SBJ/April 3 - 9, 2006/Careerspeople

Longtime Suns exec heads sports MBA program at Arizona State

Ray Artigue has taught many classes about sports business at Arizona State University while serving as an executive with the Phoenix Suns. Now he will lead the W.P. Cary School of Business’ sports business MBA program at ASU. Artigue hopes that he can help the program continue to move forward with his knowledge of the sports and business worlds.

Age: 51
New title: Executive director, sports business MBA program, Arizona State University’s W.P. Cary School of Business; professor of practice
Previous job title: Senior vice president of marketing communications, Phoenix Suns
First job: Busboy
College education: Bachelor of science, journalism, Arizona State University, 1976
Resides: Scottsdale, Ariz., with wife Martha and children Jessica and Joey
Grew up: Phoenix
Executive most admired: Jerry Colangelo, chairman and chief executive officer, Phoenix Suns
Favorite vacation spot: San Diego’s Mission Beach (summer); Telluride, Colo. (winter)
Favorite movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Favorite musician: Paul McCartney

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?

The biggest challenge is also the biggest opportunity, as I am inheriting an already outstanding academic program. Yet we will endeavor to make the ASU sports business MBA synonymous for excellence in preparing the next generation of sports industry leaders.

What is the biggest career risk you’ve taken?

Leaving a nice, stable job to start my own advertising and public relations agency while having a wife and infant daughter at home was definitely a big risk.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

The last 15 years with the Phoenix Suns have been remarkable. With the last five years in sales and marketing I feel that I am leaving a legacy of organization and sophistication with the sales team.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?

Do anything you can to help that is outside of your job description and remember that teamwork is how most things get accomplished.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?

The interconnectivity between all variables in the media world and sports. Specifically the interplay between sports and the way in which media covers it 24/7 and the incredible influence that one has on another.

What is one element that you would like to change about the sports industry?

In a perfect world, I’d like to see less of the franchise operational cost burden carried by our core customers, the season-ticket holder.

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