SBD/Issue 242/Sports Industrialists

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.


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