AP source: Pac-12 hires sports entertainment executive George Kliavkoff of MGM Resorts as its new commissioner.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) May 13, 2021
Andrew Berg: So, what do you think?
Kliakoff currently works in sports and entertainment at MGM. He has a history with MLB Advanced Media, Comcast, and NBC. The conference said it wanted someone with experience in sports and media. It looks like they got someone who has done both, so that has to be considered a success.
Gabey Lucas: My insta-reaction was “Who?”, but this actually might be a pretty good hire. So much of what the Pac-12 needs right now hinges on increased revenue, and creation/increase of revenue streams is his forte. So while it’s pretty surprising and he could suck, that bodes pretty well.
Andrew: The most notable drawback is probably that he doesn’t have any history in college sports. I suppose you could spin that as a positive because the legacy Pac-12 approach has not ben successful in recent years. He’s also not a West Coast person by birth. Hopefully that means he can think creatively about ways to grow the conference, but I also hope he will still have some respect for the traditions that matter to the fans. MLB Advanced Media has been outstanding at developing new digital revenue streams. It would be great if the Pac came up with a way to mirror that development.
The pinned tweet on his Twitter page is this:
Can't decide whether I like Sports Twitter or Politics Twitter better— George Kliavkoff (@Kliavkoff) March 4, 2016
That’s a fun blend of sarcasm and cynicism. Works for me!
Jeff Gorman: If he’s actually a football fan, that will be a start. I don’t think you need to be some sort of die hard but I don’t think Larry Scott actually likes/cares/watches football which was obvious to me every time he spoke about it
BREAKING The next #Pac12 commissioner is MGM president George Kliavkoff, per source. He took BAM and generated billions for them; did a big deal with HULU. "He's proven he knows how to get shit done. He's not Larry Scott. He's gonna listen, collaborate and build trust with ADs."— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) May 13, 2021
Gabey: Lol seriously. The absolute apathy Larry Scott had was something. He clearly isn’t that.
Max Vrooman: It sounds like his sales pitch may have been “you know Larry Scott? I won’t be that.”
One thing that is obvious about the new Pac 12 commissioner: He's read every criticism of his predecessor and is saying he wants to do the opposite in his opening spiel here.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) May 13, 2021
Gabey: The fact that he’s aware enough to know that’d sell makes me like him.
Max: Interview question #1: George, over the last decade the Pac-12 has generally faded into irrelevance nationally. Are you for or against that?
George: Uh...against it?
Interviewers: This guy’s good. Much better than the last guy.
Jeff: I like that he’s taking that stuff head on.
Max: It feels like he’s in tune with the biggest issues facing the conference right now. But part of being the commissioner is also having to act in a way so you don’t create your own problems for the future. He doesn’t have to bring in a crusty college football stalwart as a #2 who’s completely averse to change. But it would help avoid Larry Scott 2.0 if he has someone who truly understands college football close by to at least have that voice and perspective in the room while making decisions. It sounds like when it comes to media rights this is a guy who can excel which is a big part but that in itself isn’t a year round job.
Maybe this helps address some of those fears:
Oregon president Michael Schill, on George Kliavkoff: "He knows what he knows, but more importantly, he knows what he doesn't know."— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) May 13, 2021
This feels like a subtweet.
Jeff: By all accounts, he won the press conference. That won’t mean anything when he’s actually doing the job, but by all accounts he clearly understood the frustrations with not only the last commissioner but the conference as a whole. His Las Vegas connections are intriguing and his media experience will likely serve the conference well. He’s literally done nothing yet, but so far, so good.
Andrew: Ok, now that we’ve got that all figured out, I’m going to try learn how to pronounce is name.
Gabey: Just think Yankoff but instead of “Yank” it’s “Kliav.” Duh you dumb idiot