Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott
Throughout his career as a student-athlete, professional athlete, and sports executive, Larry Scott has been a game changer: a bold, innovative leader whose vision for transformative change, from equal prize money at Wimbledon to expansion and revitalization of the Pac-12 Conference, and firm belief that sport can be a force for positive change, have been hallmarks of his career.
Expansion and Innovation at the Pac-12
In his five years as Commissioner, and with the support of the member universities presidents and chancellors, Scott orchestrated a rebranding of the Conference, with messages of innovation, excellence, and the advantages of West Coast location at its core. Then he led the Conference through expansion for the first time since 1978 by successfully adding Colorado and Utah.
During his tenure, the Conference has created a Football Championship Game for the first time its history, transformed the Pac-12 basketball tournaments into must-attend events, and secured agreement for equal revenue sharing for the first time ever.
He has also led a transformation of the Conference’s media posture, delivering much-needed revenue, dramatically increasing exposure for women’s and Olympic sports, establishing digital and mobile platforms for Pac-12 content, and creating training and employment opportunities for thousands of Pac-12 students interested in launching media careers. To achieve these goals, he delivered a landmark media rights agreement with ESPN and Fox Sports, and created Pac-12 Networks, the first-ever integrated media company owned by a college conference.
His vision for the Conference is global: Scott launched an initiative to expand the Conference’s footprint in Asia in 2011. The Pac-12 Globalization Initiative has already led to a number of athletic events and student-athlete cultural exchange programs, and in 2015 will feature the first-ever pro or collegiate regular season game in China when the University of Washington takes on the University of Texas.
Excellence and Leadership
Scott succeeded Tom Hansen as the sixth Commissioner of what was then the Pac-10 Conference on July 1, 2009. Before that, he served six years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour (Women’s Tennis Association), where he helped generate unprecedented growth and popularity for women’s professional tennis on a global scale.
At the WTA Tour Scott worked with Billie Jean King and others to achieve the long-sought goal of equal prize money for women in tennis’ grand slam events. He also became the architect of the largest-ever sponsorship in both women’s sports and professional tennis, a six-year $88-million landmark title sponsorship agreement with Sony Ericsson. Among his many other WTA achievements are the largest television deal in women’s tennis history, and a reform package that led to a 40 percent increase in prize money - a record $86 million - and $750 million in facilities investment.
Student-Athlete and Tennis Pro
Scott’s career in athletics extends back to his captaincy of Harvard’s tennis team, where he was named an All-American, earned a B.A. in History in 1986, and gained a lifelong appreciation for the importance of maintaining a careful balance between academics and sports.
He went on to play tennis professionally on the ATP circuit, winning one title, and then going on to serve for more than a decade in key posts, including Chief Operating Officer, President of ATP Properties, and Executive Vice President of the International Group. In these roles, which included postings in Sydney, Monte Carlo and London, he was credited with significantly growing the global popularity of men’s tennis, establishing the Tennis Masters Cup as one of the sport’s most successful events, negotiating the renewal of the ATP’s 13-year partnership with Mercedes-Benz -- which remains one of the preeminent sponsorship agreements in tennis history -- and launching tournaments in such developing regions as China and the Persian Gulf.
Recognition and Service
Scott has earned major recognition for his visionary leadership: In 2012, he was a finalist for Sports Executive of the Year by the Sports Business Journal and was awarded the Vision Award by Cynopsis Sports. Also that year, the Pac-12 was nominated by Sports Business Journal as Sports League of the Year. In 2013, Scott was given the Americanism Award by the Anti-Defamation League in tribute to his work to affect positive change through sports. Scott also serves on the Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
During his tenure as Commissioner, he has increasingly become a leader in intercollegiate athletics, playing a major role in creation of the new College Football Playoff, demonstrating leadership in the drive for reform of the NCAA, and being a strong advocate for maintaining the primacy of academics and the welfare of the student-athlete.
Larry and his wife, Cybille, live in Danville, Calif., and have three children, Alexander, Sebastien and Alannah.