SBD/Issue 34/Sports Industrialists

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.

 
Music
: Beatles, BACH and (TONY) BENNETT.

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.

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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