SBD/Issue 56/Sports IndustrialistsPrint All
GLORY DAYS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Russell Adams noted Pro Football HOFer FRANK GIFFORD, who recently released his new book titled, "THE GLORY GAME: HOW THE 1958 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME CHANGED FOOTBALL FOREVER," had originally "intended to help" late author DAVID HALBERSTAM on a similar book. However, Halberstam in '07 died in a car accident, and Gifford said, "I thought, 'Shoot, I'll go ahead and do it.'" Gifford, who interviewed players for the book, said Pro Football HOFer RAYMOND BERRY had "been thinking about writing the book himself so he kept some really copious notes." Gifford added, "This wasn't the greatest game ever played. It was electric and it later took on the unbelievable air about it. But there were six fumbles during the game" (WSJ.com, 12/3).
READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? George Mason Univ. professor JAMES TREFIL, in a special to the WASHINGTON POST, reviewed author MURRAY GREENBERG's new book, "PASSING GAME: BENNY FRIEDMAN AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF FOOTBALL." Friedman's contribution to football was to "bring the forward pass to prominence as an offensive weapon." Friedman was a "tough Jewish kid," but Greenberg in the book "suggests that it was Friedman's personality, rather than his religion or ethnicity, that impeded his acceptance by football fans" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/2). Friedman was elected to the Pro Football HOF in '05, and SI's Elizabeth McGarr writes Greenberg's "well-researched narrative ... offers possible explanations" for the delay, which include Friedman's "egotism, his public disagreement with the [NFLPA] in 1970 over pension benefits and his outspoken incredulity at the Hall's omission." Greenberg said, "I look at this book as the rediscovery of a great American innovator" (SI, 12/8 issue).
PEN PAL: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth wrote ESPN's SAL PAOLANTONIO in his new book, "HOW FOOTBALL EXPLAINS AMERICA," takes "more than a whimsically scholar approach in fitting the jagged pieces of American football into the way the country has been soldered together over the past 230-some years" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/30).
Accrue Sports & Entertainment
Ventures Managing Dir Doug Perlman
What I like in a business deal: I've always admired RUPERT MURDOCH's acquisition of NFL rights as a basis for the Fox network. Brilliant and bold use of sports content to build a broader business.
A story that bears watching: Post-Olympic China.
An insight: Friends and family have told us to enjoy our time with our children because it goes by quicker than you can imagine.
An influential person in my career: STEVE SOLOMON. As COO of the NHL, he pulled me out of the legal department and put me in a business role, gave me my entrée into the media business and showed me that one can be an effective negotiator and executive while maintaining terrific relationships. He continued to be a mentor after he left the NHL and, now, almost 15 years after we met, we are partners at Accrue.
An out-of-the-box idea: I recently saw a "60 Minutes" story about a person with no medical or scientific training who has pioneered a very promising cancer treatment using radio waves. As I watched the story, it struck me that his mind was not cluttered with preconceived notions or conventional wisdom, and that freed him to pursue his exciting research.
A timeless idea: Treat other people the way you want to be treated. As LISA [his wife] and I have told our boys, they'll usually know the right thing to do if they follow the golden rule.
A sports facility: Cameron Indoor Stadium. I know I'm biased, but it really is a special place.
A marketing idea: Like so many other people, I really like the "This Is SportsCenter" campaign. Some have been laugh-out-loud funny, and they effectively promote ESPN's flagship.
Watch The Clip
A print ad campaign: The old Sports Illustrated campaign, "What does it feel like ..."
A business solution: BOB IGER making some of Disney's highest-profile programming available on iTunes. Instead of resisting change, he embraced it. I think that was the tipping point for what has been the explosive growth of high-quality video online.
A strategy: DirecTV securing and retaining the exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket as an acquisition and retention tool. I admire they way they have kept it fresh by regularly adding new elements to the offering.
A hire: JOE GIRARDI. Long term, I think he's going to be great.
A brand: Coke. It's timeless and universal.
A trend: The industry recognizing that the distribution of content on new media platforms tends to drive TV ratings rather than decrease them.
An innovation: It's not an original thought, but I love TiVo. I was one of those annoying people who wouldn't stop talking about it when it first came out.
A business decision: CBS moving its March Madness streaming offering from a subscription model to an ad-supported one. It proved to be very lucrative, didn't hurt ratings and is the example so many others point to as sports content continues to move to new platforms.
A sports investment: The purchase of the Boston Celtics by WYC GROUSBECK and his ownership group and the speed with which they revamped the team and revitalized one of the great brands in sports.
