SBJ/20090817/What I Like
Gail Hunter, Senior Vice President, Events and Attractions, NBA
Published August 17, 2009
What I like …
An insight: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
An influential person in my career: Chuck Armstrong, president, Seattle Mariners.
An out-of-the-box idea: Twitter. Who knew people cared about people eating popcorn at home in front of their TV?
A timeless idea: Krazy Glue. Never be without it.
A sports facility: Safeco Field, where baseball is meant to be enjoyed.
A sports event: NCAA Final Four (1982, 1993, 2005, 2009).
A sports promo: ESPN commercials. I’m particularly fond of the Boston Celtics’ “Three Amigos” spot.
A business decision: No bonuses for company executives if the company is not profitable.
A TV ad campaign: Budweiser Clydesdale commercials. They remain timeless and have the ability to make us laugh, cry and salute our heroes.
A print ad campaign: Absolut vodka.
A brand: Starbucks. What does the word “Venti” mean other than one really large cup of Starbucks coffee?
A trend: Social networking.
A decision-maker: Rick Welts, president and CEO, Phoenix Suns.
A competitor’s idea: The NHL’s outdoor game.
A story that bears watching: Sponsor identification on team jerseys.
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Netflix.
A fantasy job: Broadway lighting designer.
What I Like about …
My job: The variety of people and assignments that I come into contact with.
Sports: The fact that, most times, practice and study results in improved performance. I use what I learned playing basketball and volleyball competitively in every situation in life, both business and personal.
Sports media: The ability to break down a single play into a thousand pieces and explain it.
College sports: The passion that stays with fans throughout their lives.
What I Would Like To …
Change in my sport: Less one-on-one basketball and more running of plays, pick and rolls, give and gos.
See: More playgrounds, green space, and children outside running and playing.
See more of in sports business: More women getting into the business.
See less of in sports: Performance-enhancing drugs.
See different: How people treat children. We need to nurture hearts and minds and provide guidance.
Reintroduce: The use of the turn signal when driving.
Eliminate: Racism and bigotry.
What I Don’t Like …
Pet peeve: Misspelled words in documents where spell check is readily available.
In business: A work force that is unwilling to work hard and appreciate that raises and promotions should be earned.
In media: Big media can be too commercial. It’s more about audience demographics and less about news critical for us to know.
In technology: How quickly the latest gadgets are replaced by the next version.
In Sports venues: Expensive, bad food.
What I like …
People: Funny people who can laugh at themselves.
That would surprise those who know me: I have been a fan of “All My Children” since its first show in 1970.
Heroes: My father.
Players: Tiger Woods, Chris Paul, Larry Doby, Roger Federer, Hank Aaron, the Williams sisters, John Havlicek, Bob McAdoo, Pete Maravich, Oscar Robertson.
Teams: Seattle Mariners, Buffalo Bills, North Carolina Tar Heels.
Possession: Rocks from my daughter.
Time of year: Summer. There is nothing better than shorts, flip flops and dinner on the back deck.
Books: “Bonfire of the Vanities,” “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” “Native Son,” “The Stand,” “Rabbit, Run,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Catcher in the Rye.”
Gadgets: The rabbit corkscrew, multi-use remotes.
Hobbies: Reading, exercising, playing piano.
Movies: “Shawshank Redemption,” “West Side Story,” “Crash,” “The Birdcage,” “Remember the Titans,” “Glory,” “The Color Purple.”
TV: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “West Wing,” “Backyardigans,” “Brothers & Sisters.”
Dessert: Dark chocolate layer cake with chocolate chip ice cream.
Scent: Homemade bread, sautéed garlic, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, fresh brewed coffee.
Vacation spots: Paris, Seattle, the Caribbean.
Cars: Mercedes convertibles.
Singer: Chaka Khan.