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It’s time to make your opinion known as the 9th annual SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Reader Survey is underway. The survey features more than 100 questions across leagues, teams, facilities, sponsorship, media, and more.
*If MLB were a stock, would you buy, sell or hold?
*Please select the sponsor that does the best job activating around NASCAR.
*Which form of open wheel racing has the best growth potential in the U.S.?
*The most significant sponsorship deal in NASCAR this year was?
*How would you grade how NASCAR Chairman Brian France handled this year¹s race manipulation scandal?
*Who is the most effective NBA team owner?
*Who is the least effective NBA team owner?
*In the last five years, which NBA team has shown the most innovation in its business practices?
Those are some of the questions you'll find in this year’s survey. Cast your votes and then see highlights of the results the week of Dec. 2. We want to hear from you.
UFC Senior VP/Global Marketing Partnerships MIKE MOSSHOLDER has had his hand in marketing for all kinds of sports properties, from his time with former MLS club Tampa Bay Mutiny to a stint with the Dolphins, followed by prominent positions with Churchill Downs and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But Mossholder, who joined the UFC in '10, was sold on his role with the MMA promotion as one of "only a couple jobs out there in sports that are truly international, global, and have this kind of growth capability." He spoke with THE DAILY about moving into Latin America, the underlying issues in major U.S. sports, and relaxing to the sounds of a certain soulful singer.
Early career moves...
My personality was, I want to go where the best are, and if the best are in the NFL and they’re in corporate sales, then I’m going to go work there. I took the lowest-paying, lowest-title job that was offered to me and went to work as a senior manager with the Dolphins, and three years later I was a department head. When I decided to leave the Dolphins, it was because as big as the NFL is, you’re still, as a team person, you’re selling in a regional format.
Most of my time at work is spent thinking about...
International markets. We've had huge revenue increases in the last two years in the U.S., but as we expand the total number of events that we’re going to host, and the majority of those are international, it's monetizing these new events. The NBA does a tremendous job pitching their product out around the world. But if you take a product and annualize it by taking enough events into that market, that's ultimately how you're going to build fan avidity over the long term, and you're going to be able to monetize it. Taking not preseason games, not exhibitions, but taking the full impact of a UFC event into a market, and not just have it once a year but multiple times a year builds up the fan base. That allows my team to go out and sell annualized deals, that includes not just what you would consider media rights, like the logo on the canvas and other graphic packages, but consumer product brands, retail-driven promotions that allow the fan base to engage with your product.
Global product, targeting specific markets...
When I started at the UFC we were a staff of four, three years ago at this time. We'll be a staff of somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 in the next six months. What we've been able to do is monetize the individual markets. We have offices in those markets and we have sales and servicing representatives. So we have our HQ here in Vegas, we have sales and services people in Toronto, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, London and Singapore. I do travel in and work with my team; I just was in Brazil for a week. I've been to Brazil five times in the last year-and-a-half, and Australia multiple times, and we'll do the same with the other markets.
Appealing to the Hispanic audience...
The Hispanic, Latin American culture has an affinity for boxing; it is a much higher rate than the majority of the population. With (UFC heavyweight champion) CAIN VELASQUEZ being the face of that, it's very much an important part of transitioning that group. As the majority of other boxing fans continue to move over to MMA, that Hispanic crowd is very important to us. Cain will absolutely be the face of what we do as we move into Latin America.
The sports industry needs more of...
The U.S. sports think like U.S. sports. This mentality that if you're successful in America, you're successful, just isn't going to work as this globe continues to be smaller and the ability to interact with people in Asia and EMEA and South America. U.S. sports need to pick up the pace on what they're doing.
Smartphone of choice...
I use the Samsung Note, the Galaxy Note. Graphics, size, if I don’t have my iPad and I need to do some work on that while I’m travelling, it’s much more dynamic than the size and apps on the iPhone.
Best lunch in Vegas...
That’s an easy answer. We have an executive kitchen, and we have the two best chefs in the city. When we bring guests here to Vegas and have them to the kitchen, it’s always a wow moment for them. The two chefs came over from Nobu and they make amazing meals every day.
Any animated movie. Me and my daughters go to animated movies, and if their mom happens to take them to one when I’m travelling and I miss it, I’ll want to watch it anyway. I have a 13-year-old and a 10-year-old.
With music, I’m all over the board, anywhere from U2 and VAN HALEN to RIHANNA, big SADE fan, those are kind of my core. As for TV, I'm an advertiser's worst nightmare. I watch everything on DVR and I'm a lot into the pay channels.
Fox Int'l Channels named Team Marketing CEO SIMON THOMAS Exec VP/Global Sports & Content Sales. Thomas will join the company in January, and will be based in London and Zurich. He will report to FIC President & CEO HERNAN LOPEZ (FIC)....USA Basketball named Boston Amateur Basketball Club Dir of Operations JAY DEMINGS Youth Program Dir (USA Basketball)....Ball State Univ. GINA BRADBURN Dir of Development for Athletics and KIRK DAVIS Manager of Ticket Sales & Fan Development (BSU)....Temple Univ. named interim AD KEVIN CLARK VP & AD (Temple)....The Univ. of Northern Colorado named Univ. of Houston Deputy AD DARREN DUNN AD (Northern Colorado).