A pro league business initiative: The NHL's outdoor games. They generate great buzz and help the NHL break through the clutter. By resisting the likely temptation to do more than one a year, the league has ensured that the games have maintained a big-event feel.
A college sports business initiative: IMG's entrance into college sports through its acquisition of CLC and Host. There is still a lot of upside in the college space.
A decision-maker: My wife.
An idea I wish I had thought of: YouTube.
A fantasy job: Fiction writer.
What I like about my job: My partners and colleagues. We have built a great team at Accrue that is focused on winning while having some fun. I also like the variety of entrepreneurs and businesses I get to deal with and the fact that the company is ours. We are driving the agenda and will ultimately be responsible for its success or failure.
Sports: The continuity across generations. My father took my brother and me to Yankee Stadium the night REGGIE JACKSON hit three home runs in a World Series game. [This year], we took our three boys (who are close to the same age my brother and I were that night) to the last game at Yankee Stadium, and they got to see Reggie take his place in right field during the pre-game ceremony. It was a special night.
Sports business: It's an exciting industry and, more importantly, it is intellectually stimulating and challenging -- particularly given the pace of innovation in the media space.
Sports media: It's often at the cutting edge of innovation. So many breakthroughs in media have emerged from the world of sports, and I think we'll continue to see that happen. There is no other type of content about which people are so passionate. It attracts desirable audiences, it is constantly refreshed, it is time sensitive, etc.
Pro sports: Game 7s -- in anything.
Perlman Feels March Madness'
Format Provides Drama Every Year
Competing in this business: At Accrue it will be very easy to keep score. Our investments will be successful or not -- no room for spin.
The future or direction of sports business: Advances in technology are going to continue to make life better for the sports fan: higher-quality video, exciting mobile applications, coverage of more and more events, opportunities to offer opinions and engage in debate, next generation fantasy games, virtual worlds and ticketing options. The future is very exciting for sports fans, and that makes for good business.
What I would like to change: The perception of the sports industry by people who don't appreciate the complexity or significance of the business.
See different: I have no idea how to do it, but I would love for people to be able to introduce their children to the world of sports without inevitably exposing them to things like steroids, player misconduct off the field, etc.
Reinvent: The wheel.
Reintroduce: The glowing puck. It was a great innovation before its time. It debuted almost 15 years ago, and I'm always amazed at how often people bring it up.
Eliminate: Flopping in any sport.
Continue: The use of instant replay to help officials ensure that the right call is made.
See more of: Sports-themed documentaries from HBO.
What I don't like in general: Waiting. Patience is not my greatest virtue.
Pet peeve: People who are often wrong but never in doubt.
In sports: When announcers or athletes refer to their particular sport as "a game of inches" following a close play. Every sport is a game of inches.
In business: Short-term thinking.
In journalism: The bias that inevitably creeps into reporting. Sometimes it's subtle, but it's often significant.
In sports business: The fact that one's business interests inevitably affect one's rooting interests. It gets very hard to simply be a fan.
In sports media: Sports stories that get beat to death with too much redundant coverage. Unfortunately it's the same with political and other types of news these days.
In sports marketing: When the clutter created by too many sponsors detracts from the value of powerful marketing opportunities. A limited number of sponsors paying higher fees is often the more effective approach.
In sports facilities: Parking facilities that inevitably leave you sitting in a traffic jam after leaving a game.
About my job: Telling an entrepreneur that we won't be investing in his or her company. It is always a difficult conversation.
What I like above all else: My family.
That would surprise those who know me: I'm an ace at "Brady Bunch" trivia.
About myself: That I've been able to maintain a healthy work/life balance and that my wife and kids would agree (I think).
Federer One Of Perlman's
All-Time Favorite Athletes
Players: WALTER PAYTON, DR. J, BO JACKSON and ROGER FEDERER.
Teams: Duke, Yankees, Giants, Rangers.
City: New Orleans.
Possession: I'm pretty excited about the new plasma my wife just got me for my birthday.
Memento: A pocket watch that my grandfather received as a high school graduation present in 1922. He pawned it to buy a train ticket to Shreveport for his first real job and was able to buy it out of hock months later. He gave it to me when I was graduating from law school and about to start my first job under very different circumstances.
Time of year: Summer.
Music: Classic rock.
Books: "The Prince of Tides," "The Bonfire of the Vanities," "The Great Gatsby" and "The World Is Flat."
Magazines: SI, ESPN, Forbes, Newsweek and lots of trades.
Newspapers: I read the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today every weekday. Time to read is one of the few benefits of a long commute.
Web sites: I check out most of the major sports, news and business sites. To my suprise, I'm also spending time on Facebook.
