National Research Group Names Former Senior NBA Executive Jay Kaufman as EVP, Head of Sports

Jay Kaufman, a long time senior NBA executive, has been appointed Executive Vice President, Head of Sports at National Research Group (NRG). Kaufman will lead the company’s sports research and consulting practice.

In his new role, he will oversee the direction and strategy of NRG’s rapidly growing sports business, working with leading properties, rights holders, and brands on a wide range of strategic priorities. Kaufman’s role will center on providing senior counsel in the ever-changing areas of fan engagement, media strategy, issues tracking, and product innovation.

“NRG has an incredible reputation for its consultation and innovation in technology and entertainment research,” says Kaufman. “I’m excited to build on that knowledge and use my experience at the NBA to work with my new team to develop a preeminent sports research and consulting practice that’s focused on the future of the industry.”

Kaufman is a well-respected sports executive who comes to NRG after a 22-year career at the National Basketball Association, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Global Research & Insights. At the NBA, Kaufman leveraged data and insights to help the league’s senior leadership team drive global fan growth, innovate media strategies, optimize viewership, and guide decision-making on critical business issues. He played an integral role in the league’s $24-billion-dollar media rights deals with Disney and Turner, and helped develop and evolve the NBA’s brand positioning and messaging to engage new generations of fans.

“I am thrilled to have Jay join NRG to lead our rapidly expanding sports practice,” says Jon Penn, CEO, National Research Group. “His extensive expertise, credibility and deep relationships within the sports industry make him the perfect fit to help develop an industry leading practice. Jay is an incredible talent, and an even better person, and will be a huge asset to both NRG and our clients.”

Kaufman received the ARF David Ogilvy Award for Research Innovation during his time at the NBA and was recognized in 2020 as Talent Champion by the ANA Educational Foundation. Kaufman received a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College Carroll School of Management. He will be based in NRG’s New York City office.

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