SBD/Issue 242/Sports Industrialists

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  • What I Like....With IMG Tennis Worldwide's Fernando Soler

    Soler Says "Work Harder Than
    The People That Work For You"
    In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, IMG Tennis Worldwide Senior VP & Managing Dir FERNANDO SOLER.

    What I like in an insight
    : Make sure your boss, your employees and your clients are happy with you and all will be OK for you.

    An influential person in my career: CINO MARCHESE, the person from IMG that hired me in '87.
    A timeless idea: Be open to learn more things about the industry even if they are not totally related to what you do.

    A business deal: Sony Ericsson and the WTA Tour ($88M).

    A sports facility: Wimbledon.

    A sports event: European Champions League football.

    A strategy: Work harder than the people that work for you and make sure they know about it.

    A brand: Ralph Lauren.

    A trend: Mass participation events.

    Soler Believes Hawk-Eye
    Brings Excitement To Tennis
    An innovation
    : Hawk-Eye, brings excitement to tennis.

    A pro league or team business initiative: FC Barcelona and Unicef, a creative way to improve brand image in a tough economic environment.

    A story that bears watching: Conversion to new viewing platforms, DTT, HD, live Web streaming and its effect on sports broadcasters.

    An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The creation of Internet.
    A fantasy job: Be an FC Barcelona football player.

    What I like about my job: My job is a worldwide job. I love dealing with executives and people around the world. It's exciting to start the day dealing with issues and opportunities in Asia and Australia and end the day doing the same but in the U.S. and Latin America.

    Sports: Sports helps bring passion to people like no other thing in the world.

    Sports business: In my area it's a very clean and transparent business so you can really understand who's doing a good job and who's not.

    Sports media: The media industry understands how important sports are for the general public and this is key for the industry.

    Sports technology: Makes sport more appealing to fans, i.e. Hawk-Eye in tennis.

    Competing: Competition makes us better executives so we do a better job for our companies.

    The future (or direction) of sports business: Sports business has to be an entertainment platform for brands so they can reach the fans and the media.

    Sports fans: They are the essence of our business, without them there is no business.

    What I would like to change: The perception people have of sports promoters, they are also the heroes of our industry.

    Change in what I do: Travel a bit less.

    See: Tennis as a more unified sport.

    Soler Wants To See Better
    Quality Referees And Umpires
    See more of in sports
    : A better quality in referees, umpires, etc., helped by new technologies.

    See more of in sports business: More investment from governing bodies to create stars.

    See less of in sports: Less control from the governing bodies.

    See less of in sports business: People that get into the business just to get exposure and with no business strategy.

    See different: The way doping authorities treat athletes sometimes.

    Eliminate: The hurdles that some athletes have to go through to move around countries, i.e. obtaining visas, etc.

    What I don't like in general: Politics.

    Pet peeve: People who lie.

    In sports: Cheating.

    In business: Social climbers.

    About sports fans: When they behave badly.

    What I like in people: Passion, good sense of humour, loyalty, commitment.

    That would surprise those who know me: I love yoga.

    Above all else: My wife and my friends.

    About myself: I'm an honest and straight forward person.

    Dr. Fuster Is Soler's Hero
    : DR. VALENTIN FUSTER (Director of the Cardiology unit at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York).


    Teams: FC Barcelona.

    City: Barcelona.

    Possession: My house in Begur (Costa Brava, Spain).

    Time of year (because): Spring, because the days are longer.

    Music: PAT METHENY, The Rolling Stones.

    Books: "The Alchemist" (PAULO COELHO), "The Pillars of the Earth" (KEN FOLLETT).

    Authors: Paulo Coelho, Ken Follett, PATRICIA CORNWELL, CARLOS RUIZ ZAFON.

    Magazines: La Vanguardia (a Spanish newspaper).

    Gadgets: BlackBerry.

    Chores: Cooking at home.

    Hobbies: Attending FC Barcelona football matches, whale watching, yoga, running, tennis.

    : All related to nature. From Alaska and British Columbia to safaris in Africa and the National Parks in the U.S.

    Movies: "Pretty Woman," "The Silence of the Lambs," "Dances With Wolves," "Once Upon a Time in America."

    TV: Just for news, music and sports broadcasts.

    Concerts: Any from Pat Metheny.

    Artist: Pat Metheny.

    Food: Grilled fish.

    Dessert: Fruit.

    Drink: Red wine.

    Scent: The sea.

    Vacation spots: Begur, Costa Brava (Spain), the San Francisco Bay area.

    Cars: Audi.

    Aftershave: Gillette Mach 3.

    Singer: ANTONIO VEGA.

