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CMO Nehme Abouzeid Out As CMO Of Golden Knights

Chief Marketing Officer Nehme Abouzeid announced on Facebook today that he is no longer a part of the Vegas Golden Knights organization.

Pro hockey effectively launched in Vegas. City excited. Team drafted. Brand rolled out. Flagship store opened. Fan base engaged and growing. Looking forward to the next journey helping other companies and brands do the same. Look for my own firm launching soon in Vegas. -Nehme Abouzeid on Facebook

Abouzeid was hired in November of 2016 and became the first Las Vegas local on the staff having worked at the Wynn and Sands for the previous decade.

Nehme left the Golden Knights having helped us reach many key milestones. We wish him the utmost success in his future endeavors. -Kerry Bubolz, Golden Knights President

**Stick tap to Jesse Granger of the Las Vegas Sun for breaking this story.**

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7 Comments

  1. Jeff Kruger

    Ok then. Who will now lead the marketing charge for VGK? Only 2 months to go!
    My understanding was that Ms. Frank as well as Mr. Tossi and Mr. Sholl were his direct reports. These positions — Marketing, Communications, and Community Relations (new rink) are still the backbone of the efforts to keep VGK’s brand in front of the community — trying to ensure our team’s “grass roots” development.
    Nehme is a talented businessman. Wishing him all the best in his new endeavors.
    Hoping the balance of the marketing/communications team (that will be created in the very near future) has the strong leadership required to make our hockey debut a success. As always, Ken, thanks for keeping us up-to-date. You are appreciated.

    • Quick update, Brad Sholl is also no longer with the organization.

      We are working to figure out what the plans are moving forward with Nehme moving on. As you said, not a lot of time to go. We should have more on this as the day goes on.

  2. RJ

    Disappointing development. I’m hoping this is an isolated thing and his role is filled by a similarly qualified individual.

  3. Jeff Kruger

    It has been my professional experience — as an art director and production manager — that when high-level officials depart an organization, it is because there is a problem with “expectations” . . . whether it’s the personnel’s viewpoint, or issues from upper management. Either way, despite Kerry’s parting comments that Nehme’s duties while CMO were fulfilled (and VGK are off to a great start), I am thinking that something major must have soured these two. To be sure, Brad’s challenge was quite formidable. We’ll probably never know what made these two exercise their escape cause, so to speak…
    This should be the time that the marketing and communications team is getting their ducks in a row. Plenty to do even before the team roster has been finalized. Media guide should be in the design phase, templated for easier preparation for when rosters are set. Game programs’ look-and-feel should also be under design consideration, even at this early juncture. All ancillary marketing materials should be in the pipeline for concepts, messaging, etc. And maybe it is.
    As you well know, I’m also interested in what’s happening with the Vegas Junior Golden Knights. I think this branding change should have already been underway, perhaps teased with a “placeholder” (if not revealed) on the VJGK web site to garner a bit of interest and momentum.
    While I don’t know how much more Kim and Eric are expected to add to their duties in the short term, I do know that time is marching on, quickly. And this merely means VGK must get it’s administrative house in order, like now.
    Easy for me to say, as an outsider, looking in. But really now. This appears to be a terrific opportunity (at least from my viewpoint). Get the infrastructure built and amass the talent for the team’s creative group. This is imperative. The setback of losing Nehme and Brad must be (and will be) overcome — with a new plan (because the prior plan obviously did not work as well as hoped).
    If we’re gonna be big league, let’s show that we are — in every aspect of the organization. Looks like we’ve got our backs against the wall. Time to come out fighting.

  4. Beat Navy

    I’m stunned someone is disappointed by this. I’m excited to hear he moved on because I think this team has done a terrible job of marketing. The fact I am still explaining to locals that we have our first professional team after a year is sad and I rarely see anyone around town wearing VGK gear.

    Sure there have been some successes (Sticks for Kids, VGJK, the Armory, most parts of the naming ceremony) but there have been several mistakes and missed opportunities as well. Where are the big corporate sponsors? Why did it take so long to sell out the season tickets (Vegas: 18 months; Winnipeg: 17 minutes)? How come the most famous person wearing VGK gear is Desiigner (which I had never heard of and I’m a millennial) when we have a town full of resident stars with thousands more visiting every year? Of all the hotel casinos in town, why did we partner with the D? Why haven’t our new players been travelling around the town engaging fans and handing out free shirts instead of making Hangover parodies? The week of the NHL Awards/Expansion Draft/Entry Draft/Jersey unveiling/Armory opening was the biggest week since we got the team and most people I spoke to didn’t even realize any of that was going on.

    I’m assuming he “got resigned” (since most executives don’t get “fired”) because The Creator knew he wasn’t delivering. In my opinion, he didn’t bring the passion or creativity necessary to be successful. Marketing a new sport franchise isn’t the same as marketing for casinos. Good riddance.

    • Jeff Kruger

      Your points were well made. Perhaps I was blinded by his love of hockey, and success within the hospitality industry. Ultimately, I must defer to your perspective as a local. The list of missed opportunities and interesting decisions capsulized the situation. If it’s not working, time for a change. As for the partnership with VJGK, their season is fast approaching as well. Seems like there is so much work to be done. It will be very interesting to see what happens next.

    • RJ

      Foley is that you? I agree that there are many, many shortcomings in the marketing department. Why am I disappointed? Because Abouzied was the closest thing there was to a local in upper management.

      Marketing has been poor, but local outreach has been TERRIBLE, to the point where many local fans might be turned off of the team.

      Does this team want local fans? I’ve seen very little to indicate that they do.

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