The Utah Jazz today announced the appointment of Andrea Williams as its first Chief Experience Officer (CXO), a newly created position focusing on the delivery of world-class experiences for guests, partners, and employees of the organization. Williams joins the NBA Jazz from the College Football Playoff in Dallas, where she was the Chief Operating Officer since 2018.
Beginning her new CXO duties on Nov. 29, Williams will also lead all diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the organization and share responsibility with the People & Culture department to attract, develop and retain diverse talent. She will have a public-facing role as a representative of the Jazz in the community.
“Taking good care of our fans, guests and employees is truly important to our organization, and the addition of Andrea on our executive team highlights the significance of this role,” said Jim Olson, president of the Utah Jazz. “With her vast experience in our industry, she will be a champion for the guest experience as well as lead our internal efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion which will make us a stronger and better organization.”
“It is an honor to join the Utah Jazz, and I feel fortunate to work for an NBA team with such a rich history and incredible ties to the community,” Williams said. “I am looking forward to returning to the great state of Utah and working with the amazing staff of the Jazz organization. It has been a privilege to serve as Chief Operating Officer with the College Football Playoff, and I wish all the best to the great people associated with the organization.”
Vivint Arena, the 18,306-seat facility in downtown Salt Lake City, seeks to create winning experiences and timeless memories as the host venue for marquee concerts, shows and games. Williams will be coordinating departmental efforts to enhance the guest and fan experience for the more than 100 annual events at Vivint Arena, including Jazz home games, by providing strategic leadership in guest services, public safety, parking, and food services.
Williams will also oversee the extensive Jazz Youth programs with Camps + Clinics and Junior Jazz, the largest and longest-running youth basketball league in the NBA with more than 60,000 participants.
As COO of the College Football Playoff, Williams has been responsible for managing the national championship game and all affiliated events. She also served as the primary liaison with the six bowl games that participated in the CFP arrangement and oversaw the process for selecting sites for future championship games.
Williams has Utah connections from working as the Big Sky Conference commissioner in Ogden from 2016-18, where the appointment made history in college athletics as she was the first African American woman to assume this role at a Division I NCAA conference. In her role with the Big Sky, Williams worked to shape and develop the vision for the conference, which included an emphasis on member institution cooperation, athlete health-and-safety, broad-based programming, innovative technology platforms and national competitiveness.
She transitioned to the Big Sky from the Big Ten Conference, where she spent a decade as the conference’s associate commissioner, handling branding and transitioning into football and basketball operations. In her career, Williams has also served on staff with the NCAA and the Southern Conference.
Williams’ extensive experience in collegiate athletics began as a student-athlete when she competed as a two-sport athlete at Texas A&M, and the first Aggie to letter in both volleyball and basketball in the same season. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University and a Master of Sport Administration, in the School of Business, from Ohio University.