SBJ/May 2-8, 2011/People and Pop Culture

What I Like: Charlie Besser, President & CEO, Intersport

PROFESSIONAL

What I Like …

AN INSIGHT: The world revolves around relationships.

AN INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN MY CAREER: Too many to list or rank.

AN OUT-OF-THE BOX IDEA: To serve is to win.

A TIMELESS IDEA: You reap what you sow … karma is a powerful force.

A BUSINESS DEAL: The NCAA with Turner/CBS, and Comcast and NBC.

A SPORTS FACILITY: YMCAs … the people’s gyms.

A SPORTS EVENT: The Masters. It is the gold standard.

A STRATEGY: ESPN’s embrace of soccer.

A HIRE: Roger Goodell and Greg Shaheen.

A BRAND: March Madness.

A TREND: Streaming live events … feeding the long tail.

AN INNOVATION: High-speed mobile search.

A PRO LEAGUE OR TEAM BUSINESS INITIATIVE: The American Le Mans Series.

A STORY THAT BEARS WATCHING: The ever-increasing power of the major college football conferences and schools over all collegiate sports.

AN IDEA OR INVENTION I WISH I HAD THOUGHT OF: I will settle for the iPad.

A FANTASY JOB: President of the United States.

What I Like About …

MY JOB: The people that I work with; it is humbling.

SPORTS: Valiant competitors.

SPORTS BUSINESS: A ton of interesting people.

SPORTS MEDIA: It is always reinventing itself.

SPORTS FANS: Their love of the underdog.

COMPETING: You find out how good your team really is.

SPORTS TECHNOLOGY: When it enhances but does not unnecessarily complicate the sports experience.

THE FUTURE (OR DIRECTION) OF SPORTS BUSINESS: The globalization of sports … the world is shrinking fast!

What I Would Like To …

CHANGE IN WHAT I DO: Spend more time thinking.

SEE MORE OF IN SPORTS: The review of referees’ calls when it is quick, easy and obviously needed. I don’t care about tradition, I want it right.

SEE MORE OF IN SPORTS BUSINESS: Teams and sponsors providing event access to kids.

SEE LESS OF IN SPORTS: Players staying way too long. One year too long can ruin a lifetime of memories.

SEE LESS OF IN SPORTS BUSINESS: Overextended owners who ruin a town’s love affair with its team.

SEE: Abusive fans locked up.

SEE DIFFERENT: A better balance between the legitimate financial needs of college athletes and the interests of their universities.

ELIMINATE: 3 million of the 8 million sports talk radio shows!

What I Don’t Like …

IN GENERAL: Closed-mindedness.

PET PEEVE: Takers.

IN SPORTS: Strong opinions based on ignorance.

IN BUSINESS: Blind reliance on process when innovation is required.

ABOUT SPORTS FANS: Intolerance toward opposing fans. Sports are beautiful. All fans should experience that.

PERSONAL

What I Like …

PEOPLE: Those who commit themselves to help others.

ABOVE ALL ELSE: The Bride.

HEROES: My parents and their generation, as well as the brave Americans who serve our country.

PLAYER: Gary Player, the first truly global athlete.

TEAM: Green Bay Packers.

CITY: Chicago.

MEMENTO: A note of encouragement from my father.

TIME OF YEAR: March/April — March Madness rolls into Masters Week.

BOOKS: There are a million of them. Right now, I like “Rework.”

AUTHORS: Thomas Friedman, Peter Drucker, Brad Thor.

MAGAZINE: Fortune.

WEBSITE: www.CelebTV.com.

GADGET: BlackBerry.

IPAD APP: Kindle.

CHORE: Putting up a new chain net on the hoop in the alley.

MOVIE: “Waiting for Superman.”

TV: Charlie Rose.

CONCERTS: U2 and the Rolling Stones.

ARTIST: Specter.

FOOD: A really good stadium dog.

DESSERT: Angel food cake.

DRINK: Martini.

SCENT: Barbecue.

VACATION SPOTS: White sand, emerald green water and my wife.

CARS: Good-looking and fast with room for golf clubs.

SINGERS: Alicia Keys and Fergie.

QUOTE: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” — Colin Powell.

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