SBD/Issue 34/Sports Industrialists

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  • Book Shelf: Agassi's Drug Admission Part Of Revealing Book

    Retired tennis player ANDRE AGASSI in his new autobiography, "OPEN," which hits bookstores November 9, admits to using crystal meth during the '97 ATP season several times. ESPN's Rick Reilly writes the book, co-written with J.R. MOEHRINGER, is Agassi's "mea culpa." From the beginning, Agassi and Moehringer "set out to write the most revealing, literate and toes-stompingly honest sports autobiography in history." Reilly: "From the parts I've been allowed to read, they might have done it." "Open" is the story of a "flawed man who sees everybody's imperfections, but none more than his own" (, 10/28). Denver Post columnist WOODY PAIGE said of Agassi's revelation, "I won't say he's trying to sell books because he's got plenty of money. He doesn't need money from selling books. I just think he wants to come clean about all that happened" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/28). 

    LEGENDS OF THE FALL: In Boston, Bill Nowlin noted SEAN DEVENEY's "THE ORIGINAL CURSE," "examines the possibility that the Cubs threw the 1918 World Series to the Red Sox." Deveney "provides a great deal of circumstantial evidence that suggests" that as a possibility, and his speculation is "not unreasonable." But he "strains to posit a consequential 'curse' suffered by both teams." The introduction of this "notion seems a device aimed at bigger book sales, but weakens the work by trivializing it." Meanwhile,  MIKE VACCARO's "THE FIRST FALL CLASSIC," is a "straightforward look at the 1912 World Series," and its story is "very well told" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/25). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Gerald Eskenazi wrote Vaccaro "makes a persuasive case" for the series being a classic. He "concedes in the introduction that he made up conversations between characters," but he "needn't have bothered -- his mastery of the facts allows him to evoke a bygone world." Meanwhile, Eskenazi wrote LEW PAPER's "PERFECT," recounts Yankees P DON LARSEN's perfect game in the '56 World Series "through the eyes of the 19 players who saw action that afternoon at Yankee Stadium." Paper is "not a sportswriter -- and it shows." But he is "especially good at capturing poignant storylines" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/17).

    TAKING IT TO THE HOOP: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Adam Thompson reviewed BILL SIMMONS' "THE BOOK OF BASKETBALL," and wrote, "For better or worse -- more better than worse -- the book flows much like Mr. Simmons's ESPN columns but with saltier language. Opinion gushes out of him. But he backs it up with equal parts serious research and off-angle observation" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/26).

    FULL MOON FEVER: In Seattle, Bill Kossen wrote Pro Football HOFer WARREN MOON "goes deep" in his new book "NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM: MY JOURNEY." The book is "introspective," and "covers a lot of ground as he moves the reader up and down the field of his life, from the high points to the low, including two 2007 arrests for drunken driving." It is a book "full of insight and wisdom from an African-American man who became successful and wealthy doing something that, until he came along, few blacks playing for white coaches got the chance to do" (SEATTLE TIMES, 10/26).

    NORTHERN STAR: In Calgary, Richard Helm wrote TERRY MCCONNELL and J'LYN NYE in their new book, "I'D TRADE HIM AGAIN: ON GRETZKY, POLITICS, AND THE PURSUIT OF THE PERFECT DEAL," said that they have "striven for a fair portrayal" of former Oilers Owner PETER POCKLINGTON. The biography "covers Pocklington's earliest adventures as a young entrepreneur," while also discussing his "move to Edmonton, his acquisition of the Oilers, his short-lived political career, his slide in public stature" (CALGARY HERALD, 10/25). In Toronto, Garth Woolsey wrote the combination of McConnell, Nye and Pocklington "makes for a lively insider's read" (TORONTO STAR, 10/18).

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  • What I Like.... With Williams & Connolly Partner Lon Babby

    Babby Appreciates Preparation,
    Poise, Perseverance, Performance
    In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, DC-based Williams & Connolly Partner LON BABBY.
    What I like in an insight: The 4 "p"s: preparation, poise, perseverance and performance.

    An influential person in my career: EDWARD BENNETT WILLIAMS, the founder of Williams & Connolly, an exceptional lawyer, and a great sportsman.

    An out-of-the-box idea: SHANE BATTIER signing a deal with Peak, a Chinese athletic footwear company.

    A timeless idea: Bringing real value to every endeavor.

    A business deal: Stadium naming-rights deals; what took so long for that to happen.

    A sports facility: Orioles Park at Camden Yards. I am proud to have played even a very small part in it.

    A sports promo: Bobbleheads ­-- a badge of honor for every professional athlete.

    An ad: NBA's "I love this game" campaign.

    A marketing idea: Apple "I'm a Mac."

    A hire: JIM TANNER, my partner and the future of sports representation.

    A brand
    : Starbucks.

    A trend: Prominent NBA players signing in Europe. Our client JOSH CHILDRESS was the first.

