SBD/Issue 124/Sports Industrialists

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  • What I Like.... With AHL President & CEO Dave Andrews

    Andrews Says Pride In Performance Is
    Most Important Attribute In Employees

    In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, American Hockey League President & CEO DAVE ANDREWS.

    What I like in an insight: Pride in performance is the most important attribute in any employee.

    An influential person in my career: ABIGAIL HOFFMAN, former Director General of Sport Canada and a legendary Canadian Olympian, and GLEN SATHER, the President and GM of the New York Rangers (formerly of the Edmonton Oilers).

    An out-of-the-box idea: The NHL Winter Classic is without question the most successful out of the box idea in sports marketing in recent years.

    A timeless idea: Lead by example.
    A business deal: The AHL expansion to absorb the International Hockey League in 2001 was perhaps the most significant business deal in the 74-year history of our league. It was a major change in the professional hockey landscape and has proven to be a significant benefit to our league, our players, our NHL partners, and all other stakeholders.

    A sports facility: Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and the Bell Centre in Montreal.

    A sports event: Despite being a Canadian who knows virtually nothing about basketball, I find the NCAA tournament compelling.

    A strategy: Play to your strengths, and above all build trust in your brand.

    A hire: JOHN MCDONOUGH as President of the Chicago Blackhawks.
    A brand: The Olympic Games.

    A trend: The continuing need to find innovative approaches to market spectator sport to the next generation of fans in a cluttered and fragmented technological lanscape.

    A pro league or team business initiative: TEAMBO at the NBA has been a template for all of us in championing data collection and best practice sharing.

    A story that bears watching: Concussions in contact sport and how leagues, teams, and athletes respond to the issue.


    An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The BlackBerry.

    A fantasy job: I was thinking about quarterback of the Patriots, but at 5'8" and my advanced age I guess that would be unrealistic.

    What I like about my job: I have had the unbelievable good fortune to work in the sport that has been my passion as a player, a coach, a general manager, and for the past 16 years as the President of the AHL. Every day brings a new challenge and as a group we take joy in our victories and always find a way to smile about the setbacks.

    Sports: The one-on-one battles that define the outcome of every team competition.

    Sports business: The business is full of people who are achievers.

    Sports media: MIKE EMRICK, the voice of the NHL on NBC.

    Sports technology: Real-time scoring and HD television.

    Competing: Competition is what tests our skills, our will, and drives performance. Life would be pretty bland without it.

    The future (or direction) of sports business: The future is in greater interactivity for our fan bases, bringing them ever closer to the competition.

    Sports fans: Loyalty.

    What I would like to change: Reduce the focus on short-term gain in business and politics at the expense of building long-term value.

    Change in what I do: Remember to make the most of every day both personally and professionally. Take less of the good things in life for granted.

    Andrews Says He Would
    Like To See Wimbledon

    See: Wimbledon.

    See more of in sports: Respect for opponents and the game.

    See more of in sports business: Vision and a commitment to providing value for stakeholders.

    See less of in sports: Less focus on "me" in team sports.

    See less of in sports business: Media spin.

    Eliminate: Unrealistic adult expectations and pressure on kids in youth sport.

    What I don't like in general: Today's air travel.

    Pet peeve: Bad drivers and bad pedestrians (perhaps I need to be more

    In sports: I dislike people who take joy in lopsided victories over inferior competition.

    In business: People in power who are condescending to others.

    About sports fans: Fans who ruin the experience for kids and families at games.

    What I like in people: I like to be around people with a zest for life and a great sense of humor.

    That would surprise those who know me: That I have run two half marathons recently.

    Above all else: Make time for family and friends and keep active in sports.

    About myself: Whatever influence I have had in raising three great kids to adulthood.

    Heroes: TERRY FOX.

    Players: WES WELKER.

    Teams: Team Canada Hockey.

    City: Vancouver.

    Possession: Our vacation home in Nova Scotia.

