Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (MSG Sports) announced that Jamaal Lesane, an executive with multifaceted sports industry experience, was hired as chief operating officer. Lesane had been MSG Sports’ executive vice president and general counsel since March 2022.

As COO, Lesane will work closely with executive leadership to strengthen MSG Sports’ portfolio and support its long-term direction and growth, which includes supporting the company’s strategic vision while driving innovation and optimizing corporate performance across its professional sports franchises. In this role, he also oversees business operations for the company’s teams, including the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. He directly manages core functions (strategic planning, marketing, ticketing, the in-game experience, community and fan development).

“I am pleased that Jamaal has stepped into this expanded leadership role with MSG Sports,” said Jim Dolan, executive chairman and chief executive officer of MSG Sports. “In his more than 15 years with MSG, Jamaal has proven to be a strategic and effective leader, and his multifaceted experience across numerous aspects of our operations will be an asset as we continue to grow and innovate in our business.”

“The opportunity to take on this new role at MSG Sports is a tremendous honor,” said Lesane. “Throughout my career at MSG, I have had experience working across different areas of the business, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues across the company to continue building the legacies of MSG Sports, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers.”

MSG Sports hired Lesane in 2008. He has worked in roles of increasing responsibility for over 15 years. Before becoming executive vice president and general counsel in March 2022, Lesane was senior vice president and associate general counsel. Before that, MSG Sports became a standalone company in April 2020 when The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) separated its entertainment and sports businesses, Lesane was MSG’s senior vice president, Legal and Business Affairs. In this role, he served as team counsel for the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and Westchester Knicks while also providing legal support for all other MSG sports properties, including college basketball, boxing, wrestling, and mixed martial arts, occurring at MSG’s venues, which includes Madison Square Garden.

Before joining MSG, Lesane worked as an associate counsel at Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO), providing legal support and counsel to HBO Sports and HBO Licensing and Retail. Before HBO, he was a corporate lawyer at Covington and Burling LLP.

Lesane graduated with a B.A. from Yale University and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (MSG Sports) is a leading professional sports company with a collection of assets that includes the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL), as well as two development league teams, the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL). MSG Sports also operates a professional sports team performance center—the MSG Training Center in Greenburgh, NY.

Image courtesy Madison Square Gardens