Entering his 15th season in the National Football League and his fifth season in Kansas City, Mark Donovan was named the fifth president in Chiefs history in January 2011 after serving two years as the club's Chief Operating Officer. As president, Donovan is responsible for all aspects of the club's business operations and reports directly to Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt.
"I want to thank Clark and the entire Hunt family for their support, confidence and trust," Donovan said when he was named president. "It is a real privilege to be part of such a storied franchise, and it's especially exciting to have the opportunity to play an active role in shaping the next chapter in Chiefs history."
Recognized as one of the league's most innovative executives, Donovan brings unique experience and perspective to the team. He is one of only a few executives league-wide who has worked both at the NFL league office and for a club, with valuable perspective and strong relationships both in the Kansas City area and on the national level.
Donovan has led a renewed focus on the Chiefs fan experience, building on the direction of the Hunt family and Founder Lamar Hunt's sentiment that "our fans are our lifeblood." Under Donovan's direction, the team has emerged as a league leader in fan engagement - from the electric atmosphere at Arrowhead Stadium on game day to the rapid rise of kcchiefs.com as the premiere online destination for Chiefs fans. He was recently selected as one of eight representatives league-wide to serve on the Fan Engagement Working Club Executive Committee.
Under Donovan's leadership, the Kansas City Chiefs partnered with The University of Kansas Hospital in 2012, bringing a comprehensive healthcare program to the organization, encompassing its players, staff and fans. As the Official Healthcare Provider of the Chiefs, The University of Kansas Hospital provides a complete team of physician specialists for the Chiefs. In addition, the hospital manages and provides care in the first aid stations at Arrowhead Stadium. Showcasing the integrated approach to the partnership, the Chiefs practice facility was renamed The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Plans for the training complex include a sports medicine clinic to provide on-site medical personnel and equipment to Chiefs players. The clinic will be open to the public, serving athletes of all ages.
Starting with the 2012 preseason, Donovan helped shape the club's live broadcast efforts as 65 Toss Power Trap Productions, the award-winning production arm of the Chiefs organization, made its debut in live-game production, creating and designing the team's preseason broadcasts in-house under its staff of producers and directors. Last season, the Chiefs were recognized for their creative efforts, garnering seven Emmy Awards.
In 2012, the Chiefs celebrated 50 years of football in Kansas City. As part of the year-long anniversary of Lamar Hunt relocating the team to Kansas City, Donovan helped implement a number of fan and gameday initiatives to honor five decades of Chiefs football. As part of the celebration, the Chiefs became the first team in NFL history to reward each season ticket account holder with a personalized Chiefs Nike jersey.
The team also resurrected three gameday elements that harkened back to a bygone era of Chiefs football, paying tribute to the history and tradition of professional football in Kansas City with a 'GO CHIEFS' banner to highlight player introductions that initially debuted in the club's first game in Municipal Stadium in 1963. The team also reintroduced an eight-foot drum that was hit by a special guest at each game to lead the Arrowhead Stadium crowd in a pregame cheer, and the club brought back the Ring of Honor on the stadium's upper level façade.
In addition to being the first NFL team to reward Season Ticket Holders with a team jersey, the club continues to pioneer advancements for Season Ticket Holders as the club is the first in the NFL to develop a fully-integrated experience that incorporates ticketless technology, exclusive content and a rewards program. This program debuted in 2012 with a membership card that allowed Season Ticket Holders special concession pricing and merchandise discounts, as well as serving as a game ticket. Continuing that trend, the organization launched Chiefs Kingdom Pass in 2013, which is a personalized web portal for Season Ticket Holders that delivers an upgraded web experience that includes a points-based rewards program, exclusive content and fast and convenient ticket management.
In addition to connecting Chiefs fans to the team they love, Donovan has overseen a period of tremendous business growth, re-establishing Arrowhead Stadium as a best-in-class venue for sports and entertainment. In Donovan's first year as president, Arrowhead was one of only six stadiums around the country to host both Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift for concert stops. In 2013, Chesney made a tour stop for the third-consecutive summer at Arrowhead Stadium. National country music recording artists Eric Church (2013), Tim McGraw (2012) and Zac Brown Band (2011) have all joined Chesney for his tour stops at Arrowhead Stadium.
Locally, the Chiefs continue to have a major economic impact in the Kansas City community. Chiefs games generate more than $400 million annually, including $126 million in household income. They also support nearly 5,000 jobs and provide $10.5 million in annual tax revenue for the State of Missouri. Outside of Chiefs games, other events at Arrowhead Stadium, such as college football contests, have provided $63 million in visitor spending to the local economy and $3.2 million in annual tax revenue for the State of Missouri.
Donovan has also created a new approach to sponsorships, setting a strategy to partner with companies which share the vision, qualities and values of the Kansas City Chiefs. This strategy has resulted in partnerships that are not only mutually-beneficial to the Chiefs and the corporations but to Chiefs fans and the Kansas City community. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Chiefs Hall of Honor presented by Time Warner Cable, the Chiefs Sports Lab powered by Blue KC or the partnership with Truman Medical Centers focused on healthy living in the urban core.
His leadership extends to the community, where he has initiated a more strategic approach to the Chiefs charitable giving and community involvement, allowing the team to focus resources for greater impact to the community. With this approach, the club has taken leadership roles in serving the hungry in the region, supporting children's health and wellness initiatives and providing opportunities for families and children in crisis.
The Chiefs Charity Game, one of the many Kansas City traditions started by the Hunt family, is the longest-running and most successful charity game in the National Football League and last year raised $550,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.
Donovan is also personally committed to the community, serving in numerous civic and charitable leadership roles, including the Board of Directors for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Truman Medical Centers, the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association, chairing the 2013 Kansas City Art Institute Gala with his wife Kathy, and serving as a committee chair for the 2013 United Way Annual Campaign. He and Kathy were pleased to chair the 2012 Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Shindig, co-chair Cristo Rey's Dancing with the Stars and serve on the committee for Treads and Threads, benefitting The University of Kansas Hospital.
Donovan arrived in Kansas City after six years with the Philadelphia Eagles as Senior Vice President of Business Operations (2003-08).
Prior to joining the Eagles, Donovan held leadership roles as the NFL's Senior Director of Sales and Marketing (1999-03) and the Director of Sales and Marketing for the National Hockey League (1997-99). He also brings seven years of experience in the private business sector.
The Pittsburgh, Pa., native graduated from Brown University with a double major in Political Science and Organizational Behavior/Management. He captained the Brown football squad as the team's quarterback and signed with the New York Giants as a free agent upon graduation.
He and his wife, Kathy, have two children and reside in Kansas City.