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SBJ/20100308/What I Like
Dave Andrews, President and CEO, American Hockey League
Published March 8, 2010
What I Like …
An insight: Pride in performance is the most important attribute in any employee.
An influential person in my career: Abigail Hoffman, former director general of Sport Canada and a legendary Canadian Olympian, and Glen Sather, the president and GM of the New York Rangers (formerly of the Edmonton Oilers).
An out-of-the-box idea: The NHL Winter Classic is without question the most successful out-of-the-box idea in sports marketing in recent years.
A timeless idea: Lead by example.
A business deal: The AHL expansion to absorb the International Hockey League in 2001 was perhaps the most significant business deal in the 74-year history of our league. It was a major change in the professional hockey landscape and has proven to be a significant benefit to our league, our players, our NHL partners and all other stakeholders.
A sports facility: Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and the Bell Centre in Montreal.
A sports event: Despite being a Canadian who knows virtually nothing about basketball, I find the NCAA tournament compelling.
A strategy: Play to your strengths, and above all build trust in your brand.
A hire: John McDonough as president of the Chicago Blackhawks.
A brand: The Olympic Games.
A pro league or team business initiative: TEAMBO at the NBA has been a template for all of us in championing data collection and best-practice sharing.
A story that bears watching: Concussions in contact sport and how leagues, teams and athletes respond to the issue.
A fantasy job: I was thinking about quarterback of the Patriots, but at 5-foot-8 and my advanced age, I guess that would be unrealistic.
What I Like About …
Sports: The one-on-one battles that define the outcome of every team competition.
Sports business: The business is full of people who are achievers.
Sports media: Mike Emrick, the voice of the NHL on NBC.
Sports technology: Real-time scoring and HD television.
Competing: Competition is what tests our skills, our will, and drives performance. Life would be pretty bland without it.
The future of sports business: The future is in greater interactivity for our fan bases, bringing them ever closer to the competition.
What I’d Like To …
See more of in sports business: Vision and a commitment to providing value for stakeholders.
See less of in sports business: Media spin.
Change: Reduce the focus on short-term gain in business and politics at the expense of building long-term value.
Eliminate: Unrealistic adult expectations and pressure on kids in youth sport.
What I Don’t Like …
In general: Today’s air travel.
Pet peeve: Bad drivers and bad pedestrians (perhaps I need to be more patient).
In sports: I dislike people who take joy in lopsided victories over inferior competition.
In business: People in power who are condescending to others.
About sports fans: Fans who ruin the experience for kids and families at games.
What I Like …
People: I like to be around people with a zest for life and a great sense of humor.
That would surprise those who know me: That I have run two half-marathons recently.
Heroes: Terry Fox.
Players: Wes Welker.
Teams: Team Canada hockey.
Possession: Our vacation home in Nova Scotia.
Memento: Stanley Cup and Calder Cup rings.
Time of year (because): Summer in Nova Scotia and the chance to sail, golf and spend time with family and friends.
Music: Blues, country, rock, alternative.
Books: “The Tipping Point,” “Gods and Generals,” “Home Game,” “Wind, Whales, and Whiskey.”
Gadgets: Garmin marine GPS.
Chores: That’s what kids are for.
Hobbies: Sailing, running, racquetball.
Trips: British Virgin Islands, Grenadines, Belize.
Movies: “Anchorman,” “The Departed,” “In Bruges.”
TV: “The Office.”
Concerts: James Taylor, Vienna Teng.
Artist: Christopher Gorey.
Food: Fresh-caught fish grilled onboard.
Drink: Propeller Pale Ale … Nova Scotia’s finest.
Scent: The salt air of Atlantic Canada.
Quote: “Last season we couldn’t win at home and we were losing on the road. My failure was that I couldn’t think of anyplace else to play.” — Harry Neale, former NHL coach.