SBD/Issue 232/Sports Industrialists

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.

Players: TIGER WOODS, CHRIS PAUL, LARRY DOBY, ROGER FEDERER, HANK AARON, the WILLIAMS SISTERS, JOHN HAVLICEK, BOB MCADOO, PETE MARAVICH, OSCAR ROBERTSON.

 
Teams
: 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."

Authors: JOHN IRVING, MAYA ANGELOU, PAT CONROY, CHARLES DICKENS, DAVID BALDACCI.

Magazines: Real Simple, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated.

Web sites: Google, Wikipedia, menupages.com.

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.

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