    Memento: Stanley Cup and Calder Cup rings.

    Time of year (because): Summer in Nova Scotia and the chance to sail, golf, and spend time with family and friends.

    Music: Blues, Country, Rock, Alternative.


    Books: "The Tipping Point," "Gods and Generals," "The Home Game," "Wind, Whales, and Whiskey."


    Magazines: Macleans (Canada), SportsBusiness Journal, The Hockey News, SAIL.

    Web sites:,,,,

    Gadgets: Garmin marine GPS.

    Chores: That's what kids are for.

    Hobbies: Sailing, Running, Racketball.

    Movies: "Anchorman," "The Departed," "In Bruges."

    TV: "The Office."



    Food: Fresh caught fish grilled onboard.

    Dessert: Anything chocolate.

    Drink: Propellor Pale Ale -- Nova Scotia's finest.

    Scent: The salt air of Atlantic Canada.

    Cars: BMW/Subaru.

    Aftershave: Not something I use.


    Quote: "Last season we couldn't win at home and we were losing on the road.
    My failure was that I couldn't think of any place else to play" -- former NHL coach HARRY NEALE.

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • Executive Transactions

    The NHRA will put a sales executive in Charlotte for the first time with the hiring of Tony Driscoll as VP/Sales & Business Development. Driscoll, formerly a Senior Dir of Partnership & Integrated Media Sales for ISC, will report to NHRA Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Gary Darcy. At ISC since '03, Driscoll was responsible for developing integrated corporate partnerships. Driscoll is expected to split his time between his base in Charlotte and the NHRA's HQs in Glendora, California. The NHRA also maintains a strategic alliance with IMG, which began in '08, as its exclusive outside sponsorship marketing agent at the league level (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal)

    STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: The MLBPA named former MLBer TONY CLARK to the newly created position of Dir of Player Relations. Clark will oversee the union's expanded efforts in the areas of membership communications and education, and play a major role in future rounds of collective bargaining. In addition, STEVE FEHR was named Special Counsel, which formalizes a role Fehr has held for the past 23 years while serving as outside counsel to the MLBPA. Fehr is the brother of former MLBPA Exec Dir DONALD FEHR (MLBPA)….A source indicated that former Padres GM KEVIN TOWERS is close to finalizing a deal to become a "low-level" member of the Yankees front office. Towers likely will be a West Coast-based Special Assignment Scout (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 3/10).

    EXECS:  Versus named HBO Sports Creative Dir TRIPP DIXON VP/Creative Services and promoted the following: Senior Dir of PR MEIER RAIVICH to VP/Communications, Dir of Program Planning & Scheduling MICHAEL PERMAN to Senior Dir of Program Planning & Acquisitions, and Advertising Manager ANNE FORD to Senior Marketing Manager (Versus)….TVG President GERARD CUNNINGHAM has been replaced by Dir of Horse Racing STEPHEN BURN. This is the "first major change at TVG since the company was bought" by Betfair in early '09. Cunningham was installed as TVG President after the acquisition closed (, 3/10)....ISC named Talladega Superspeedway President RICK HUMPHREY Managing Dir of Business Operations. Talladega Superspeedway Chair W. GRANT LYNCH JR. is taking over day-to-day operations at the track (, 3/9)….Learfield Sports named NICK RALSTON Account Exec for its Univ. of Iowa property, MATT GAMEWELL Senior Account Exec for its Univ. of Missouri property, GRAHAM ASHE Account Exec for its Univ. of Northern Iowa property, JARED WESTON Account Exec for its Oklahoma State Univ. property and PATRICK CUSTER Account Exec for its Univ. of Tulsa property (Learfield).

