Mullin launches consulting firm, signs NHL, Tribe

March 3, 2008

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By JOHN LOMBARDO Staff writer

Former Atlanta Spirit CEO Bernie Mullin has formed a sports consulting company, the Aspire Group, and has signed the National Hockey League and the Cleveland Indians as clients. Mullin, who resigned in January from Atlanta Spirit, which owns the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena, created the Aspire Group with partner Michael Ditchfield. Mullin will remain in Atlanta while Ditchfield works from Denver.

Mullin and Ditchfield previously were business partners in Denver during the mid-1990s when Mullin ran a sports consulting company before joining the NBA. Along with the NHL and the Indians, Mullin said that Aspire is close to a few other consulting agreements. “We had this business before I went to the NBA in 1998 and now I am reopening it,” Mullin said. “It will focus on sports, entertainment and media, but there will be some general industry clients as well.”

Mullin has a long history in team and league sports. Prior to running Atlanta Spirit, Mullin headed the NBA’s team marketing and business operations division from 1998-2004. He has also worked for the Colorado Rockies and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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