The Executive Team
ABL League ExecutivesUpdated Saturday July 5, 2014 by American Basketball League.
Steven A. Haney - President/Chief Executive Officer
The former agent and attorney to NBA Hall of Fame basketball player Magic Johnson, Steve Haney spearheaded Magic Johnson’s well-publicized 1999 comeback to basketball by negotiating a six figure licensing deal between Magic Johnson and European club team M7 Boras. In conjunction with Magic Johnson’s business interests in Sweden, Haney negotiated global endorsement deals with such companies as; American Express, McDonalds, Audi and Adidas. During that time, Haney lived in Europe and was the General Manager of both Magic Johnson organizations, which included the promotion and marketing of the largest crowd to ever watch a basketball game in Scandinavian history.
Haney rose to national prominence with a distinguished legal career in Sports and Entertainment law, orchestrating well-publicized post-career endorsement opportunities for Magic Johnson, Dominique Wilkins and former NBA All Star Kenny Anderson. It is this experience and proven leadership which will distinguish the ABL from the current minor league basketball organizations in existence today.
Mr. Haney currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is licensed to practice law in all Michigan District and Circuit Courts, as well as the United States Eastern District Federal Court.
Eric Newsome - Vice President/Commissioner
A standout basketball player at Miami of Ohio (where he teamed in the back court with former NBA star Ron Harper), Eric is also the former Associate Athletic Director for Florida Atlantic University and holds a Masters degree in Sports Administration from Miami of Ohio. Eric finished his career at Miami of Ohio as one of the school’s all time leading scorers and assists leaders and currently is a member of the Toledo, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.
In his capacity of Commissioner, Eric is responsible for all league-wide matters as they relate to expansion and corporate marketing and most recently spearheaded the first ever foray of an American professional sports league’s International expansion.
Tom Markert - Deputy Commissioner
One of America’s most innovative marketing experts, Tom Markert brings an executive profile to the ABL that is arguably as strong as any in minor league sports. Tom is a key advisor to the ABL on all business matters relative to marketing and business development.
In addition to his current position with Digital Tailwind, Markert presently is a member of the Board of Directors of State Auto Financial Corporation, a publicly traded (STFC/NASDAQ) property and casualty insurer based in Columbus, Ohio, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of True Value, a leading Home Improvement and Hardware Retailer.
In his professional career, he has held leadership positions at Office Depot, ACNielsen, Citicorp, and Procter & Gamble. Additionally, he is the former owner and Board Director of the legendary Sydney Kings professional basketball team, who compete in the National Basketball League of Australia. Markert most recently served as the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of Office Depot and has authored numerous business management books published globally by HarperCollins.
William Eddie - Director of Scouting and Camps
The former Head Associate Coach of Florida International University, Coach William Eddie brings to the ABL over thirty years of coaching and scouting experience. In addition to having coached in Division I basketball for years, Coach Eddie is also a former Scout for the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and in 2013 was named the ABL Executive of the Year.
As the Director of Scouts and Camps, William Eddie will assist in facilitating ABL player's transition to other International playing opportunities and provide detailed player assessment reports to our FIBA partners.
Taylor Jackson - Director of Brand Development
Taylor Jackson is currently finishing her Master's degree in Sport Venue and Event Management from Syracuse University. Some of Taylor's previous experiences have consisted of working at Galaxy Events, in Syracuse, New York, focusing on sponsorship research and sales; Team Sting Volleyball Club, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as the Co-coordinator and head club coach; and The Event Company, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, focusing on the development of community fundraisers, festivals and events. As the Director of Brand Development, Taylor will spearhead all social media components of the league, the website, and grassroots marketing campaigns.