Ottawa Senators hire MLB communications vet to new senior VP role

peter loyello
Peter Loyello is the new senior vice-president of communications and community relations for the Ottawa Senators.

Just weeks after bringing a veteran marketing expert on board as their new CEO, the Ottawa Senators have added a longtime major league baseball executive to their front office team.

The NHL club said Monday that Peter Loyello has been named the team’s new senior vice-president of communications and community relations. According to a statement, Loyello will oversee the Senators’ communications, community outreach, municipal affairs and broadcasting initiatives.

A Montreal native, Loyello is returning to the city where he began his career in professional sports. The Concordia marketing grad spent two seasons in the front office of the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx, helping promote the Montreal Expos’ top farm team as its first director of media relations in 1993 and 1994.

Loyello then spent seven years in the same role with the Expos. He moved to south Florida to become vice-president of communications and broadcasting with the Florida (later Miami) Marlins after the Expos folded following the 2002 season, remaining with the National League club for 16 seasons. For the past two years, he operated his own public relations consulting firm in the Miami area.

Loyello is the second high-profile hire this month for the Senators. 

Earlier in January, the team appointed Jim Little, the former chief marketing officer at Shaw Communications, as its new chief executive. The team had been without a formal CEO since the company's most recent president and chief executive, Tom Anselmi, departed after just one year at the helm.

The newest changes in the C-suite come as the rebuilding club has struggled to attract fans to the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata: last season marked a 22-year low in attendance, and the Sens are currently drawing the smallest average crowds in the league so far in the 2019-20 season, according to hockeyDB.com. The organization has rolled out new initiatives to help fans and corporate groups customize ticket packages in a bid to build its attendance figures.

The Senators have made a number of other shakeups in their executive ranks over the past two seasons. Former COO Nicolas Ruszkowski and CMO Aimee Deziel both left the organization last year after short stints with the team. Mark Bonneau was recently named the Senators’ chief revenue officer, while Brian Crombie took on the CFO role.