The Atlanta Braves cruised through the fall of 2021. A regular season record of eighty-eight wins and seventy-three losses was good enough to take the team to the top of the National League East and into a head-to-head divisional series matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Braves won three games to one.
In the next round, the Braves beat the 106-win Dodgers 4 games to 2, and also just needed 6 games to defeat the Houston Astros on its way to its fourth World Series Championship.
During the 2021 season, 3 Braves players hit 30 or more home runs, Ozzie Albies stole 20 bases, ace Charlie Morton logged 14 wins and 216 strikeouts, and Will Smith tallied 37 saves. Adam Duvall managed 45 runs batted in (RBI) in 55 games after joining the team via trade on July 30. On the field, an all-star caliber lineup fueled the franchise to victory. A high-performing front office team contributed outside the lines.
That team includes President and CEO Derek Schiller, General Manager Alex Anthopoulos, Chief Legal Officer Greg Heller, and CFO Jill Robinson. While scouts, coaches, and managers develop players and drive baseball outcomes, members of the executive leadership team handle long-term business development strategies, build and manage revenue streams, improve operations, foster strong community relationships, and engage a devoted fanbase.
Prior to stepping in to manage the Braves accounting, finance, and IT teams that total about forty-five people, Robinson spent sixteen years with McKesson Corporation, where she ultimately led financial operations for a $3 billion technology segment. The Naperville native studied accounting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and later earned her CPA license.
Trivia and Stats
Hometowns: 3 (Boston, Milwaukee & Atlanta)
World Series Titles: 4 (1914, 1957, 1995, 2021)
Division Titles: 14 consecutive titles between 1991 and 2005
Notable Players: Andruw Jones, Phil Niekro, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn
Top-level, veteran financial executives and other key leaders bring tangible and intangible results that can translate to roster moves and in-game success. Chairman Terry McGuirk praised Robinson’s expertise upon her arrival in 2018.
“Her experience raises our financial planning and reporting capabilities to match the expansion of our business successes. She will bring a wealth of knowledge to our baseball operations and real estate ventures, as well as the intricacies of functioning as a public company,” he told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Robinson not only manages financial operations for the team but also handles the Braves’ activities related to the Battery Atlanta, a mixed-use development near the team’s stadium.
Under Robinson’s leadership, accounting, finance, and IT helped the Braves navigate the early days of COVID-19 as the pandemic shut down professional sports leagues. MLB cut the 2020 season short before opening without fans in attendance. Lower revenue streams led to creative cost restructuring and head count eliminations, but Atlanta offered its partners alternative solutions, renegotiated key contracts, and retained 54 percent of its sponsorship revenue.
Accounting and finance are sophisticated at the Braves, which is owned by Liberty Media—making it one of the few sports teams listed on the Nasdaq (BATRA). Liberty purchased the team, now valued by Forbes at $2.1 billion, for $400 million in 2007. It has a team payroll of $175 million and ranks as MLB’s tenth most valuable organization (The New York Yankees hold the top spot at $6 billion).
Days after the Braves’ decisive game six victory in 2021, fans lined the streets of Atlanta to catch a glimpse of the golden World Series Trophy as the championship parade wove its way downtown. The team dedicated the win to the memory of home run king and franchise hero Hank Aaron.
In the proceeding and following days, staffers inside the team’s Truist park were celebrating their own achievements. The Braves earned $6 million per game in revenue and ended 2021 with $104 million in profit.
ArtsNOW is the leading PreK-12 professional learning organization providing innovative and customized educational solutions with an emphasis on arts integration. An Atlanta-based non-profit organization, ArtsNOW is reshaping education by integrating visual, digital, and performing arts into all subjects to equip educators and engage students for greater academic and personal achievement. We celebrate our relationship with, and appreciation for, Jill Robinson and the entire Atlanta Braves team! Click here to learn about the ways we use the arts to change learning—and change lives.