SBJ/20100607/What I Like
Jamie Davis, President, Versus
Published June 7, 2010
What I Like …
An insight: Ownership of a good idea is not important. It’s executing the good ones that matters.
An out-of-the-box idea: Wii. Combining video gaming with actual physical activity (at least that’s the excuse that I use) … brilliant.
A timeless idea: The Olympic Games. Watching amazing athletes from around the world reach new heights every two years never gets old.
A sports facility: Cowboys Stadium. Wow — watching a game there is an awe-inspiring experience.
A strategy: Always encourage people to throw out hundreds of ideas, including terrible ones. It’s how you find the hidden gems.
A hire: Bob Costas, MLB Network.
A brand: CNBC. Covering the stock market every day like a sporting event with a pregame show, sideline reporters, halftime show and postgame wrap-up has made following business fun and informative.
A trend: Long-term rights deals. Developing long-term partnerships with rights holders is in everyone’s interest and enables the partners to concentrate on building their businesses together instead of concentrating on constant renewals.
An innovation: Slingbox. Taking my TV with me anywhere is amazing.
A pro league or team business initiative: Zuffa making the UFC and WEC both mainstream and credible by successfully embracing being sanctioned by virtually every state athletic commission.
A story that bears watching: The most anticipated free agency year in NBA history and which team will win the LeBron James lottery. It could reshape the entire balance of power in the league.
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The pet rock. So simple, so stupid, yet so smart.
A fantasy job: Quality control taster for Five Guys.
What I Like About …
Sports: The unscripted nature of sports is truly amazing.
Sports business: Building a brand around something I love. It’s not something very many people can say.
Sports technology: HD broadcasting. It has totally revolutionized the viewing experience for sports — all sports.
Competing: Everything — without competition, life would be boring. I love being the underdog.
What I’d Like To …
Change in what I do: Use my BlackBerry less and find time to turn it off.
See more of in sports: Sportsmanship. There’s nothing better than when NHL players shake hands, UFC fighters hug and NFL players gather to pray together after brutal battles. Just shows that you can leave everything on the field and adversity doesn’t need to travel into the locker room. It’s also a good lesson for our daily lives.
See more of in sports business: Cooperation between leagues and broadcasters as true partners, not just licensors and licensees.
See less of in sports: Fake dives, fake injuries, not hustling, etc. Play hard the entire game and play to win.
See different: A credible system where a true national collegiate football champion can be crowned without controversy.
What I Don’t Like …
Pet peeve: Misuse of the words “good” and “well.” I had a 10th-grade English teacher who drilled the proper usage into my head and misuse has driven me crazy ever since.
In sports: Labor-related work stoppages — all momentum is lost.
In business: Beating around the bush. Just say it even if it’s not what the other party wants to hear. It’s much more efficient that way.
What I Like …
That would surprise those who know me: In addition to enjoying sports on TV, I actually like a lot of that reality stuff as well.
Players: Michael Jordan, Danny Briere, Steve Nash, Wayne Chrebet — anyone who was told they weren’t big enough, strong enough or good enough to make it and then used that as motivation to work even harder to succeed.
Teams: All Philly teams. I love to root for the same teams as my kids.
City: Sydney, Australia — most beautiful place on earth with great people, food and drink.
Memento: I still have my World Trade Center ID card from my first job in New York. It is a reminder of how lucky I am to be alive.
Music: Pandora. I have been turned on to many new, fantastic artists through it.
Books: “The Godfather.”
Website: Facebook. It’s amazing how addictive it has become reconnecting with old friends.
Chores: Coach, chauffeur, easy Wii opponent and mentor to my three kids — I love my chores.
Hobbies: Golfing, hunting, fishing, dining out and collecting contemporary Chinese paintings.
Trips: My favorite trip was a family vacation to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It was a fascinating look back in time for my wife and me, and our kids thought they were on the set of “Tomb Raider.”
Concerts: Nothing I’ve been to has ever been more wild than an Ozzy Osbourne concert I went to in the mid-1980s where an unknown band named Metallica warmed up for the “Wizard of Oz.”
Food: Tandoori anything — I love Northern Indian cuisine.
Dessert: Ice cream.
Cars: Mercedes Benz SL550.
Singer: Elton John — have enjoyed his work for many years.
Quotes: “Nobody roots for Goliath.” — Wilt Chamberlain; “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” — Ben Hogan.