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Collins Leaves NHL Post for NFL Venture

National Hockey League chief operating officer John Collins has left the ice for a new post as CEO of On Location Experiences, an experiential hospitality venture owned by Red Bird Capital Partners, Bruins Sports Capital and the National Football League.

Formerly known as NFL On Location, On Location Experiences provides hospitality platforms for major events like the upcoming Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 7, 2016. On Location Experiences will build on this success next year in Houston for Super Bowl LI, as well as over the course of 2016 with its other marquee NFL events, including the 2016 NFL Draft and the International Series Games in London.

In the departing Collins, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman loses one of his top executives, Collins joined the NHL in 2006 and was named COO in 2008. Along the way he has spearheaded some of professional hockey’s most enduring and popular events, including the “Winter Classic” outdoor hockey events, the Stadium Series,  the “24/7” reality series on the Winter Classic teams and the launching of the NHL Network. Collins also helped drive increases in the NHL’s national television contracts in both the U.S. and Canada – including negotiating a $2.2 billion media rights deal with NBC in 2011,  a $5.2 billion rights agreement with Rogers in 2013, and a $1-billion digital media rights partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media in 2015.

Prior to joining the NHL, Collins was a senior executive with the NFL for 15 years. He began his career at NFL Films and held his last role at the NFL as senior vice president of marketing, programming and sales before being appointed president and CEO of the Cleveland Browns for the 2004-06 seasons.

“I’ve always wanted to fulfill my passion for building a great global business from the ground up, and with On Location Experiences, I could not be more excited to work with Gerry and George who have an impressive track record of investing in and building tremendous companies at the intersection of sports and entertainment,” Collins said in a statement. “I cannot wait to get started working with the entire On Location Experiences team to leverage this platform to create a unique experiential live events company.”

This article was updated to correct the identification of producer Ross Greenburg in the photo.