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Denis Braham, Chairman & CEO Winstead PC
Published September 6, 2010
Denis Braham leads the national sports practice for the law firm Winstead PC, working with clients that include the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. Winstead attorneys worked closely with the Cowboys as they pursued their new stadium, and the firm also represented bond insurers financing New Meadowlands Stadium. Braham also serves as general counsel for the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee and was lead counsel for the Houston Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee.
What I Like …
An insight: The key to any successful relationship, business or personal, is listening and making the effort to see the other person’s point of view.
An influential person in my career: My grandfather, who taught me core values, work ethic and the value of education.
A timeless idea: Work hard to succeed. It doesn’t come any other way.
A business deal: Helping Bob McNair win the 32nd NFL franchise to put the Houston Texans on the field.
A sports facility: Cowboys Stadium and Reliant Stadium: two landmark projects.
A sports event: Super Bowl XLV: It will be quite an extravaganza.
A strategy: Build consensus to create a winning result.
A brand: Jaguar. It’s hard to beat a British icon.
A trend: Technology is making us think faster, respond more quickly and work harder. We need to be cautious that technology does not substitute for good due diligence.
An innovation: E-ticketing.
A pro league or team business initiative: Cowboys teaming with Yankees on Legends.
A story that bears watching: The Super Bowl at New Meadowlands Stadium (brrrrrrrrr).
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Smartphones.
A fantasy job: Astronaut: very cool and great people.
What I Like About …
My job: My clients and their multifaceted projects. Every day creates new challenges requiring innovative solutions.
Sports: It’s universal … look at the World Cup.
Sports business: Innovation is rewarded.
Sports media: We can’t live without them.
Sports technology: The future will bring new technologies that we have yet to imagine.
Competing: Very healthy; never be afraid of the competition and meet it head on.
The future (or direction) of sports business: Focus on technology and enhancing the fan experience and fan value.
What I’d Like To …
Change in what I do: Read more and improve my golf game.
See: The world from the space station.
See more of in sports: Community spirit for their teams and their venues.
See more of in sports business: My clients succeed.
See less of in sports: The media focusing on negative and immature behavior or bad role models.
See less of in sports business: Rules that hurt the business and anger the fans.
See different: A longer NFL season.
Eliminate: Bad referees and polarizing talk show hosts.
What I Don’t Like …
In general: Negative attitudes; people who see the glass as half empty.
Pet peeve: Long lines.
In business: Not enough hours in the day.
What I Like …
That would surprise those who know me: Since my teens, I have spent a considerable amount of time working on human rights issues in the former Soviet bloc to help obtain freedom for minorities deprived of their rights.
Heroes: Winston Churchill, the crew of the Columbia STS-107 shuttle, David Ben-Gurion and Abraham Lincoln.
City: Jerusalem, but Florence is a close second.
Time of year: Winter, because it’s nice to put on a sweater in Houston.
Music: The Beatles, of course, and would you believe Jimmy Buffett?
Authors: Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and Clive Cussler.
Magazines: SportsBusiness Journal, Sports Illustrated and The Economist.
Chores: I still take out the garbage and I’m working on improving my recycling program: Go green.
Trips: I would love to visit China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Movies: Anything 007.
TV: Other than sports, I would have to say the series “24” and “Mad Men” — people with passion who work hard to achieve results.
Artist: Matisse. I love French impressionists.
Food: Jewish delicatessen.
Dessert: I had to give it up, but strawberry shortcake is right up there at the top.
Drink: A fine wine or single malt scotch.
Scent: Fresh baked bread.
Cars: I am stuck on Jags (it’s the British in me).
Singer: Joan Baez. She helped create my generation.
Quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” — President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Very powerful.