SBD/Issue 150/Sports Industrialists

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  • What I Like... With Harlem Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider

    Globetrotters CEO
    Kurt Schneider
    In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, Harlem Globetrotters CEO KURT SCHNEIDER, who said, "Every day we all sell sports and aim to sell more sports. It is so easy to be passionate about what we do and have fun while doing it."

    What I like in an insight: Kept information is not power; shared knowledge is success.

    An influential person in my career: VINCE MCMAHON. There is no better promoter on Earth, and he knows how to elicit an emotional response from an audience.

    A timeless idea: Freedom of speech.

    A business deal: Disney buying ABC and getting ESPN.

    A sports facility: The recently demolished Shea Stadium.

    A business decision: Fox acquiring the NFL rights.

    A marketing idea: Under Armour's "authentic sports" positioning.

    A TV ad campaign: ESPN's "This is SportsCenter."

    A trend: Sponsors looking for grassroots, family-oriented, wholesome value brands.

    An innovation: Bluetooth.

    A pro league or team business initiative: The NBA's push into China.

    A decision-maker: RUPERT MURDOCH.

    A story that bears watching: Ticketmaster and LiveNation merger.

    An idea I wish I had thought of: The hole in the airplane napkin so you can button it onto your shirt.

    A fantasy job: NFL Commissioner.

    My job: Everyone loves the Globetrotters and everyone has a Globetrotter story. Who can't smile when they hear "Sweet Georgia Brown?"

    My industry: Every day we all sell sports and aim to sell more sports. It is so easy to be passionate about what we do and have fun while doing it.

    Sports: Team sports teach all the business fundamentals: planning, execution and harnessing individual talents into a seamless unit with a common goal.

    Sports media: Individual subjectivity and passion usually find their way into reporting, and that is refreshing.

    Sports technology: Innovations (e.g., oversized tennis rackets, tri-walled softball bats, etc.) allow people to perform at higher levels than ever before, bringing more people into sports.

    Pro sports: Unbelievable athletes performing at the highest levels possible.

    College sports: Purity of sport and rawness of emotions.

    Competing: Everything. Competition peels back all pretense and brings out the true essence of a person. Endorphins feel good.

    Sports fans: They are passion incarnate.

    What I would like to see: Dartmouth win the BCS title game.

    See more of: Laughter everywhere.

    See less of: Close-mindedness.

    See more of in sports: More focus on pure amateurism in scholastic sports.

    See less of in sports: Celebrations on-field for just doing your job. Do I need to see someone doing a special dance because he deflected a three-yard down-and-out?

    See less of in sports business: Exorbitant ticket prices.

    See different: Paperless ticketing.

    Reintroduce: Whitewall tires.

    Eliminate: Beer with built-in lime flavor.

    What I don't like in general: People with a sense of entitlement who have not done anything to deserve it.

    Pet peeve: How people rely exclusively on e-mail to do business. Stop telling me you e-mailed the person. Pick up the phone and call him or her.

    About college sports: No playoffs in college football.

    In business: Hidden agendas. Every good negotiation ends with a win-win, so put it all out on the table. You can always walk away.

    In sports business: Becoming too much about business and less about sports.

    In media: The declining number of newspapers and print outlets, and those outlets remaining that are cutting back on generating their own unique coverage of local teams and sports. Fewer outlets and writers means less coverage for all properties, and it's the local fans who lose.

    About sports fans: When they forget that sports are supposed to be fun and entertaining.

    People that I like: My wife and two sons.

    What I like that would surprise those who know me: I was an Eagle Scout.

    About myself: My optimism and enthusiasm for life.

    Hero: My grandfather.

    : Harlem Globetrotters, New York Giants, New York Mets, New York Knicks.

    City: London.

    Possession: A sterling silver cocktail shaker that was my great grandfather's and has his initials on it.

    Music: 1970s classic rock and NEIL DIAMOND in his "Sweet Caroline" days.

    Books: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Crossing to Safety," "1776," "All the Pretty Horses," "The Dharma Bums," "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World."

    Chores: Grocery shopping. I love our local market.

    Hobbies: Summer softball league, winter paddle tennis league, skiing.

    Trip: The Galápagos Islands.

    Movies: "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Graduate," "The Jerk," "Fletch," "Witness for the Prosecution."

    TV: "Mad Men" and "Family Guy."


    Food: New York strip steak, broccoli rabe, risotto.

    Dessert: Key lime pie.

    Drink: Hendrick's gin martini straight up and very dry.

    Vacation spots: Vermont, the Rockies, anyplace in Europe.

