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John McDonough (sports executive): Wikis


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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. He specializes in the area of marketing.


Early life

McDonough is a lifelong Chicago area resident, graduating from Notre Dame High School in Niles, Illinois before matriculating to St. Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota. McDonough and his wife Karen are parents of three children: Colleen), Ryan and Michael.

Professional career


Chicago Sting

McDonough's first work as a sports executive was with the Chicago Sting, Chicago's franchise in the North American Soccer League (NASL). He served as General Sales Manager, and later as Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Chicago Cubs

McDonough spent 24 years with the Cubs (1983–2007). Among the innovations he is credited with is the annual "Cubs Convention" which gives fans a chance to meet and interact with coaches, players, and licensed vendors. Debuting in 1985, this was the first event of its kind in sports. He also is credited with creating the role of "guest conductor", where celebrities, local heroes, and local high school sports champions are given the chance to lead the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch at Cubs home games. The promotion started in the wake of the death of broadcaster Harry Caray in 1998, and continues as a tradition today.

Chicago Blackhawks

In 2007, McDonough left the Cubs and became president of the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago's National Hockey League franchise. In the space of one year, McDonough started the first Blackhawks fan convention (similar to the one he started with the Cubs). The Blackawks are the first NHL team to have an offseason fan convention. After years of not having home Blackhawks games broadcast on local television, McDonough approved a deal that would televise all Blackhawk games for the first time in the team's history. He further approved a deal to put games on WGN radio. He has also joined the NHL Club Business Advisory Board. Fan and ticket sales have increased exponentially since McDonough's arrival, and the team, for the first time in years, are selling out games on a consistent and nightly basis.

Other work


  • Major League Baseball Marketing Excellence Award
  • Chicago Baseball Veteran's Committee Man of the Year
  • Promo Magazine: America's Top Ten Marketing Executives
  • St. Mary's University Alumni Appreciation Award
  • Notre Dame High School Hall of Fame
  • Public Relations Society of America (Chicago Chapter): Executive of the Year

External links

Preceded by
Andy MacPhail
Chicago Cubs President
Succeeded by
Crane Kenney (as Chairman)


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