Blogs: Paid Content and Tech Crunch.
Authors: PAT CONROY, TOM WOLFE, THOMAS FRIEDMAN, FRANK DEFORD.
Ideas: Tide stain remover.
Gadgets: Blackberry, iPod, TiVo -- the standards.
Hobbies: Work and family take up most of my time, but I'm trying to get my tennis game back in shape and hoping to figure out golf.
Trips: Greece and Italy with my wife; Longboat Key and LBI with our family.
Movies: "Animal House" and "The Godfather."
Perlman Has Seen Springsteen
In Concert Many Times
Concerts: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN many times.
Food: Chinese food.
Dessert: Homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Drink: Blanton's Bourbon.
Vacation spots: Santorini, Greece, and Lake Como, Italy.
Singer: ELVIS PRESLEY.
Quote: "In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king."
Fox Sports Networks (FSN) and IMG named CATHY WEEDEN GM of Gator Sports Marketing, a division of IMG College that helps manage the marketing and media rights for Univ. of Florida athletics on behalf of Fox-owned Sun Sports. Currently, Weeden is serving as Senior VP & GM of FSN Florida and Sun Sports and will continue in that capacity until a transition early next year (FSN)….Learfield Sports named SIOBHAIN CUSHEN GM for “Army Sports Properties,” the multimedia rights holder and sports marketing arm for Army athletics. Cushen, who served 11 years as a military police officer and active duty Army officer, replaces DON WILLIAMS, who was named GM of “Bulldog Sports Properties,” another Learfield property (Learfield).
FRANCHISES: The Coyotes promoted JUDD NORRIS to VP/Corporate Partnerships and STACEY COHEN to VP/Marketing (Coyotes)….The Red Sox promoted Manager of Media Relations PAM GANLEY to Dir of Media Relations (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/3)….The Single-A Midwest League Peoria Chiefs named LUKE CROSS Account Exec (Game Face).
GOLF: Boccieri Golf promoted MARTIN CUMMINS to full-time PGA European Tour Rep and Dir of Sales for the European market (Boccieri Golf)….Golf Channel named REX HOGGARD Senior Writer for GolfChannel.com where he will serve as the beat writer for golf’s pro tours. For the past nine years, Hoggard was with Golfweek (Golf Channel).
EXECS: MLS/SUM named IXZCHEL SALGADO Account Exec for Partnership Marketing. Previously, Salgado was with Octagon where she worked in the Multicultural Marketing Division (MLS)….KEVIN WOODS has joined Roush Fenway Racing as the PR rep for driver MATT KENSETH and his No. 17 Sprint Cup team (THE DAILY).
Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to email@example.com.
In London, Michael Herman reports English Premier League club Newcastle United Owner MIKE ASHLEY will be "forced to justify his recent purchase" of a 4.8% stake in JJB Sports, which he acquired for US$4.97M on October 17. Ashley will "have to convince the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)" that his stake "does not give him effective control over JJB." Ashley also is the largest shareholder of Sports Direct, and the OFT is "concerned that a combination of the two companies might create a sports retailing giant that would dominate the market and lessen competition" (LONDON TIMES, 12/4).
Film On Former NFLer Ryan Leaf
Has Successful Screening In San Diego
CHARITY STRIPE: The Flames Tuesday announced a donation of $93,124 to Special Olympics Calgary through the NHLPA’s Dreams & Goals Fund and the Flames Foundation for Life from the last two years of Danone SuperSkills events (CALGARY SUN, 12/3)....The Packers last night held the Families of Children with Cancer Christmas Party with “help from about 19” Packers players (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 12/4).
NAMES: Golfer PAUL AZINGER has signed with IMG for worldwide management and marketing representation (IMG)....Canucks LWs ALEX BURROWS and TAYLOR PYATT and C RYAN KESLER said that they will "pull out" of an autograph signing session that would have charged fans "at least $30 a pop for autographs." Burrows: "I don't think I'm worth $30. Not my autograph. You can't even recognize my autograph, so I don't think it would make sense" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 12/2)....Yahoo ranked MMA fighter GINA CARANO as the 5th most "influential woman" of '08, and in Houston, Jared Barnes wrote, "You know MMA is blowing up when Gina Carano is ranked alongside" actress ANGELINA JOLIE, TV host OPRAH WINFREY and U.S. Secretary of State nominee HILLARY CLINTON (CHRON.com, 12/3)....Bobcats Managing Member of Basketball Operations MICHAEL JORDAN and NASCAR driver DENNY HAMLIN attended the annual Second String Santa party Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Arena (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/4).