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The Utah Jazz just made a very Ryan Smith-esque hire from the College Football Playoff

Andrea Williams, who has been hired by the Utah Jazz as chief experience officer.
Kevin Jairaj

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith has made his fortune at Qualtrics by focusing on experience management, and the Jazz just made a splashy hire in that department.

The team announced on Monday that it has hired Andrea Williams, previously the chief operating officer at the College Football Playoff, as chief experience officer, a newly-created position.

Williams, the team said, will focus on “the delivery of world-class experiences for guests, partners, and employees of the organization.”

“Taking good care of our fans, guests and employees is truly important to our organization, and the addition of Andrea on our executive team highlights the significance of this role,” Jazz president Jim Olson said in a press release statement.

“With her vast experience in our industry, she will be a champion for the guest experience as well as lead our internal efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion which will make us a stronger and better organization.”

This marks a return to Utah for Williams, who was commissioner of the Big Sky Conference, headquartered in the Beehive State, from 2016-2018 before joining the CFP.

She was associate commissioner of the Big Ten Conference from 2006-2016.

“It is an honor to join the Utah Jazz, and I feel fortunate to work for an NBA team with such a rich history and incredible ties to the community,” Williams said in a press release statement.

“I am looking forward to returning to the great state of Utah and working with the amazing staff of the Jazz organization. It has been a privilege to serve as Chief Operating Officer with the College Football Playoff, and I wish all the best to the great people associated with the organization.”

This marks the second nationally significant hire the Jazz have made in recent weeks, as they also added longtime ESPN basketball analyst Holly Rowe to their broadcast team before the season began.