Tennis: Advantage technology Plugged In: Nehme Abouzeid Labor & Agents: Playing Ball LPGA pitches event with retired NFL players Fancam adds MLB team deals to roster Baseball: Pace of play People: Executive transactions Nike signs key players ahead of draft USA Swimming signs Nexcare Tribeca/ESPN link gives sports docs a home
SBJ/20090907/What I LikePrint All
What I like …
A story that bears watching: ESPN and the English Premier League. The ultimate property for their first serious run at Sky Sports.
An influential person in my career: My father. Despite physical and intellectual challenges, his belief in his ability to make a better life for his family gave us the platform to succeed in life.
An out-of-the-box idea: Twenty20 cricket matches. Exciting, and all over in three beers? Brilliant!
A timeless idea: Hot dogs at the ballpark.
A TV ad campaign: NBA — Where Amazing Happens.
A print ad campaign: People still do print ad campaigns?
A business solution: Squeezing revenue out of every nook and cranny of Fenway Park, thus ensuring we can all enjoy this lyric little bandbox of a ballpark for many years to come …
A strategy: MLS ownership investing in building soccer-specific stadiums. Now we as fans can be watching a game in the same ZIP code as the players on the pitch.
A hire: Theo Epstein as GM of the Red Sox.
A brand: Under Armour — young, irreverent, innovative — sound familiar, Nike?
A trend: In-home fitness, powered by video game consoles.
An innovation: EA Sports Virtual Playbook. Self-serving? You bet. But a brilliant technology that has revolutionized sports broadcasting analysis.
A business decision: Unloading Manny Ramirez in the trade that brought Jason Bay to Boston. The circus leaves town to be replaced by a classy and reliable all-star. Gutsy call, Theo.
A pro league business initiative: NBA investment in international markets.
A decision-maker: Roger Goodell. His decisiveness in dealing with NFL players’ off-the-field transgressions have shielded the league from what could have been a much more negative PR situation.
What I Like About …
My job: Being able to provide tens of millions of video gamers with personal access to the emotion of sports. Oh, and having the EA SPORTS bar 20 feet from my desk.
Competing in this business: I marvel every day at how our development teams bring sports to life on the screen.
Sports fans: Unbridled optimism. “This is the year …”
What I Would Like To …
Reintroduce: The glowing puck in hockey. I love to watch the game in person, but if you want me to watch the game on TV, provide me with half a clue as to where the puck is … and I know I am in the minority on this one.
See different: How do we build promotion and relegation into American sports?
Change: Goal-line cameras in soccer. Goals are hard enough to come by without the officials missing it when the ball crosses the line.
What I Don’t Like …
In general: Poor manners. Did your mother teach you nothing?
In sports: Overtime in the NFL. C’mon, learn from college and let both offenses have a shot at the end zone.
In sports business: Transfer fees in European club soccer. Real Madrid pays a combined $275 million for Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema? What price for chemistry?
In sports facilities: $12 beers.
In my job: Having to explain to passionate fans why we can’t make a video game of every sport.
What I like …
Teams: Liverpool FC, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, California Golden Bears.
Possession: 1966 World Cup Winners Commemorative Coin.
Memento: Curt Schilling autographed 2004 World Series jersey.
Time of year: Fall … baseball playoffs, English Premier League, college football … bliss.
Music: Hip-hop, rap, classic rock.
Books: “Quiet Strength,” by Tony Dungy. “The Last Lion,” by William Manchester. “Business@The Speed of Thought,” by Bill Gates.
Blogs: BostonDirtDogs, Kotaku, Joystiq, Failblog.org.
Authors: William Manchester.
Gadgets: Flip Video Camera.
Trips: World Cup every four years — a pilgrimage to pay homage to The Beautiful Game.
Movies: Still laughing at “The Hangover.”
Concerts: U2, Coldplay.
Food: Can’t beat a good Indian curry.
Dessert: Spotted Dick Pudding (no, I’m not kidding. Look it up.).
Drink: Cabernet Sauvignon (and, being English, any decent beer).
Vacation spots: Turks and Caicos Islands.
Cars: Aston Martin.
Singers: Ne-Yo, Usher.
Quote: “The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Sir Winston Churchill. “Football is not a matter of life or death; it’s much more important than that.” — Bill Shankly