Turnbull Named Executive Vice President of Marketing for New Enterprise Working Across the Ilitch Sports and Entertainment Businesses

Focus will be on working with Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and Olympia Entertainment

20-year marketing veteran recognized nationally in industry

Apr 15, 2010, 11:26 ET from Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

DETROIT, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Tom Wilson, president and CEO of sports and entertainment properties across the Ilitch companies today announced that Craig Turnbull has joined the company as executive vice president of Marketing.  The appointment is effective immediately.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100415/DE87210 )

Turnbull, 45, was most recently vice president of Brand Management for Palace Sports and Entertainment (PSE).  He also served as chief operating officer for the Detroit Shock from 2007 – 2009.  At PSE, Turnbull's responsibilities included oversight of all marketing and advertising activities, including creative services and electronic media.  In his new post within the Ilitch organization, Turnbull will report to Wilson.  Staff and reporting relationships to Turnbull will be determined at a later date, but his focus will be on working with the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and Olympia Entertainment properties to build a cross-entities marketing team to help manage the brands and build customer relationships.  He will also oversee creative development of key marketing programs.

"We are extremely fortunate to be adding yet another high-caliber person to the team.  Craig's expertise and creativity will only enhance the capabilities of our already excellent marketing staffs," Wilson said.  "In order for us to achieve the vision the Ilitches have for this organization, it is essential that we assemble the best team possible to capitalize on opportunities and, most importantly, make every element of the fan experience at all of our sports and entertainment venues the best in the industry.

"I had the privilege of working with Craig at the Pistons and Palace," Wilson added.  "He is a bright individual and well respected in the industry.  Specifically he has a very strong track record in marketing and brand management.  The depth of his experience crosses everything from creative services to advertising to electronic media.  He has a true passion for his craft and that translates to real tangible results for the organization."

Turnbull 's career accomplishments include being named "Marketer of the Year" across all industries by Brandweek magazine, the first time ever that the recognition was given to a sports team.  He also has won three EFFIE awards (one gold and two silver) from the American Marketing Association recognizing the most effective advertising campaigns in the country.

While at PSE, he helped develop and implement several innovative and creative programs to build the brands and enhance the fan experience, including:

  • Random Acts of Kindness customer relationship initiative that allowed certain employees to say thank you to Pistons fans with food or merchandise
  • Palace Employees Really Care employee recognition program allowed season ticket holders to reward employees for exemplary service
  • Team Hospitality, a group of employees who greeted and assisted guests as they entered the building, often with giveaways for children

"Detroit is one of the best sports and entertainment cities in the world," Turnbull said.  "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to help build strong brands like the Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment, and now am looking forward to the opportunity to help market iconic sports and entertainment names like the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Fox Theatre.  It is no secret that these teams and venues already do well in the marketplace with a very loyal fan base and strong brand recognition.  I hope to come in and work with Christopher Ilitch, Tom and the outstanding leadership team and colleagues already working at the Ilitch companies to help build even stronger brands."

Turnbull and his wife, Carol, have three children and reside in Lake Orion.  Turnbull is a native of Massachusetts.  He has a bachelor's degree in marketing from Siena College and a master's degree in sports management from University of Connecticut.  Active in the community, he coaches youth federation baseball and previously served as an Associate Board Member for the Red Cross.

About Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. provides professional services to the companies owned by Michael and/or Marian Ilitch.  The Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Little Caesars Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Champion Foods and Uptown Entertainment.  Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers.  Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.

SOURCE Ilitch Holdings, Inc.