Gary Zenkel was named President, NBC Olympics, and Operations, Strategy, NBC Sports Group in May 2012. He was promoted to this role after serving as President, NBC Olympics since November 2005. Before this, he served as Executive Vice President, NBC Olympics since July 2001. Zenkel oversees all aspects of the NBC Olympics business unit, including new media initiatives, strategic business alliances, marketing and promotion, technical and non-technical operations, and leads the NBC Sports Group’s Olympic business across all platforms while overseeing NBCOlympics.com. As President, Operations & Strategy, NBC Sports Group, Zenkel is responsible for the legal, business affairs, strategy and operations functions for NBC Sports Group.
Zenkel played a vital role in NBCUniversal’s successful bid for all U.S. media rights to both the 2010-2012 Olympic Games, the 2014-2020 Olympic Games and Spanish-language network Telemundo’s exclusive Spanish-language U.S. media rights to the FIFA World Cup® Soccer from 2015 through 2022. He developed the concept of including an International Olympic Committee TOP sponsorship from General Electric as part of the 2012-2012 and 2014-2020 bids. Zenkel also led NBC’s interests in acquiring a significant interest in Universal Sports.
Zenkel has managed the Olympics division since the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Under his leadership, NBCUniversal successfully pioneered and presented a number of historic firsts. For the 2012 London Games, NBCOlympics.com live streamed every Olympic event and sport, streaming more than 3,500 programming hours; broke digital traffic records and generated unprecedented social media chatter by committing unprecedented amount of coverage on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube; and provided viewers Olympic programming in 3D. The London Olympic Games was the most-watched event in U.S. television history, with more than 217 million viewers. The 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver was the first Winter Olympics to be presented entirely in high definition. The 2008 Beijing Games, NBCUniversal broke history by live streaming Olympic broadband video coverage. The 2006 Torino Winter Games broadcast in HD for the first time. NBC’s HD affiliates and Universal HD also provided high definition Olympic coverage. For the 2004 Athens Games, NBCUniversal, for the first time in U.S. television history, provided some coverage of all 28 Summer Olympic sports.
Beginning in 1997, Zenkel served as Senior Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, NBC Olympics. Previously, Zenkel served as Vice President, NBC Sports and Executive Assistant to Dick Ebersol from 1994-97. For NBC’s coverage of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, Zenkel was in charge of Olympic negotiations and business development.
Zenkel joined NBC Sports in 1990 as Director of Sports Contract Negotiation and played a major role in NBC’s acquisition, contract negotiations, and/or renewal of the French Open, Olympics, Major League Baseball, Notre Dame football, PGA Tour, U.S. Golf Association championships and Ryder Cup.
Prior to joining NBC Sports, Zenkel was a corporate associate with Cahill, Gordon and Reindel, a New York City-based law firm.
Zenkel graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983 and from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1987. He was a two-year letterman on the Wolverines golf team. Zenkel lives in Larchmont, N.Y., with his wife Suzanne, son Billy and daughter Caroline.