SBD/December 11, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With Dodgers Exec VP & CMO Lon Rosen

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Rosen (c) says there is no such thing as down-time in the front office of an MLB team
Dodgers Exec VP & CMO LON ROSEN is in his second stint with the team, and this time around he gets to work with his longtime friend MAGIC JOHNSON. Rosen began working as Johnson's agent in '87, and now the two find themselves in the same front office at Chavez Ravine. While he still reps the Basketball HOFer, Rosen's efforts are focused on his life in baseball. "I don't juggle those duties," he said. "First and foremost, my responsibility is to the Dodgers. His businesses are more mature so the daily grind of what I used to do with him doesn't exist. I still do some things, but 99% of my efforts are toward the Dodgers." Rosen chatted with THE DAILY this week about the Dodgers' changing culture under the ownership of Guggenheim Baseball Management, how his staff handled the meteoric rise of YASIEL PUIG, and why he does some of his best thinking on a stationary bicycle. 

Meet the new boss...

Right from the onset, when Guggenheim Baseball took over the Dodgers, they made a commitment to the fans to improve the fan experience, which has improved quite a bit. We spend quite a bit of our assets on players, as you can see; we've improved the product on the field; we've improved the stadium -- the entire fan experience is something we very much so focus on.

Dog days of winter...
We're just as busy if not busier in the offseason. We're working on sponsorship sales, season-ticket sales, premium sales, creating marketing campaigns, promotional giveaways, charitable events. There's never a down time when you're involved with running a baseball team.

Easing in a superstar...
Yasiel is a guy who really wants to do things. When he first came up here, we sort of let him breathe for a while. We wanted to see how he would play, how he would react to things. And he was open to doing things. Pretty early on we did a fun thing with one of our sponsors, T-Mobile. He did a little commercial with ADRIAN GONZALEZ and again, he was willing to do things. He's been very community-minded. He went to the hospital a couple of weeks ago and he’s going to do it again; he participated with CLAYTON KERSHAW in that event. You see him at Lakers games every so often. He's really thrown himself into the Los Angeles community in a number of different ways.

Managing a megastar...
My relationship with Earvin has always been the same. We have a very close business relationship; we're also very close friends. He’s involved with players -- last week he was involved in a giant sponsorship event. He's very, very much involved with promoting the Dodgers and helping promote the brand. But he also stays in his lane; he doesn’t get involved with picking the players, negotiating contracts, but he loves being part of the Dodgers organization as an owner of the organization and he’s honored to be a part of it.

Best advice...
I got it from JERRY BUSS. He said, "Always learn as much as you can about your sport and your business but also learn as much as you can about the other person’s business." So if I'm going out to try to do a deal with a company, I need to learn as much as I can about that company as I know about my company. So I recommend to the people that work in my sponsorship division to learn as much as you can. You should read the newspapers, magazines; you need to learn what’s going on in the world. 

Chavez munchies...
Because I'm at Dodger Stadium, I go to the Police Academy, they have a fun little place to have lunch. If I need to go to something nicer, I'll go to The Palm downtown. I'd say The Palm and Police Academy are my two favorite places around Dodger Stadium.

Gearing up and winding down...
I go spinning a lot. And everybody knows when I go spinning, which is almost every day, I really think a lot when I'm doing that, because I’m left alone and there’s nobody talking to me. I really develop strategies in marketing or strategies in sales, and as soon as I get off the bike I'll start sending e-mails and I'll get e-mails back saying, "Oh, you must have gone spinning this morning because it’s usually very early in the morning."

Quite the eclectic...
I just saw IMAGINE DRAGONS, so that's what I recently downloaded. I love all types of music, everything from rap and R&B to pop to classic rock. Country music too, like LUKE BRYAN. I just downloaded songs from him. I'm very fortunate that our company, Guggenheim, owns the AMAs and I went to the award show a couple of weeks ago and I was able to pick up new music I like.
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