Jamie Zaninovich was named just the second full time Commissioner of the West Coast Conference on March 9, 2008. During his tenure at the WCC, Zaninovich has led the Conference to unprecedented growth in the areas of television and championships while also expanding the conference membership for the first time in three decades and becoming an active voice on the national scene through work on the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee and the Collegiate Commissioners Association.
Zaniniovich's tenure at the West Coast Conference has been highlighted by a five-year strategic plan (2010-14) focused on three high-level strategic goals for the WCC - competitiveness, exposure and leadership - which includes implementation of men's basketball non-conference scheduling and performance strategies, a conference-wide video streaming enhancement program, approval of a Sportsmanship Initiative, the launch of a new conference mark, and continued commitment to activation of the WCC voice within the NCAA governance structure.
The conference has seen growth in the area of championships through a successful transition for the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The event has set tournament records for revenue, total attendance and single game attendance, and will remain at the Orleans through 2013 after Zaninovich negotiated a multi-year extension with the facility. Zaninovich was also instrumental in creating two successful off the floor events in Las Vegas --- the WCC Hall of Honor and the Zappos.com/WCC Shoe Drive.
The WCC also expanded to nine members under Zaninovich's leadership when Brigham Young University accepted an invitation to join the West Coast Conference on August 31, 2010. BYU marked the first additions to the WCC since the addition of Gonzaga University and the University of San Diego prior to the 1979-80 school year.
Zaninovich, who was named one of the prestigious "40 Under 40" honorees by the Sports Business Journal in 2010 as one of the top young professionals in the sports industry, has also brought forward television advances that have showcased the conference's brand regionally and internationally. The Conference signed an eight-year contract extension with ESPN in June of 2011 that will make the network the WCC's national television home through the 2018-19 season. The agreement increased the number of annual men's basketball appearances on ESPN by 25 percent and also includes additional exposure for both the WCC Basketball Championships and Olympic sport events.
The last four seasons, the WCC has entered a formal men's basketball television partnership with Cox San Diego, Comcast California, Fox Sports West and Comcast Northwest that spans Northern California, Southern California and the Pacific Northwest while also creating a WCCTV student media initiative which has led to increased original content on wccsports.com. The conference has also expanded its footprint globally with games televised annually to ESPN affiliates in Australia, Europe, Latin America and South America.
On the External Relations side, Zaninovich negotiated a long-term sponsorship rights agreement with IMG College and oversaw the creation of new media initiatives that were highlighted by unprecedented internet, radio and television coverage of the conference basketball championships.
Zaninovich, who as appointed to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee in 2011-12 and is a Past Chair of the Division I Collegiate Commissioners Association Division I Subdivision, also helped create a partnership with the Pacific-12 and Big West conferences on men's and women's basketball officiating training and evaluation programs with the addition of Dave Libbey and Violet Palmer as the conference's coordinators of basketball officials. Zaninovich is also a founding member of the Board of Managers and Competition Committee of the Men's College Basketball Officiating (MCBO), L.L.C. and a past member of the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics.
Prior to coming to the West Coast Conference, Zaninovich was the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations at Princeton University and was responsible for all revenue-generating and external relations activities for the university's 38-team varsity athletic department. He managed an 11-person staff in the offices of Athletic Relations, Marketing and Athletic Communications, which worked together to build the profile of Princeton athletics both locally and nationally. Among his most notable accomplishments at Princeton was negotiating a national television agreement with ESPN, the only such agreement in the Ivy League. He also created a prevalent brand identity for Princeton Athletics and negotiated the first and largest all-school apparel and equipment agreement in the Ivy League.
Prior to Princeton, Zaninovich spent two years as Senior Assistant Athletic Director for Strategic Planning and Men's Basketball Operations at Stanford after earning his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2001. Zaninovich formulated plans for marketing, fundraising and community relations programs, while managing media rights and ensuring compliance. He was also a key member responsible for the planning of a $30 million renovation of Maples Pavilion, the home of Stanford's basketball and volleyball programs. From 1996-1999, he served as Stanford's Marketing and Operations Director for Men's Basketball. His efforts in that position saw significant annual increases in fundraising, season ticket sales and overall ticket revenue.
Zaninovich's rapid ascent through Stanford's administration came after earning his bachelor's degree in political science and communications in 1993.
Zaninovich, his wife Karen, and sons Max (6) and Lucas (4), reside in Millbrae, Calif.