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SBJ/March 3 - 9, 2008/Forty Under 40
Published March 3, 2008
Dan Beckerman may have changed as much in the last decade as the company he works for.
Always a fan of the major traditional American sports, particularly football and basketball, Beckerman has seen his tastes evolve a bit since joining the staff of the AEG-owned Los Angeles Kings in 1997. From those early days as the hockey team's CFO, Beckerman has been involved in every step of AEG's phenomenal growth, which just last year included the opening of the O2 in London, among other major projects.
To the sporting world at large, though, one of the major stories of the year was the signing of British soccer star David Beckham to play for AEG's Major League Soccer team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. It was a satisfying moment for Beckerman, who has been intimately involved in AEG's role as a mainstay of the MLS, including at one time owning six teams in what was then a 10-team league.
"The success of MLS is very gratifying to me," Beckerman said, "and it was sort of a storybook moment, going to the first game at The Home Depot Center where Beckham had meaningful minutes."
Sounding like a true financier, Beckerman still gets most excited about making acquisitions and raising money, and it is his skill in those areas, in large part, that have made him invaluable to AEG.
"Dan is the most unique financial guy I've ever met," said Tim Leiweke, AEG's chief executive. "He knows how to sell, he knows branding and marketing, he knows how to make deals. It's been amazing to watch his growth, and he is as responsible as anyone for what AEG is today."
The pace at AEG is not likely to slow down this year. The company has projects in various stages of development across the globe, and Beckerman relishes being in the middle of the fray, one day working on team budgets, the next on venue strategy, then real estate, then the music and live event part of the business.
But whatever he's faced with on a particular day, Beckerman's eye never strays far from the overall mission.
"I think for us it's always been about our international expansion and the relation between venues and the content that fills them," he said. "The way people view and enjoy content is always changing, but the live experience will always be critical for us."