Vice President, Legal & Business Affairs, Team & Sports Operations
The Madison Square Garden Co.
New York, N.Y.
At four years old, Jamaal Lesane went to his first New York Knicks game and fell in love with basketball, the Knicks team and Madison Square Garden. As he grew older he would save his allowance to buy tickets to one or two games each year. Now, as vice president of Legal and Business Affairs for MSG’s Team and Sports Operations, he can attend any game he choses. “The phrase ‘dream job’ is frequently overused by others, but for me, this really is it,” he says.
Lesane provides business and legal support to the Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty, Westchester Knicks and other sporting operations occurring at MSG and its owned or affiliated venues. He also provides counsel to the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit that utilizes MSG assets to provide memorable experiences to kids in crisis. With a bachelor’s degree in intensive sociology from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, he began his law career as a corporate associate at Covington & Burling LLP. He later joined Home Box Office Inc. as associate counsel, providing legal support and counsel to the HBO Sports and HBO Licensing and Retail units, before moving to MSG in 2008.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Lesane is a donor, fundraiser and volunteer at Prep for Prep, a program the identifies New York City’s most promising students of color and prepares them for placement at independent schools in the city and boarding schools. It’s his way of “paying it forward” and regularly thanking the program that helped to shape his own life. “Without Prep and the opportunity that it afforded me to expand my horizons beyond my neighborhood in Brooklyn, I can say with certainty that there would be no Yale, Harvard Law or MSG in my life,” he says.