First Look podcast: World Congress 2017 PBC plots path to maximize distribution NBA Turnstile Tracker Baseball returns to Kinston, N.C. David Stern investing in tech startups NBA regular season sees ratings drop Faces and Places at World Congress Are sponsors wary of outspoken athletes? On Deck With: Mike Unger, USA Swimming Labor & Agents: Rosenthal takes charge
Upcoming Conferences and Events
May 31 - Jun 1
SBJ/Nov. 8-14, 2010/What I Like
Mike Belcher, Vice President, Sponsorships and Events, T-Mobile
Published November 8, 2010
What I Like …
An insight: It’s not the brand that spends the most, it’s the brand that spends the smartest.
An influential person in my career: Denny Post, former CMO at T-Mobile. She gave me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone and achieve certain successes I never imagined.
An out-of-the-box idea: Maybe it’s because I’m from Seattle, but getting people to pay $4 for a cup of coffee.
A timeless idea: Disneyland. I wish I had Walt’s vision.
A business deal: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh signing with the Miami Heat.
A sports facility: I still love Dodger Stadium.
A sports event: The Masters.
A strategy: Fewer, bigger, better.
A brand: Nike. It’s not just a shoe. They created a brand synonymous with a lifestyle and aspiration. My 11-year-old son’s bedroom is a perfect example.
A sports marketing story that bears watching: Will the NBA return to Seattle?
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: CoinStar: They get paid to count your money!
What I Like About …
My job: I work with talented and dedicated people, and we have the opportunity to create work that millions of people get to see.
Sports: Sports ignites passion, so much so that it has the ability to unite people and communities.
Sports business: In this business, one needs to be at the top of his or her game. It can be a very rewarding business when you get it right.
Sports media: Charles Barkley. He tells it like it is and does it in a way that is real and always entertaining. People respect that whether he is right or wrong.
Sports technology: You can access real-time information about your favorite teams and players 24/7. It certainly wasn’t that way when we all grew up.
Competing: There still is nothing like that feeling of getting “butterflies” before doing something. It pushes you to the next level.
The future (or direction) of sports business: How it has embraced technology to provide a better fan experience. The possibilities are endless.
What I’d Like To …
Change in what I do: I would like to coach little league sports.
See more of in sports: High school national championships.
See more of in sports business: A greater collaboration between sports properties and brands. It makes such a difference when there is a deep understanding of each other’s businesses.
See less of in sports: Kids who feel pressured to participate in multiple sports during the same season. We run the risk of burning them out at an early age.
See less of in sports business: Over-promising and under-delivering.
What I Don’t Like …
In general: Flying in a middle seat.
Pet peeve: When people tell me they have a great idea or property for our business without knowing anything about our strategy.
In sports: The BCS system.
In business: Unethical behavior.
What I Like …
That would surprise those who know me: I played in the NAIA College Baseball World Series.
Above all else: Being home with my family.
Heroes: My parents. As both teachers and coaches, they influenced so many lives. People still come up to me and talk about how much my folks impacted their lives.
Teams: Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Dodgers.
Memento: My grandfather’s diary from World War II.
Time of year (because): Summer. Nothing beats summer in Seattle.
Music: Depends on my mood. I like hip hop, alternative, pop, classic rock and a little country.
Books: “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins; “The Firm,” by John Grisham.
Authors: John Grisham, James Patterson.
Hobbies: Golf, travel, reading and listening to music.
Movies: “A Few Good Men,” “Good Will Hunting,” “The American President.”
Chores: Doing dishes and cleaning the garage.
TV: ESPN, “NBA on TNT,” “Criminal Minds,” CNN.
Artist: Hiro Yamagata: His Olympic prints over the years are classics.
Vacation spots: Maui and Sunriver Resort, Ore.
Musicians: Jay-Z and The Black Crowes.
Quote: “Nothing great was ever created without passion.”