Business brand veteran Lucas Watson has been tapped to lead Madison Square Garden Entertainment Sphere venues. Watson will officially join the company on March 28 as president, MSG Sphere.
The first MSG Sphere venue – MSG Sphere at The Venetian in Las Vegas – is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in the second half of 2023. The final cost for the venue is expected to come in at $1.66 billion.
With over 25 years of global experience accelerating growth and building brands, Watson is set to drive various aspects of MSG Sphere’s commercial strategy including go-to-market planning and bookings, which will feature a wide range of bespoke “only in Sphere” attractions, residencies, conventions and product launches. He will work closely with his colleagues across MSG Entertainment in various aspects of MSG Sphere development, including technology, content, sponsorship and hospitality.
“I am pleased to welcome Lucas to MSG Entertainment, where his expertise will be an asset as we prepare to open our first MSG Sphere venue and further develop the global MSG Sphere brand,” said MSG Entertainment executive chairman and CEO James Dolan in a release. “MSG Sphere will provide a next-generation experience unlike anything that exists in the world, and Lucas’ proven track record of delivering global growth and scale will help us realize our long-term vision for these venues – starting with MSG Sphere at The Venetian.”
Watson will be based in Burbank, Calif. and report directly to Dolan. As part of his responsibilities, Watson will look to expand the MSG Sphere brand into new markets (MSG is already planning to build an additional Sphere venue in London).
“I am excited to join MSG Entertainment at such an important time for MSG Sphere,” said Watson in a release. “Throughout my career I have focused on building world-class brands and scaling emerging companies with disruptive technologies to deliver growth. The opportunity to revolutionize entertainment with MSG Sphere is thrilling. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the Company to bring this first-of-its-kind venue to life.”
Watson most recently served as senior vp, commercial operations at Cruise, where he was responsible for leading the development of the commercial strategy and go-to-market operations plan for the self-driving car technology company. Prior to that, he served as Cruise’s general manager, rideshare business unit and chief marketing officer. In those roles, he built the company’s rideshare business, including developing its market entry strategy and leading its brand positioning.
Before joining Cruise, Watson served as executive vp, global chief marketing and sales officer at Intuit, a global provider of business and financial management solutions. Watson has also held leadership positions at Google and Procter & Gamble.