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

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  • Names In The News

    Zduriencik Praised For His
    Demeanor And Charisma

    In Seattle, Jerry Brewer profiles Mariners GM JACK ZDURIENCIK, and writes, "There's something about the guy -- his genuine demeanor, his understated swagger, his accidental charisma -- that is infectious." Zduriencik's personality "forms the perfect complement to his baseball acumen and spurs his outrageous popularity." Brewer: "For Zduriencik, everything starts with his most dominant characteristic. He knows people. He knows how to talk to people, how to lead people, how to motivate people. He knows how to teach people, how to read people and, because of his scouting talent, how to forecast people." Zduriencik said that he "often laughs" with Mariners officials "about the overwhelming amount of admiration he receives." Brewer writes his "modesty doesn't seem the least bit forced." Zduriencik: "Anybody that gets caught up in the 'I' and 'me,' I think, is foolish. I've always said this: If you build your throne on swords, you're not going to sit on it very long" (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/11).

    FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Tobacco Free Florida has partnered with FS Florida and Sun Sports to extend the campaign's message during Tobacco Free Florida Week from March 21-28. Tobacco Free Florida will be the focal point of broadcasts of games involving the Magic, NHL Panthers, Heat, Lightning and Florida State Univ. and Univ. of Florida baseball (TFF)....Tuesday's "Lawmakers vs. Lobbyists" charity hockey game in DC was won by the lobbyists 7-2, with the lawmakers "eking out their goals at the end." The lawmakers' goals were scored by "staffer-ringers," as neither U.S. Sen. JOHN KERRY (D-MA) "nor the three other elected reps on the ice scored." The game "raised $52,000 for the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club" (, 3/11).

    Sedin Twins Donate C$1.5M
    To Children's Hospital
    CHARITY STRIPE: Plans will be made "in the near future" for Canada men's hockey team members to disperse the C$20,000 they each won for winning the Gold Medal "to a charity or charities of their choosing." The donation "might come in the form of a collective donation," or it "might be left to the individual to direct the money as he sees fit" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 3/10)....Canucks C HENRIK SEDIN and LW DANIEL SEDIN and their wives, MARINETTE and JOHANNA, have donated C$1.5M toward the C$200M BC Children's Hospital (VANCOUVER SUN, 3/11)....The Flames Ambassadors announced that their sixth annual celebrity roast, Tuesday's roast of Hockey HOFer LANNY MCDONALD, raised C$225,000 for three charities: the Flames Foundation For Life, the Soldier On Fund and the Special Olympics (Flames)....About 200 Magic officials volunteered in Kissimmee, Florida, yesterday to "help build a playground at Oak Street Park Community Center." The project "marked the fourth time the team has built a playground with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit group that aims to give kids places to play" (, 3/10).

    ANALYZE THIS: THE DAILY asked its readers whether ROBERT DE NIRO was a good choice to play VINCE LOMBARDI in an upcoming ESPN film. An overwhelming 78% (151 votes) of the 194 respondents approved of ESPN's casting of the Oscar Award-winning actor as the legendary coach (THE DAILY). ESPN’s Jim Rome said, "This is the right role at the right time" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 3/10). But L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, "I don't think De Niro as Lombardi is going to work. I would rather have an unknown actor. He'll just be De Niro again" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 3/10).

    NAMES: A California state appeals court "upheld a $26[M] award in a fraud lawsuit against" Paychex Inc. Founder and Sabres Owner TOM GOLISANO "and another company he started" (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 3/11)....Tennis Channel Chair & CEO KEN SOLOMON yesterday was "sworn in as a member" of PRESIDENT OBAMA's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities at the U.S. Supreme Court (, 3/10)....Golfer PADRAIG HARRINGTON "has been invited by President Obama to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the White House" (, 3/10)....Daughtry, the Goo Goo Dolls and DARIUS RUCKER will perform at The Big Dance music festival in downtown Indianapolis during the April 2-4 NCAA men's basketball Final Four (NCAA)....Creed will perform a pre-race concert ahead of the May 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (, 3/9)....Driver DALE EARNHARDT JR. will guest star on Disney Channel's "HANDY MANNY BIG RACE" on March 20 (, 3/11).

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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