Joe Pierce has been named senior vice president and general counsel for AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE) and will assume his new role effective December 2020. Pierce will replace Mike Egan, who will retire from the general counsel role December 31, 2020. Egan will continue to advise the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and on certain transitional matters in a limited capacity moving forward.
Pierce comes to AMBSE from Hornets Sports and Entertainment in Charlotte, NC, where he spent seven years as senior vice president and chief legal officer, overseeing legal and business administration for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and operations of Charlotte's Spectrum Center Arena. Pierce's extensive experience and background across broad industries including broadcast media, financial services, team sports, technology and venture capital, as well as holding a fundamental belief in core values, made him a natural choice for the organization. Serving as a key member of the executive leadership team, Pierce will counsel and advise across all areas of the organization.
Prior to joining the Hornets organization, Pierce served as senior vice president and associate general counsel, global marketing and corporate affairs for Bank of America Corporation where he led negotiations for deals and licensing agreements for Bank of America's sponsorship properties including the NFL, Major League Baseball, PGA Tour and NASCAR. Pierce's experience also includes business and legal affairs at Comcast Sports Television Group where he led negotiations for television rights and multi-platform media and sponsorship agreements for professional league as well as collegiate sports media rights. Pierce holds a JD/MBA from University of Pennsylvania Law School and The Wharton School of Business and did undergraduate work at Georgetown University.
"We are honored to have had Mike with us and are incredibly proud of his accomplishments while at AMBSE. He has been an admired colleague for all of us and will be missed," says Steve Cannon, CEO, AMB Sports and Entertainment. "We are likewise very excited and fortunate to have Joe join our team. His accomplishments with the Hornets and Spectrum Center as well as his previous organizations will bring a breadth of experience in a variety of industries that will be valuable as we continue to innovate and grow our businesses. He will be a tremendous asset to the entire AMBSE portfolio."
"AMB Sports and Entertainment is an organization driven by a set of core values that have led to tremendous success and continues to set the bar for the sports industry," says Pierce. "I'm excited to be introduced to a new, diverse portfolio of businesses and look forward to joining these innovative leaders to help shape the organization and grow its businesses in new and creative ways."
Egan is known to be one of the nation's leading corporate attorneys and has been a trusted advisor to Arthur M. Blank for over 25 years. Serving as a key member of the executive leadership team for AMBSE for the past six years, Egan had direct oversight of critical projects and masterfully navigated key business negotiations allowing the organization to operate at the highest level of integrity.
Egan was a long-time partner in the Corporate Practice Group of the internationally renowned Atlanta-based law firm of King & Spalding and led the firm's Mergers and Acquisitions practice. Acting as primary outside counsel for Arthur Blank and his businesses, Egan represented Blank in the acquisition of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United of Major League Soccer as well as the negotiations with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the City of Atlanta for the development of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Egan also acted as outside counsel to The Home Depot during Blank's tenure.
In 2015, Egan joined Blank's organization to serve as general counsel for the Blank Family of Businesses, as well as providing executive oversight for the construction and operational readiness of the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Stadium and The Home Depot Backyard. Egan was instrumental in leading critical teams for the stadium opening while also launching a new MLS franchise, Atlanta United, and creating world-class experiences for fans and guests.
"Capping off my career with a senior leadership position in Arthur Blank's family of businesses has been an amazing experience," said Egan. "The never-ending focus on fan and customer experience and giving back to the community makes this a truly special place to work. I am grateful for Arthur's confidence, entrusting me with once-in-a-lifetime responsibilities. I'm proud of the work we've done and continue to do at AMBSE, and I look forward to seeing what wonderful things the future holds for the organization."
While at AMBSE, Egan also played a key role in negotiations for the naming rights for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the development of the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground, home of Atlanta United, and a $200 million grant, the largest-ever by the Blank Foundation, to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for the Arthur M. Blank Hospital currently under construction. Egan also worked with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in grant negotiations. As the Foundation continues to focus on increased giving in the coming years, Egan will remain with them in a consulting role.
Arthur Blank on Mike Egan:
"It has been my honor and a privilege to know and work with Mike Egan for over 25 years," said Arthur Blank, Chairman, Blank Family of Businesses. "He has been a trusted partner and friend to me personally, but also a key member of our executive leadership team. I'm grateful for his hard work and dedication starting with The Home Depot and most recently with helping our organization create incredible experiences and memories for our fans and guests. Mike Egan lives his life with purpose and embodies our core values with care and thoughtfulness. I couldn't be prouder of our work together."