ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Armada Sports & Entertainment, Inc., announced today that it has engaged Atherton Communications, LLC, a CT-based sports media advisory firm to lead its wholly owned subsidiary, The Golf Championships, Inc. and appointed Kent Atherton to serve as the acting Chief Executive Officer, effective Nov. 1.
Atherton has enjoyed a distinguished career as senior sports television executive, most recently in the role of Vice President Sports at DIRECTV in New York. At DIRECTV, Kent supervised revenue-generation for all sports programming assets including NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB Extra Innings, NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, NASCAR Hot Pass, NBA, NHL and college football, along with proprietary interactive channels for Summer & Winter Olympic games and major events in professional golf & tennis.
Before joining DIRECTV in 2008, Atherton served as President & Chief Operating Officer of Ginn Sports Entertainment, LLC (GSE), a division of FL-based Ginn Resorts, developer and manager of high-end residential golf resorts & private clubs throughout the United States and Caribbean. GSE was launched by Atherton following the successful debut of the LPGA Tour event he created, the Ginn Open, which was held at Reunion Resort in Orlando. Under Atherton's supervision, GSE launched two additional professional golf tournaments on the PGA Champions Tour and LPGA Tour. All three tournaments were widely acclaimed as among the premier events in professional golf. GSE also managed a sponsorship portfolio of professional golfers (including Annika Sorenstam, Cristie Kerr, Lucas Glover, Lee Janzen) and led the company's extensive corporate marketing efforts in NASCAR.Prior to launching GSE, Atherton served as founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Pantheon International, LLC, a New York City-based niche sports marketing & event production firm, which owned high-profile sports properties across the USA, including the annual John R. Wooden Classic, men's D1 college basketball invitational event created by Atherton in 1994 and held each year since in Anaheim, CA. "Kent is a highly accomplished executive, with an extensive background in sports marketing & sponsorship, media sales, TV production, digital media, international syndication and tournament operations. His leadership will contribute significantly toward the development and execution of our high-profile television events," stated Anthony Gebbia, Chairman and CEO of Armada. "The Company is truly fortunate to have an executive of his capability join our team." The opportunity to help launch another exciting new sports property was a compelling component of Mr. Atherton's decision to lead the team at The Golf Championships. "It is not often an event opportunity comes along with the ingredients to create instant awareness on a global basis," Atherton said. "People are naturally attracted to feel good stories and enjoy rooting for the underdog. The Golf Championships format has the potential to generate viral buzz and reward viewers with the type of thrilling moments most often associated with professional golf's sudden death playoffs."