A talented sports executive with experience as a player, coach, agent, sports marketer and basketball operations administrator, Fred A. Whitfield joined Hornets Sports & Entertainment (HSE) as president and chief operating officer in July of 2006, a position he continues to occupy today. In this role, Whitfield oversees all business operations for the Charlotte Hornets, the Hornets Foundation and Spectrum Center. He also is a minority partner in HSE.
Since coming to Charlotte, Fred has overseen the dramatic growth of both the franchise and arena. Along with overseeing the team’s rebranding from the Charlotte Bobcats, he led efforts to secure $40 million in renovations for Spectrum Center; the 2019 men’s ACC Tournament, the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the largest donation ever given to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools by a professional sports franchise. He also led the efforts to re-secure the 2019 NBA all-star game after the repeal of HB2.
A native of Greensboro, Fred’s portfolio includes the Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, Inc.; the Washington Wizards; Nike Basketball; Falk Associates Management Enterprises (F.A.M.E.); and a private law practice.
Before joining the Hornets, Fred served as director of business and legal affairs for Jordan Brand, where he managed endorsements and sports marketing strategy. From 2000-03, he served as director of player personnel and assistant legal counsel for the Washington Wizards. While there, he was responsible for the team’s salary cap administration, contract negotiations and overseeing player scouting.
Fred served as director of player development for Nike Basketball prior to joining the Wizards. At Nike Basketball, he was responsible for scouting new potential endorsers, negotiating endorsement contracts and overseeing business and marketing strategies for more than 150 NBA players. His career in sports began as a player agent with F.A.M.E. as director of the Carolinas Region. Before joining F.A.M.E., Fred established and managed a successful law practice in Greensboro.
A graduate of Campbell University, Fred was an All-South, team MVP and basketball team captain and was inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame in 1995. He earned a BBA degree in economics, a MBA and served as assistant basketball coach for the Camels. He also earned a juris doctorate degree from NCCU School of Law in 1988, where he served as president of the Student Bar Association.
Fred founded HoopTee Charities, Inc., a North Carolina-based non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide scholarships for disadvantaged youngsters to attend camps and educational programs across the country. He also founded Achievements Unlimited Basketball School in 1984. AU has focused its efforts in teaching fundamental basketball skills, the importance of education and staying drug free to more than 10,000 kids for the past 33 years.
In recent years, Fred has received the Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence, YMCA George Williams Award, and the key to the city of Greensboro. He currently serves on boards of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Sports Foundation and Campbell University, as well as the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Charlotte.
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