SBD/Issue 232/Sports Industrialists

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  • What I Like With NBA Senior VP/Events & Attractions Gail Hunter

    Hunter Uses What She Learned Playing
    Basketball, Volleyball In Life Situations
    In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, NBA Senior VP/Events & Attractions GAIL HUNTER, who said, "I use what I learned playing basketball and volleyball competitively in every situation in life, both business and personal."

    What I like in an insight: "Necessity is the mother of invention."

    An influential person in my career: Mariners President CHUCK ARMSTRONG.

    An out-of-the-box idea: Twitter. Who knew people cared about people eating popcorn at home in front of their TV.

    A timeless idea: Krazy Glue. Never be without it.

    A business deal: Live Nation. Their ability to capture the music world from performer to venue is astounding. When you think concerts, you think "Live Nation."

    A sports facility: Safeco Field, where baseball is meant to be enjoyed.

    A sports event: NCAA Final Four (1982, 1993, 2005, 2009).

    A sports promo: ESPN commercials. I'm particularly fond of the Boston Celtics' "Three Amigos" spot.
    A business decision: No bonuses for company executives if the company is not profitable.

    A marketing idea: Bottled water. Who would have thought we would pay for water in a bottle?

    A TV ad campaign: Budweiser Clydesdale commercials. They remain timeless and have the ability to make us laugh, cry and salute our heroes.

    A print ad campaign: Absolut Vodka.

    A strategy: Always know what your competitors are doing.

    A hire: Our new president.

    A brand
    : Starbucks. What does the word "Venti" mean other than one really large cup of Starbucks coffee?

    A trend: Social networking.

    An innovation: The little green "swizzle sticks" that Starbucks now offers to put in the hole in your coffee lid.

    A decision-maker: Suns President & CEO RICK WELTS.

    A competitor's idea: The NHL's outdoor game.

    A story that bears watching: Sponsor identification on team jerseys.

    An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Netflix.

    A fantasy job: Broadway lighting designer.

    What I like about my job: The variety of people and assignments that I come into contact with each day.

    My sport: We are blessed with the world's greatest athletes and the greatest commissioner.

    Sports: Their competitive nature, necessity, and the fact that, most times, practice and study results in improved performance. I use what I learned playing basketball and volleyball competitively in every situation in life, both business and personal.

    Sports business: The ability of the business to reach into everyone's lives in some way.

    Sports media: The ability to break down a single play into a thousand pieces and explain it.

    Sports technology: It's cutting edge and offers fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of sports in new ways -- and wherever they are.

    College sports: The passion that stays with fans throughout their lives. No matter where I go, I'm always ready to spar with any Duke fan any day about the superiority of Tar Heels basketball.

    Competing: Finishing ... no matter what the result. It's good to finish and feel the rush of adrenaline.

    The future (or direction) of sports business: The sky's the limit, especially when it comes to discovering new ways to connect with fans.

    Sports fans: Again, the passion. It's tangible.

    What I would like to change: The U.S. health care system.

    Change in my sport: Less one-on-one basketball and more running of plays, pick and rolls, give and go's.

    See: More playgrounds, green space, and children outside running and playing.

    See more in my sport: More player interaction with fans.

    See more of in sports business: More women getting into the business.

    See less of in sports: Performance-enhancing drugs.

    See different: How people treat children. We need to nurture hearts and minds and provide guidance.

    Refresh: The Golden Rule. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

    Reintroduce: The use of the turn signal when driving.

    Eliminate: Racism and bigotry.

    Continue: The positive feelings of our youth on Election Night 2008.

    What I don't like in general: Lazy people.

    Pet peeve: Misspelled words in documents where spell check is readily available.

    In sports: Lack of accountability by too many athletes.

    In business: A workforce that is unwilling to work hard and appreciate that raises and promotions should be earned.

    In sports business: Games are becoming too expensive for many to view live.

    About the direction of sports business: Sometimes forgetting that, at the end of the day, it's all about the game.

    In media: Big media can be too commercial. It's more about audience demographics and less about news critical for us to know.

    In technology: How quickly the latest gadgets are replaced by the next version.

    In sports facilities: Expensive, bad food.

    In sports journalism: Bad writing.

    About sports fans: Mean-spirited.

    What I like in people: Funny people who can laugh at themselves.

    That would surprise those who know me: I have been a fan of "All My Children" since its first show in 1970.

    Above all else: Laughing with the people I love.

    About myself: My dedication to my family, friends, and myself.

    Heroes: My father.


    : Seattle Mariners, Buffalo Bills, North Carolina Tar Heels.

    City: Seattle.

    Possession: Rocks from my daughter.

    Memento: Anything from my father.

    Time of year (because): Summer. There is nothing better than shorts, flip flops and dinner on the back deck.

    Music: Anything you can dance to.

    Books: "Bonfire of the Vanities," "A Prayer for Owen Meany," "Native Son," "The Stand," "Rabbit Run," "Where the Wild Things Are," "Catcher in the Rye."


    Magazines: Real Simple, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated.

    Web sites: Google, Wikipedia,

    Gadgets: The rabbit corkscrew, multi-use remotes.

    Chores: Grocery shopping when the store is empty.

    Hobbies: Reading, exercising, playing piano.

    Trips: Anywhere with a beach or mountains.

    Movies: "Shawshank Redemption," "West Side Story," "Crash," "The Birdcage," "Remember the Titans," "Glory," "The Color Purple."

    TV: "Grey's Anatomy," "West Wing," "Backyardigans," "Brothers & Sisters."

    Concerts: The Police.

    Artist: MONET.

    Food: Yes, please.

    Dessert: Dark chocolate layer cake with chocolate chip ice cream.

    Drink: Cabernet.