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Rockies co-Owner & General Partner CHARLIE MONFORT on Monday "was arrested" on suspicion of DUI and released yesterday on a $2,500 bond, with his arraignment scheduled for Nov. 19. He also was cited for driving 10-19 MPH over the speed limit. Monfort, who previously was arrested for DUI in '99, in a statement said, "I'm extremely disappointed in myself for the decision I made to drink and drive." He has "been phased out of the day-to-day operations" of the team over the past several years. Rockies co-Owner, Chair & CEO DICK MONFORT said, "As troubling and intolerable as these actions are, I can tell you that I'm focused on helping Charlie get the resources he needs to overcome this problem" (DENVER POST, 11/6).
ON THE DOCKET: Former NFLer BOBBY DOUGLASS and former college football player JOHN CORNELL are suing the NFL and Riddell, "claiming that they developed brain damage from head injuries suffered on the field." The suit states that Riddell was "negligent for failing to warn players their helmets wouldn't protect them from concussions." Attorney WILLIAM GIBBS, who is representing the two, said that the suit "will likely be consolidated into a lawsuit brought by more than 4,500 former players against the NFL" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/6).
DOCTOR'S ORDERS: In L.A., Diane Pucin profiles DR. NEAL ELATTRACHE, who "started attracting many of the best athletes to his practice" at the beginning of his career. Lakers G KOBE BRYANT said of ElAttrache, "He's always had a great reputation. I've known him for quite some time. He did one of my knee operations and I was pleased with that, so when it came time to do my Achilles, he was obviously a natural choice." Surfer LAIRD HAMILTON added, "What I like about him was that surgery was his last resort. He would want to try everything else first." When Patriots QB TOM BRADY "needed knee surgery" in '08, he called ElAttrache. Brady said, "There's a fine line between being too conservative and too aggressive, and what he's able to do is find that line and get athletes back on the field, recovered and competitive" (L.A. TIMES, 11/6).
SPEAKING OF DOCTORS...: Basketball HOFer JULIUS ERVING is making the rounds promoting his new book, "DR. J: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY." In addition to appearing on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" last night, Erving was on "CBS This Morning" yesterday, and CBS' Charlie Rose said Erving in his playing days "could galvanize a crowd like few others," as he "revolutionized the game with thunderous dunks and high-flying artistry." Erving said it took two years to complete the book, which contains "part of six decades" of his life. CBS' Gayle King said in the book, Erving is "so candid and so brutal and so raw" ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 11/5).
N.Y. MARATHON FINISHERS: In addition to THE DAILY's list of sports execs who completed the ING N.Y. Marathon on Sunday, The Legacy Agency Principal RUSSELL SPIELMAN ran the race in 4:21:47 and wrote, "I always knew if I ever attempted something like that it had to be the NYC Marathon. It was also great to (see) CC SABATHIA and his "PitCCh In Foundation". ... I was very fortunate to see my family twice on the route and also so many friends and family along the way to help push me to finish." MLS Dir of Corporate Communications SEAN DENNISON wrote of his experience, "I didn’t break any records but my second marathon was an amazing experience. Family, friends and the supportive crowd -- especially the ones who stay late to cheer on the slower folks -- help you reach the finish line. A day I’ll never forget" (THE DAILY).
NAMES: Sources said that the MLBPA is "investigating whether JAY Z might have violated the union's agent regulations" by giving free agent 2B ROBINSON CANO a $33,900, limited-edition Shawn Carter Classic Fusion watch by Hublot during Cano's 31st birthday party in Belgium on Oct. 22 (ESPN.com, 11/5)....NFL Giants President & CEO JOHN MARA's nephew, STEPHEN MARA, was arrested yesterday for arson (WSJ.com, 11/5)....NASCAR driver JIMMIE JOHNSON yesterday awarded $470,000 to nine different schools as part of the annual grants he and his wife, CHANDRA, have given out the last four years. The money is earmarked for schools in El Cajon, Calif., Muskogee, Okla., and Charlotte, N.C. (AP, 11/5)....Baseball HOFer BILL MAZEROSKI's World Series-winning home run in '60 "will be the center of the 10th annual Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory Auction on Nov. 9 at the plant in Kentucky" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 11/5)....Indiana State Univ. has erected a 15-foot-tall statue of Pacers President of Basketball Operations LARRY BIRD (AP, 11/5)....Former MLBer ERIC GAGNE listed his 6,000-square-foot home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., as a $2.695M short sale (REALTOR.com, 11/5)....The real estate agent for Buccaneers coach GREG SCHIANO said that he “recently dropped the price -- for the third time -- on his 8,500-square-foot house near Rutgers' football stadium." The house, originally listed for $2.3M 19 months ago, is now available for $1.595M (NJ.com, 11/4).
IN MEMORY: Former 76ers equipment manager JEFF MILLMAN died last night. Millman spent five decades with the organization (Sixers). Freelance writer ANDY JASNER posted," Deeply saddened by the loss of Jeff Millman. One of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Heart of gold. Take care of my dad. PR consultant JOE FAVORITO: "Very sad to hear about the passing of 1 of the most kind, funny and genuine people in hoops ex Sixers equipment guy Jeff Millman" (THE DAILY).