Brett Yormark was born on September 28, 1966. He was the CEO of the Brooklyn Nets from 2005 to 2019 when the team moved from New Jersey to New York and the Barclay Center was built to house them. He has been heralded for his business acumen and was named to Crain’s “40 Under 40” list twice and “Forty Under 40” three times by the Sports Business Journal.
He began working for Nets years earlier when he became a ticket seller after graduating from Indiana University in 1988. He also had his hand in group sales and did game presentations. In the early 90s, he moved to the Midwest and began selling TV time to Minnesota-based sports teams (Brewers, Bucks, Timberwolves, and Twins), then moved on to sell sponsorships for the Detroit Pistons and non-sports events at the Pine Knob Theater. He then moved back east and helped NASCAR open an office in New York and to expand the sport nationally.
In 2005, he was offered a job as the CEO of the (then) New Jersey Nets, and jumped at the opportunity. Faced with a low fan base, he began his job trying to shake things up from the start and threatening New Jersey that he was moving the team out of the state. In 2012, the move became a reality. Besides changing states, the ownership organization of the Nets and Barclay Center renamed itself to Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment. The Nets found a new home in Brooklyn (which had not had a professional sports team since 1957), and the borough of Brooklyn also had a brand-new sports and entertainment complex, the Barclay Center, which opened on September 28, 2012; Yormark’s birthday.
The Barclay Center is usually in the top ten for all entertainment venues world-wide for ticket sales (pre-COVID), although the Brooklyn Nets never made it past the Conference Semi-Finals while Yormark was a part of the organization.
Yormark brought many of the top acts to perform at the center, including Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé, Billy Joel, and Elton John. He also brought professional boxing back to Brooklyn for the first time since 1931.
Although moving the Nets was a good decision, he has been criticized for his handling of the NHL’s New York Islanders and the Nassau Coliseum, bringing the team from Long Island to Brooklyn, then moving them back again.
He left the Nets in 2019 when a new owner (Joseph Tsai) took control of the team and was expected to bring in his own executive staff. He joined Roc Nation Sports (headed by Jay-Z) and joins his twin brother Michael as co-CEO and President of Sales.
Yormark is married to Elaina Scotto and the couple has two children.
[Last Updated: 4/21 by Aryeh Lev]
Sources: “Brett D. Yormark,” Prabook.com.
Nick Friar, “Brett Yormark Explains Why He’s Stepping Down as Nets CEO,” Nets Wire, (August 16, 2019).
“Brett Yormark Leaving Nets After 14 Years as CEO,” Nets Daily, (August 15, 2019).
Joe Reinartz, “Executive Profile: Brett Yormark, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment,” PollStar.com, (October 20, 2017).
“Brett Yormark,” Global Service Institute at Long Island University.