    Scent: Homemade bread, sautéed garlic, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, fresh brewed coffee.

    Vacation spots: Paris, Seattle, the Caribbean.

    Cars: Mercedes convertibles.

    Singer: CHAKA KHAN.

    Quote: "Try again, mom" -- from my daughter, OLIVIA.

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • Executive Transactions

    Old Dominion AD Jim Jarrett
    To Retire Next June After 40 Years
    Old Dominion Univ. (ODU) has hired Carr Sports Associates, a consulting firm, to "conduct an assessment of everything from facilities to finances" at the university. In addition, AD JIM JARRETT, who has held the position since '70, will retire next June. ODU VP/Development & Alumni Affairs ALONZO BRANDON and former President JAMES KOCH will lead a screening committee to hire Jarrett's replacement (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 8/19).

    EXECS: Former Lightning Exec VP/Corporate Sales & Marketing and Hutt Sports Group President HARRY HUTT has started his own marketing firm, Hutt Sports Marketing, LLC (THE DAILY)....The ECHL has promoted Manager of Hockey Operations MIKE MURRAY to VP/Hockey Operations, replacing Senior VP/Hockey Operations ROD PASMA, who was named AHL Exec VP/Hockey Operations (ECHL)….Turnkey Sports & Entertainment named STEVE SEIFERHELD VP and promoted Dir of Major League Accounts EMILY HUDDELL to VP, with both working in the company's custom market research division, Turnkey Intelligence (Turnkey Sports)….The Florida Sports Foundation (FSF) named SARAH KIRCHBERG Grants & Special Events Coordinator and TRAVIS NAFE Event Coordinator (FSF)….Just Marketing Int'l named STEPHANIE WEBBER Design/Client Services Intern (Just Marketing).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • Names In The News

    FSI Currently Only Offers Football Insurance, But
    Execs Hope To Expand To Other Sports Soon
    The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Nando Di Fino profiled Fantasy Sports Insurance (FSI), the "brainchild" of Long Island-based Intermark Insurance Agency, Inc. brokers ANTHONY GIACCONE and HENRY OLSZEWSKI. FSI "offers the fantasy owner the ability to recoup league fees and all other related costs if one of their star players falls to an injury and misses the bulk of the season." FSI only offers football insurance, but its execs "hope to expand soon to baseball, basketball and hockey." Giaccone and Olszewski "first went about getting underwriters" for FSI, and they "found A-rated carriers at Lloyd's of London." The two then made a list of the "top 50 fantasy players in the NFL," which comprise the "marquee group eligible for insurance claims" (, 8/19).

    TRADE SECRETS: BRAND REPUBLIC's Jennifer Whitehead reports Wieden & Kennedy co-Founder Dan Wieden and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners co-Chairs Jeff Goodby and RICH SILVERSTEIN are among the ad industry execs that appear in the documentary ART & COPY, which, "lifts the lid on how some of the most famous slogans were thought up." The film "reveals a little known fact about the 'Just Do It' slogan used by Nike, which is that it was derived from the phrase 'let's do it' -- the last words uttered by GARY GILMORE, the murderer who notoriously asked to be executed by firing squad." Whitehead notes the film is directed by DOUG PRAY and opens on limited release in the U.S. tomorrow (, 8/20).

    SETTLEMENT REACHED: The Rams yesterday agreed to "settle a discrimination suit filed on behalf of former assistant trainer RON DUBUQUE, who claimed he was fired for having epilepsy." The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in an '08 suit said that DuBuque was diagnosed in '84 and "worked for years before managers fired him in 2006, claiming he was a medical liability and threat to safety." The team denied that claim, but it did agree to "pay DuBuque $100,000 in compensatory damages and employ him for two years as a rehabilitation specialist, worth $34,000" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/20).

    NAMES: Approximately 500 armed forces members attended the Ravens' Military Appreciation Day yesterday at the team's training camp. The Ravens "invited the military personnel to encircle their huddle," and coach JOHN HARBAUGH said, "We thank you for everything you do. We can't thank you enough" (Baltimore SUN, 8/20)....Steelers coach MIKE TOMLIN and Penguins coach DAN BYLSMA yesterday exchanged a "quick handshake in the rain" after Steelers practice. The handshake was "believed to be the first time the coach of an NHL champion appeared on the same practice field with the coach of the NFL champs" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/20)....Stars and MLB Rangers Owner TOM HICKS yesterday "had hip replacement surgery" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/20)....Steinbrenner High School in Lutz, Florida, will officially open next Tuesday. The $60M school near Yankees Chair GEORGE STEINBRENNER’s home will have nearly 2,000 students and offer classes such as sports marketing, sports medicine and the business of sports(NEWSDAY, 8/20)….The Basketball HOF is set to unveil a new NBA Finals photo exhibit from NBA Photos Senior Dir ANDREW BERNSTEIN. The exhibit will be open throughout the ’09-10 NBA season (Basketball HOF)….Yankees P CC SABATHIA yesterday made a visit to his former elementary school, Loma Vista, in Vallejo, California, as part of his PitCCh In Foundation (NEWSDAY, 8/20)….Former Houston Chronicle sports writer NEIL HOHLFELD has been elected to the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor, becoming the third person to earn that honor (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/20)....NBA Kings and WNBA Monarchs co-Owner JOE MALOOF sold his 6,100-square-foot Brentwood, California, home for $4M. Maloof bought the house for $4.75M in '04 (L.A. TIMES, 8/19).

    IN MEMORY: Seattle-based travel startup Yapta co-Founder & Chair BRETT ALLSOP died Tuesday at the age of 38. Allsop started Fogdog, "an online sporting goods store that received backing from Nike before it was sold" in '00 (SEATTLE TIMES, 8/20).

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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