Hugh Weber is the president of the New Jersey Devils, one of 30 professional hockey teams that form the National Hockey League, and the team’s home arena, Prudential Center, the state-of-the-art multi-purpose venue in downtown Newark, N.J.
Weber, one of the sports industry’s most innovative executives, had an invigorating impact on the overall culture of the organization after taking over as president in August 2013. He led an aggressive evolution of the company’s business strategy and day-to-day operations, initiating a fan-first approach focused on personal engagement while creating new, ground-breaking revenue streams.
Under his leadership, Prudential Center developed the first farm-to-fan arena concessions experience, featuring local New Jersey chefs and produce; introduced the first permanent 3D projection system for a U.S. hockey team and arena; partnered with Ritz-Carlton for staff training in customer service; and developed the first Flex Membership program in the NHL, giving fans and businesses a customizable platform for purchasing Devils tickets with year-round member benefits. As a result, Prudential Center and the Devils were named NJBiz’s 2014 Business of the Year.
Weber is dedicated to hiring the top talent in the industry and providing an environment that encourages professional and personal growth, with a focus on having a long-lasting, positive impact on communities in Newark and around the Garden State. He initiated an internal service program called “82 Hours” – in honor of 1982, the year the Devils moved to New Jersey – that gives employees 82 hours of company time each year to be agents of change. Through the program, Prudential Center and Devils employees annually host inner-city students for holiday celebrations, give weekly summer street hockey lessons throughout the city and have planted dune grass on New Jersey’s coast as part of the ongoing rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Sandy.
Based on the organization’s core values to captivate on a world-class level and engage on a personal one, Weber oversaw the creation of Prudential Center’s first brand campaign, “Our House Rules.” The campaign put Prudential Center’s stake in the ground as New Jersey’s home for sports and entertainment and let fans know that their experience at the arena would be different than anywhere else. “Our House Rules” gained national media attention, including features in the New York Times and Billboard Magazine, and won the Event & Arena Marketing Conference’s 2015 Campaign of the Year.
Weber has a track record of business success that benefits partners, employees and community members. Prior to his role with Prudential Center and the Devils, he was president of the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets. During his seven years with the organization, the team achieved record-setting ticket sales and sponsorship figures during a time of unprecedented instability created by Hurricane Katrina. The organization’s success extended into the community as the team became a pillar of the region’s resurgence.
Weber spearheaded the reorganization of the team’s basketball operations and developed creative, interactive programs to procure season ticket holders and build significant, long-lasting relationships with local partners and businesses. His efforts directly impacted the team’s financial success and helped secure stable, local ownership and a long-term lease with the state.
Weber is a board member of a variety of community, economic development and entrepreneurship organizations, reflecting his priority in investing in the people, businesses and leaders around him. He has four children, Brenna, Zoë, Hugh III and Jackson, and enjoys running, reading and being a father.