WHL announces Dan Near as incoming Commissioner

The Western Hockey League (WHL) announced today their succession plan with the league’s commissioner role.

Adidas Hockey executive and former NHL marketing professional Dan Near was announced the next commissioner for the league.

Dan Near, shown in a handout photo, is set to become the next commissioner of the Western Hockey League. The 43-year-old Adidas executive was introduced at a press conference today in Calgary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Western Hockey League

Near’s first day with the WHL will be on January 1, 2024 as he transitions into the role of commissioner. On February 15, 2024, Near will officially take over the responsibilities of the commissioner, with the current commissioner Ron Robison moving into an advisory role, providing support and guidance for Near.

Global talent firm TurnkeyZRG assisted the WHL with the search for a new commissioner.

Near, 43, most recently served as the Global Head of adidas Hockey and was responsible for leading adidas’ entry into hockey, managing their global hockey business since 2016.

“It’s a tremendous honour to have been selected as the next Commissioner of the Western Hockey League,” Near said. “I look forward to engaging with our Clubs, players, alumni, business partners and our fans to ensure we’re building an ecosystem that’s best-in-class and gives players and their families the confidence to choose the WHL for their hockey development journey.”

Before joining Adidas, Near spent 10 years at the National Hockey League’s head office in New York, specializing in marketing, retail development, and consumer product licensing from 2006 through 2016.

Along with his family, Near currently resides Portland, Oregon but will relocating to Calgary with his new position.

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