our state economically and emotionally through sports; that’s a vibrant opportunity on which I’m incredibly excited to capitalize. I look forward to working with the board, staff and stakeholders in creating opportunities for Oregon and our communities through sport.”
Etzel’s hire was formally approved yesterday by a unanimous vote of the Oregon Sports Authority board of directors. Etzel replaces Drew Mahalic, who has served in the Executive Director role for a remarkable 22-year run. As part of a transition plan put in place earlier this year, Mahalic will remain with the organization as a special consultant through March 31 to assist with the transition.