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John McDonough (born 1953) is a sports executive who is perhaps best known for his two decades with the Chicago Cubs. In 2007, he left the presidency of the Cubs to become president of the Chicago Blackhawks and guided the team to the 2010 Stanley Cup title, its first since 1961. He specializes in the area of marketing.
In 2007, McDonough left the Cubs and became president of the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago's National Hockey League franchise. In his tenure with the team, the Blackhawks have moved quickly to revitalize the team’s profile and fan base, in what Forbes Magazine called “The Greatest Sports-Business Turnaround Ever.” Most importantly, the Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup championship, the franchise’s first since 1961, with McDonough guiding the organization.
Upon his arrival to the Blackhawks, McDonough welcomed back Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito as team ambassadors, and helped foster a landmark partnership with WGN Television and Comcast SportsNet which allowed all 82 regular-season games to be broadcast on television for the first time in team history. The Blackhawks also announced a partnership with Chicago’s WGN Radio 720 to become the team’s new radio broadcast rightsholder.
McDonough was also instrumental in bringing the NHL Winter Classic 2009 to Chicago, a contest which matched up the Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings in front of 40,818 at Wrigley Field on January 1, 2009. The game drew an 11.8 overnight rating and a 21 share on NBC in Chicago, making it the most-watched NHL game in almost 34 years.
The Blackhawks franchise has undergone an enormous transformation under McDonough’s leadership; since 2007, the team’s season ticketholder base has more than tripled, and the Blackhawks have sold out more than 100 straight home contests, leading the league in average attendance in both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. In less than two years since McDonough’s arrival, the Blackhawks organization jumped from 118th (2007) to 21st (2009) in ESPN Magazine’s Ultimate Standings. The organization’s ranking marked the best among Chicago’s professional sports teams.