Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales, Palace of Auburn Hills
Employees: 250 Attendance: 2 million Education: Augustana College
During college, Brad Lott took to the mound for his baseball team, but he realized his arm wasn’t going to carry him to the major leagues. Still, with an eye on becoming the president of a professional sports team, he took an entry-level position with the Quad Cities River Bandits, a minor league baseball team in Iowa. He spent three years there, learning every facet of the business.
Next, he joined the Tampa Bay Lightning, then owned by the late William Davidson, former owner of the Detroit Pistons. “I started out with Tamp Bay in 2001 and held about seven different jobs over 12 years,” says Lott, senior vice president of corporate sales at the Palace of Auburn Hills. “I kept learning and, for about 18 months, I was director of building operations, which was a nice change because it gave me a 360-degree view of the games, concerts, and the (2012) Republican National Convention.”
In late 2012, he was recruited to the Palace empire, which includes DTE Energy Music Theatre. While the Pistons are in a rebuilding mode, he nonetheless highlights millions of dollars of improvements at the Palace recently undertaken by team owner Tom Gores. “It’s great to be part of a turnaround, which is one of the things that attracted me to Detroit,” Lott says. “One of the coolest things I experienced was the eight-sold out Kid Rock concerts (at DTE) last summer. It was the first time I really felt the Detroit pride.”