Big 12 hires Roc Nation exec Brett Yormark as commissioner

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The Big 12 made a big move on Wednesday, announcing that former Roc Nation COO Brett Yormark is the conference’s new commissioner.

As the Associated Press details, Yormark was previously CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and also worked in NASCAR prior to joining Jay-Z’s entertainment company. His new post as Big 12 commissioner will be his first job in collegiate sports.

“I’m here to listen, learn, find ways to add value, add resources and try to help shine a light on the importance of college athletics,” Yormark said, via the AP. “I look forward to leveraging my experience and network alongside our presidents, chancellors, and athletic directors to shape the future of the Big 12 brand and emphasize our collective strengths.”

Yormark’s hiring comes as the Big 12 grapples with significant changes on the horizon. Oklahoma and Texas, two huge college programs that draw in a ton of TV viewers, accepted invitations to join the SEC after the 2024-25 season, at the same time the conference’s deal with ESPN and Fox Sports expires. The Big 12 responded by expanding to add BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to the conference.

The overall hope is that Yormark’s mix of experience in sports and entertainment will make the transition go smoothly, while also boosting its popularity.

“Brett is one of the most skilled and knowledgeable executives in sports and entertainment,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “His decades of operational experience, relentless work ethic, and strong industry relationships will be of enormous value to the Big 12, its schools, and fans.”

The plan is for Yormark to fully transition into the position in August.


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