SBD/18/Sports Industrialists


     As we said in September when we opened nominations for
SPORTS INDUSTRIALIST OF THE YEAR, our aim is to recognize one
executive each year as the person who best embodies THE DAILY's
vision of the sports industry -- namely, sports as entertainment,
sports as a distinct industry, and sports as a global business.
Ours is a post-modern view of sports recognizing its reach and
impact beyond the playing field.
     This year one nominee stood far above the rest -- not
because of his title, position, or profile, but because no other
executive better personifies the total vision of THE SPORTS
BUSINESS DAILY.  That nominee and our selection for the 1995
     RATIONALE:  Since he was unanimously elected the NBA's 4th
commissioner in '84, David Stern has worked tirelessly to build
the league into a global entertainment powerhouse.  In turn, he
has had a strong hand in reshaping the sports industry and
contributing to its growth and maturation over the last decade.
David Stern understands the post-modern view of sports because,
in large part, he created it.
     During 1995, David Stern and his team maintained the
league's partnership with its players -- masterfully handling the
owners' lockout and negotiations with the NBPA; protecting labor
peace into the 21st Century; and, continuing the NBA's unmatched
distinction as the only major sports league in North America
never to lose a game to a work stoppage or labor dispute.  This
is quite an achievement in a year when keeping the peace with
labor, and even among management, has become a major challenge.
     Under Stern's leadership, the NBA continued to grow and
flourish this year with expansion into Toronto and Vancouver; the
signing of international TV deals with Channel 4 in England, TV
Asahi in Japan, and TV Azteca in Mexico; the opening of new
league offices in London, Mexico City, and Miami; renewed
corporate partnerships with AT&T, Nestle, and IBM; a new
sponsorship deal with American Express; the opening of new,
state-of-the-art arenas in Portland, Seattle, and Boston; strong
support and backing for the USA Women's team; the launch of one
of the best sports sites on the World Wide Web; a new collective
bargaining agreement for referees; a record-breaking $3B in
global merchandise sales; and, increased overall attendance for
'94-95, increased ratings for the '95 Finals, and even increased
cable ratings for the start of '95-96 season.
     This is just a partial list of the league's accomplishments
this year, but the theme and thread should be obvious: NBA
basketball as a hot property and sports as a dynamic, global
entertainment business.  To us, David Stern is the gold standard
for sports industrialists.
     FOR THE FUTURE:  In terms of setting a precedent for future
SPORTS INDUSTRIALISTS OF THE YEAR, it is not that nominees and
recipients will have to be like David Stern in terms of position
or stature -- although they can -- but they should come from a
comparable school of thought in terms of outlook and vision.
     THANK YOU:  We at THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY would like to
thank our many clients who took the time to nominate their peers
and colleagues for this year's award.  We encourage you, and all
of our subscribers, to participate again in 1996 (THE DAILY).
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