    A pro league or team business initiative: The sale of sponsorships of team uniforms and practice gear.

    A story that bears watching: Collective bargaining in each of the major sports over the next few years.

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

    A fantasy job: Owner of a summer camp.

    What I like about my job: Sharing in the process that helps great athletes achieve success as players and people.

    My field of work: I have an excuse to watch as many games as I can while saying I am working.

    Sports: The very best reality show.

    Sports technology: The virtual first down line.

    Pro sports: The highest form of competition.

    Youth sports: Coaching.

    Sports fans: The passion that we share and the joy when our team wins, even though we never set foot on the field.

    What I would like to change in the industry: Decisions in the sports business representations are too rarely made on the merits.

    See more of: An appreciation that the sum is greater than the parts.

    See less of: High pressured "amateur" sports.

    See less of in sports: Press conferences to offer apologies for inexcusable conduct.

    See less of in sports business: Nefarious influences that infect athletes at too young of an age.

    Reinvent: Sports sections in newspapers.

    What I don't like in general: Dishonesty and disloyalty.

    Pet peeve: When player reps forget it is the player that creates the value.

    About college sports: The hypocrisy of "amateurism."

    In sports labor: Restricted free agency.

    About the direction of sports business: Too many nefarious influences.

    In media: Pressure to break a story even before the facts can be fully developed.

    What I like that would surprise those who know me: That I started taking piano lessons.

    About myself: My perseverance and work ethic.

    Heroes: MICKEY MANTLE, Y.A. TITTLE, MORRY STEIN (the founder of the summer camp where I met my wife).

    Players: Each of our clients.

    Teams: New York Giants, my only childhood team that I still root for with unwavering passion.

    City: Barcelona.

    Memento: Championship rings given to me by TIM DUNCAN and RAY ALLEN. All-Star ring from the All-Star Game at Camden Yards.

    Time of year (because): October -- all sports are in season.

    : Beatles, BACH and (TONY) BENNETT.

    Books: "Hope in the Unseen," "No Ordinary Time," "Boys of Summer," "Seabiscuit."


    Magazines: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, People, Newsweek, New Yorker.

    Web sites: Hoops Hype, Hoopsworld,,, The Daily Beast.

    Gadgets: Slingbox.

    Hobbies: Tennis, piano.

    Trips: Cruise to the Baltics.

    Movies: "Cinderella Man," "Play It Again, Sam."

    TV: "PTI," "Mad Men."

    Food: Peanut butter.

    Dessert: Black & White cookies from New York.

    Drink: Scotch on the rocks.

    Vacation spots: Naples, Florida.

    Quote: "No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child" -- ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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  • What's Up For The Weekend With Celtics CEO Wyc Grousbeck

    Grousbeck Can Be Found On
    Charles River Most Saturdays
    Ever wonder how executives in sports business spend their weekends? THE DAILY this week continues, "What's Up For The Weekend?," providing readers with an inside look at people in our industry. Today, we catch up with Celtics CEO & Managing Partner WYC GROUSBECK, who chatted earlier this week with Staff Writer Jessica Collins about what he is doing for the NBA's first regular-season weekend.

    Q: What is your weekend routine?

    Grousbeck: Wake up early on Saturday and go rowing on the Charles River at 7 am, usually in a 4 or 8-man boat. I spend the rest of the weekend with family -- always go out to eat on Saturday night with my wife CORINNE and cook on the grill Sunday nights.

    Q: What are you looking forward to this weekend?

    Grousbeck: Some family and friends will be in town and staying with us for our home games on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

    Q: What is your weekend exercise routine?

    Grousbeck: Rowing on Saturdays, and if I am feeling good, run stairs at Harvard Stadium on Sundays. 

    Q: What is a weekend must read?

    Grousbeck: All the newspapers -- Boston Globe, Boston Herald, N.Y. Times, Wall Street Journal (Saturday only) -- in their paper versions.

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  • Executive Transactions

    Padres Hire Dan Migala As
    VP/Partnership Solutions
    The Padres hired marketing consultant and author of "The Migala Report" DAN MIGALA as VP/Partnership Solutions. Migala has worked with several different teams and leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and the NCAA, on issues related to sponsorships, technology and sports marketing (Padres). Meanwhile, team sources confirmed that Padres VP/Scouting & Player Development GRADY FUSON "was fired on Sunday, and scouting director BILL 'CHIEF' GAYTON was reassigned to an undetermined position" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 10/28).

