SBD/Issue 62/Sports Industrialists

Seeing Double: N.Y. Times Profiles Yormark Twins' Rise In Sports

Nets CEO BRETT YORMARK and NHL Panthers President & COO MICHAEL YORMARK “have become two of the most aggressive, innovative and sometimes controversial salesmen in sports,” according to Ken Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. The twins, 44, have “embraced their roles as underdogs, working long days, sometimes up to 18 hours, to promote most anything that keeps their teams in the news and generates income for their money-losing franchises.” Their “almost pitbull-like drive and a willingness to sign almost any deal has prompted critics to describe them as the sports equivalent of used-car salesmen,” and critics contend that they “chase too many small deals.” But the Yormarks' work ethic has “brought accolades from clients of their teams, especially corporate sponsors.” Party City CEO GERRY RITTENBERG, whose company has sponsorships with both the Nets and the Panthers, said, “These guys are two of the most efficient guys I’ve ever met. I’ve been a CEO for 25 years and it’s unusual for someone of their level to be so involved in these details.” Rittenberg said as a result, “I advertise more with them.” Michael Yormark said, “There are benefits of working in nontraditional environments. I like to wake up in the morning and be ultracreative. It’s forced us to diversify.” Belson notes the Yormarks "routinely send their first e-mails of the day around 4 a.m., telling their staff in sentences peppered with exclamation marks what went right and wrong the previous day, and what goals should be met in the coming day." Michael and Brett "train at their team’s facilities hours before the sun rises." Michael is "more fanatical about his health; he has not sipped anything but water in three years." They say that their exercise regimens "give them the energy to work long hours" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/9).

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