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  • Executive Transactions

    Hextall Named IHL
    President & Commissioner
    Swiss IOC member DENIS OSWALD won a sixth term as President of the Int'l Rowing Federation (, 9/1)....The IHL named DENNIS HEXTALL President & Commissioner, effective September 8 (IHL)....CBS Sports promoted Showtime "Inside the NFL" Coordinating Producer PETE RADOVICH JR. to Creative Dir. Radovich also serves as a producer for CBS Sports' coverage of the NFL, NCAA and golf, and will continue in these roles while assuming his new responsibilities (CBS)....The MLS Philadelphia Union named Citizens Bank VP/Sponsorships & Brand Promotions CARA JOFTIS Dir of Marketing (Union)....World TeamTennis (WTT) named Bill Mountford Senior VP. Mountford will be based in WTT’s N.Y. HQs and will oversee staff in several areas including marketing, communications, Recreational League and Pro League (WTT)....Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has reorganized the management of its competition department. RCR VP/Competition MIKE DILLON will retain his position with revised responsibilities, though his primary focus will continue to be competition department oversight. RCR named Dir of Competition WILL LIND Business Dir of Competition, and crew chief SCOTT MILLER has been named Dir of Competition (RCR)....Little League Int'l named Bowling Green State Univ. Athletic Communications Assistant STEPHEN BARR Dir of Media Relations for Little League Baseball & Softball (Little League)....ESPN Regional Television named HOPE LOCKETT Sales & Marketing Supervisor for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Most recently, Lockett was Associate Dir for the Davey O'Brien Foundation (ESPN)....The ECHL Charlotte Checkers named MIKE LAPPAN Dir of Public & Media Relations and Youth Hockey Coordinator (Checkers).

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

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  • Names In The News

    Peter King Profiled In SI
    SI Group Editor Terry McDonell profiles PETER KING, entering his 20th NFL season with SI. King has written his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column for since '97, and "those 800 words a week have become 8,000," and because there "essentially isn't an off-season in the NFL, he writes 48 weeks a year instead of 24." King's nickname at the NFL's N.Y. HQs is "relentless." McDonell: "Do they read him? 'Have to,' all agree, from commissioner down." SI Senior Editor LARRY BURKE said that while "other people multitask and divide their attention accordingly, King does five things at once and gives his all to each of them" (SI, 9/7 issue).

    KING GEORGE: YES Network last night profiled the ownership tenure of Yankees Chair GEORGE STEINBRENNER on the latest episode of its "Yankeeography" series. Yankees Vice Chair JENNIFER STEINBRENNER SWINDAL said her father "to the world is a larger-than-life figure, but from a daughter's point-of-view he's this amazing family man. It's a side most people don't know." Steinbrenner is also an avid horseman, owning a horse farm, and Yankees co-Chair Hank Steinbrenner said of his father, "He loves horse racing every bit as much as baseball" ("Yankeeography," YES, 9/2).

    SHOWING THEIR STRIPES: HBO last night aired the fourth installment of "Hard Knocks" with the Bengals, and part of the show focused on Exec VP Katie Blackburn, who is Owner Mike Brown’s daughter. She said she worked with the team "part-time during high school and college and would work with my dad on negotiating the contracts with the players, so I sort of had all that background before I went to law school and before I came over." Meanwhile, coach Marvin Lewis addressed the issue of Twitter with the team. Lewis: "Do not say anything that you wouldn't say in a public interview" ("Hard Knocks," HBO, 8/2).

    TIME TO PAY THE BILLS: Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN's attorneys have "filed a motion in the insider trading case" the SEC brought against Cuban to "make the government pay for Cuban's legal bills." The attorneys argued that the case, which was "thrown out by a federal judge this summer," was "so weak that it shouldn't have been even brought against Cuban" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/3).

    Carville (l), Matalin Named Co-Chairs Of
    Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee
    NAMES: Former MLBer CURT SCHILLING said that he has "been contacted about a possible" run for late U.S. Sen. TED KENNEDY's (D-MA) seat in Congress, and Schilling has "not ruled it out" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/3)....Democratic strategist JAMES CARVILLE and his wife, Republican strategist MARY MATALIN, have been named co-Chairs of the Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 9/3)....The D'Backs will donate $2.50 for every ticket purchased for the team's final 15 home games at Chase Field this season to the Valley of the Sun United Way. D'Backs Managing General Partner KEN KENDRICK will personally match the donation total up to $150,000 (D'Backs)....Author ALAN SIMON has written, "BLOCKING AND TACKLING YOUR WAY TO MANAGEMENT SUCCESS: 40 ESSENTIAL LESSONS FROM 40 YEARS OF THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS" (USA TODAY, 9/3)....A federal lawsuit filed by Nexity Bank against Univ. of Michigan football coach RICH RODRIGUEZ on August 13 alleges that Rodriguez owes $3.9M on a "defaulted loan intended for a condominium project near" Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium. The suit also alleges that Rodriguez and four partners "defaulted on a construction loan in May" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/2)....Tennis player ANDRE AGASSI's 14th Grand Slam for Children on September 26 at the Wynn Las Vegas casino is expected to "surpass the $75[M]" total contribution mark since its inception in '95. Attendees will include comedian DANE COOK and musicians CHRIS DAUGHTRY, TIM MCGRAW and BRIAN MCKNIGHT (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/3)....Former NBAer RICK FOX "has been tapped for a recurring role" on the CW's new show "Melrose Place." Fox will "play the owner of the restaurant where all the aspiring actors on the show work" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/3).

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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