    Quotes: "Every morn brought forth a noble chance. And every chance brought forth a noble knight" -- CHURCHILL quoting TENNYSON. "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly" -- ROBERT F. KENNEDY. Anything by DOROTHY PARKER.

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  • Executive Transactions

    Univ. of Houston (UH) AD DAVE MAGGARD has resigned after seven years in the position, effective May 11. Under Maggard, the UH athletic department graduation rate "more than doubled -- to a rate 14[%] higher than the student body at large." Also, donations to the Cougar Pride booster club "nearly tripled during Maggard's tenure." UH President DR. RENU KHATOR said that the school "will hire a firm 'very soon' to conduct a nationwide search for a replacement." UH Deputy AD JOHN ROBINSON JR. will serve as the interim AD (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/23).

    EXECS: PRESIDENT OBAMA nominated Nike Foundation President MARIA EITEL to be named CEO of the Corporation for National & Community Service (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/21)....The Bills named BRUCE POPKO Senior VP/Business Development. Most recently, Popko was IMG Senior VP overseeing IMG golf events, clients and governing bodies. Prior to joining IMG, Popko was Browns VP/Marketing & Development (Bills)….MLB has hired LORRAINE DELLICARPINI, formerly of Edelman Public Relations, to handle PR for MLB Network and MLB Productions, which recently moved from its HQs in Manhattan to the MLB Network HQs in Secaucus, New Jersey. DelliCarpini will start today and work out of the Secaucus facility (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)….Quinnipiac Univ. VP/Athletic Marketing & External Relations VAL BELMONTE is leaving to join executive search firm DHR Int’l as Exec VP in the company’s Chicago office. Belmonte joins former Univ. of Michigan coach LLOYD CARR and former LSU coach GERRY DINARDO, who were recently hired in the company’s sports practice group (Quinnipiac)….The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) named KACEY LAKE Dir of Marketing (NAYS).

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  • Names In The News

    Moores' Divorce Trial
    Date Set For December
    In San Diego, Brent Schrotenboer reports a December 3 trial date has been set in the divorce proceedings between Padres Owner JOHN MOORES and his wife, BECKY. The two are “still working to divide assets after the divorce recently led them to sell the Padres.” Still to be resolved is the “allocation of the Petco Park owners’ and commissioners’ boxes.” The couple is “each expected to have a deposition taken in the next four months” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/23).

    GAMING LAWSUIT: In Buffalo, Tom Precious reported SL Green Realty Corp in a lawsuit has alleged that Delaware North “took confidential information and used it against former partners in a bid to develop a major casino” at Aqueduct racetrack. In the suit, filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, the real estate development firm accuses Delaware North of “breach of contract and other misdeeds that derailed the attempt of other firms interested in the lucrative" Aqueduct casino deal (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/22).

    PLAYING THROUGH: Golf fan D.J. GREGORY has paired with author STEVE EUBANKS to write "WALKING WITH FRIENDS," which chronicles Gregory's '08 PGA Tour "odyssey that encompassed 11 months, 180 rounds, 3,256 holes and 988 miles." Gregory, who was born with cerebral palsy, last year "selected a different player each week on the entire schedule ... and hoofed every hole of every round, cane in hand" (GOLF WORLD, 4/27 issue).

    Zvonareva Signs Representation Deal With IMG
    NAMES: Relativity Media will "fully finance" boxing film "THE FIGHTER," which stars CHRISTIAN BALE and MARK WAHLBERG. The film, which will be directed by DAVID O. RUSSELL, tells the story of Boston fighter MICKEY WARD. The film is "expected to begin production in July, though Relativity stressed that the principals' deals are still being negotiated." Paramount Pictures, which initiated the project, now will be "limited to distributing domestically" (DAILY VARIETY, 4/21)....The L.A. Headquarters Association on Tuesday will present AEG President & CEO TIM LEIWEKE with the annual "Spirit of Los Angeles Award" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A. (THE DAILY)....IMG has signed Sony Ericsson WTA Tour player VERA ZVONAREVA , who is currently ranked No. 6 in the world, for marketing and management representation (IMG)….76ers F THADDEUS YOUNG has retained Williams & Connolly for his NBA representation. Young already has been working with the firm for marketing and PR (Williams & Connolly)....Former MLBer and NFLer BO JACKSON is “backing a new chartered bank,” the Burr Ridge Bank & Trust, in Burr Ridge, Illinois (, 4/21).

    IN MEMORY: U.S. Open tennis tournament doctor IRVING GLICK died Friday at his Great Neck, New York, home at the age of 92 (AP, 4/22).

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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