    FRANCHISES: MLS FC Dallas announced GM MICHAEL HITCHCOCK is leaving the franchise and "said it wouldn't replace him." Head coach SCHELLAS HYNDMAN "will have autonomy over personnel decisions" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/28)....The Nationals named Rockies Assistant to the GM CASEY MCKEON Dir of Player Procurement and MLB Rangers Special Assistant to the GM JAY ROBERTSON Special Assistant to the GM (Nationals)….The Double-A Eastern League Altoona Curve promoted MATT HOOVER to Dir of Ticket Sales & Promotions, and named CLAIRE MARTIN Dir of Merchandising, CHUCK GRISWOLD Sponsorship Sales Account Exec, and A.J. PALAZZI and CASSIE STROUP Ticket Sales Associates (Curve).

    EXECS: The Finish Line elected RICHARD CRYSTAL to its BOD. Crystal is Chair & CEO of women's clothing retailer New York & Company (The Finish Line)….The EA Sports Maui Invitational appointed DAVE ODOM Chair, replacing former Big East Commissioner DAVE GAVITT. Odom is a former longtime ACC and SEC men's basketball coach (EA Sports Maui Invitational)….Learfield Sports named DAN HAWLEY GM of Bronco Sports Properties for Boise State and JOE WEISS GM of Lobo Sports Properties for the Univ. of New Mexico, and promoted Univ. of Wyoming Sports Properties Senior Account Exec JARED NEWLAND to GM (Learfield).

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

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  • Names In The News

    Late NCAA President MYLES BRAND was remembered last night at Conseco Fieldhouse with "two hours of song, poetry and messages from many of those who loved him most." CBS announcer Jim Nantz hosted the memorial, and among the individuals who spoke were NBA Commissioner David Stern, "politicians, college presidents," musician John Mellencamp and "several basketball coaches." Many of the stories "were of Brand's love of sushi, of the outdoors, of hiking, of living." Indiana Univ. (IU) President Michael McRobbie "announced the endowment of a chair at the IU School of Medicine for cancer research, specifically pancreatic cancer, which claimed Brand's life" on September 16. McRobbie said that 145 donors have "contributed a total of more than $1.1[M], and IU will contribute" $1M (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/29).

    DeVos Receives Praise For 
    His Handling Of Magic
    INSIDE LOOK: In Orlando, George Diaz profiles Magic Owner RICH DEVOS, who at 83 "still stands strong." There is an "unspoken sense of purpose for the Magic as they begin another chase for the championship," as "they want to win one for the patriarch of this organization." DeVos invited the team, coaches and execs "to dinner Monday night at his Palm Beach mansion." The dinner is a "yearly tradition, where everybody can sit down casually, relax, and not say a word about basketball." Magic GM OTIS SMITH said DeVos as an owner has done "everything he's supposed to do, including opening up his pocketbook." Smith: "Year after year after year he's done what you want your owner to do: Give you the resources to your business and then step out of the way and allow you to do it" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/29).

    POWER BROKER: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole profiled ED SOARES, who is "not only the interpreter for mixed martial arts superstars like" ANDERSON SILVA, LYOTO MACHIDA and ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA but also "one of the industry's most influential managers with a deep and talent-laden roster and an uncanny ability to make deals." Soares, 37, "got his start in business as a ski instructor, nightclub promoter, hip-hop band manager and apparel salesman" (, 10/28).

    NAMES: SEC documents indicated that Nike Chair PHIL KNIGHT on Monday and Tuesday "sold nearly $37[M] of Nike stock." Knight has sold $332M, or 5.1 million shares, of Nike stock in the past two weeks (, 10/27)....Golfer TIGER WOODS ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE's "40 Under 40" list of "Business's hottest rising stars." Under Armour Founder & CEO Kevin Plank ranked No. 15 and WMG Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman ranked No. 39 (, 10/23)....Maple Leafs President & GM Brian Burke before Monday's Maple Leafs-Ducks game "received a congressional citation for his charitable works while working in Anaheim." Burke was honored by U.S. Rep. JOHN CAMPBELL (R-CA) "especially for his support of U.S. troops" (TORONTO STAR, 10/29)....Boxer MANNY PACQUIAO "plans to run for a congressional seat" in the Philippines, his native country. Pacquiao's business manager MICHAEL KONCZ said that Pacquiao will "decide which seat he'll pursue" for the May election "by the end of November" (, 10/28)....The Reds Community Fund yesterday dedicated a "baseball field at Anderson Place in Cincinnati's Madisonville neighborhood" (, 10/28)....Red Sox Owner JOHN HENRY and wife, LINDA PIZZUTI HENRY, attended last night's Bobcats-Celtics game at TD Garden along with Red Sox President & CEO LARRY LUCCHINO, his wife STACEY and Red Sox Chair TOM WERNER (BOSTON HERALD, 10/29)....Are you or someone you know in the sports business industry running in Sunday’s ING N.Y. Marathon? If so, please contact Brian Helfrich at and let him know. Then on Monday, send him your time and a quick note about the experience to share with our readers (THE DAILY).

    IN MEMORY: TERRY MILLER, the wife of former MLBPA Exec Dir MARVIN MILLER, passed away Tuesday at the age of 90 (MLBPA).

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