SBD/Issue 232/Sports Industrialists
What I Like With NBA Senior VP/Events & Attractions Gail Hunter
Published August 20, 2009
|Hunter Uses What She Learned Playing
Basketball, Volleyball In Life Situations
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 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.
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.
Food: Yes, please.
Dessert: Dark chocolate layer cake with chocolate chip ice cream.
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.