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SBD/Issue 34/Sports Industrialists
What I Like.... With Williams & Connolly Partner Lon Babby
Published October 29, 2009
|Babby Appreciates Preparation,
Poise, Perseverance, Performance
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 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.
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.
Books: "Hope in the Unseen," "No Ordinary Time," "Boys of Summer," "Seabiscuit."
Authors: DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, RICHARD RUSSO.
Magazines: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, People, Newsweek, New Yorker.
Web sites: Hoops Hype, Hoopsworld, ESPN.com, Politico.com, The Daily Beast.
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.