NEW YORK, March 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hank Ratner, president and chief executive officer of The Madison Square Garden Company, today announced that distinguished sports executive, Dave Howard, has joined the company as president, MSG Sports, effective April 9. In this role, Mr. Howard will be responsible for running the business operations of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty and Hartford Whale, as well as the management of the company's Sports Properties unit. "Dave has been one of New York's premier sports executives for over two decades, and we are pleased he will be joining our Company to lead our sports business," said Mr. Ratner. "MSG Sports represents some of the most popular and enduring brands in the world, and we're confident Dave's vision and management skills will ensure we continue to earn the passionate loyalty of generations of fans, while developing strategic growth opportunities that help drive our business." As president of MSG Sports, Mr. Howard will have a wide range of responsibilities tied to the successful operations of the sports division, including optimizing the core businesses, while creating and driving new revenue streams, and enhancing the value of the MSG Sports brand. In addition to managing the strategic plan, budgets and forecasting for the businesses, he will oversee the marketing and game presentations of the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty, as well as the sale of their season and individual game tickets, suites and Madison Club memberships. He will help direct integrated sales, including establishing strategic sponsorships through the development of new inventory packages that drive increased marketing partnerships. Mr. Howard will manage the Sports Properties division, including the presentation of sporting events such as college and high school basketball, boxing and tennis, along with the development of new growth opportunities. "I am honored to be joining The Madison Square Garden Company, and particularly thrilled to have the privilege of leading MSG Sports," said Mr. Howard. "There are very few organizations anywhere with the strength of MSG's sports brands, and I look forward to utilizing my experience to ensure we build on MSG's position as one of the world's leading sports organizations. I would also like to thank the Mets' ownership and organization for what has been an amazing professional experience in Flushing."