SBJ/July 11-17, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Executives and sports figures talk about what they’ll be reading on vacation this summer

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ARED SMITH

COO, business operations, Ticketmaster
“Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization,” by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright
Our company has always been filled with really good leaders. As we look at who we want to be in the future of an increasingly dynamic industry, we’re always looking for ways to evolve and improve the interactions between our leaders and their people.
“Through My Eyes,” by Tim Tebow and Nathan Whitaker
To me, Tim Tebow represents what one can accomplish through sheer determination. Sure he’s got natural talent, but his unrelenting dedication to improving is what made him an NFL quarterback.
“We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World,” by Simon Mainwaring
We’re making big bets and getting big returns in social commerce. Social is here to stay, and mobile is truly the future.
“Petunia,” by Roger Duvoisin
I have a 2 1/2-year old who loves ducks!

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:
RICK BURTON

David B. Falk Professor of Sport
Management, Syracuse University


Rick Burton’s “The Darkest Mission,” a thriller that follows the crew of a World War II B-17 bomber, hit bookshelves earlier this year.
“I grew up reading thrillers, and I think many of us who ‘live’ in the sports industry need the chance to read something else … something set in a different world that makes for a great diversion,” he says.
So what sports business figures would make a good B-17 crew? “Friends from the industry that you knew you could rely on when things got rough,” Burton says. “Since a B-17 used a crew of 10, I’d pick Dave Rosenberg (GMR), Steve Lauletta (Ganassi Racing), Pat Walsh (Vox PR), Chuck Harmison (Australia’s NBL), Michael Luscher (Point 3 Basketball), John Barrows (Avis Budget), Doug Marrone (Syracuse football coach), Gary Jacobus (NBA), Andrew Gaze (Australian basketball legend) and Andy Dolich (Dolich & Associates). Would have David Stern, Gary Bettman and Don Garber running flight ops and mission control.”

What he’s reading:

Burton
Finishing Keith Richards’ book, “Life” — Keef’s desire to give his readers the real dirt is fantastic if you happen to love the music of the Stones the way I do.

“Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible
Rescue Mission of World War II,”
by Mitchell Zuckoff
The book starts out in World
War II with a crash scene like my book “The Darkest Mission.” How can I not read it?
“Surviving the Sword: Prisoners of the Japanese 1942-45,”
by Brian MacArthur
This is a big part of my research for Book No. 2.
Re-reading “Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems,” by Newfoundland poet Randall Maggs. Possibly the best book I’ve ever read, and all the more so because it is about an NHL goaltender. Plus, it frequently mentions my boyhood hockey hero Gump Worsley.


JON DIAMENT
EVP, Turner Sports Ad Sales and Marketing
Diament
“Amagansett,”
by Mark Mills
I look forward to reading this book since I’ll be spending some quality time with my family there this summer.
“Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN,” by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales
This should be an interesting read to learn lessons from the positive and negative, while thinking about the potential future of the business.

DENIS BRAHAM
Chairman, CEO, head of sports practice, Winstead PC
Braham
“The Lincoln Lawyer,”
by Michael Connelly
I am a fan of the fictional criminal lawyer Michael Haller, who is forced to deal with the tension between zealously representing his client, accused of a brutal sexual attack, and the moral dilemma when he discovers that his client is not the innocent that he protests to be.
“Twenty Thirty (2030): The Real Story of What Happens to America,” by Albert Brooks
Working in an industry that is always looking into the future to gauge market interest in sports and entertainment, I look forward to Albert Brooks’ somewhat provoking and perhaps scary view of where American society might be headed. We are the victims and beneficiaries of an amazing social experiment and it gives us food for thought as to what type of world we are creating for our children and grandchildren.
“Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System — and Themselves,” by Andrew Ross Sorkin
Recounting the story of the great Wall Street crash and Main Street crash of 2008, we learn that we cannot be complacent when it comes to the manipulations of our economic well-being. As the saying goes, “Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered,” and [in] this case, there were lots of folks feeding at the toxic trough. The question is, Will we or can we really ever learn from our experiences?

JEN ROTTENBERG
CMO, USA Water Polo
Rottenberg
“Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen,”
by Christopher McDougall
It’s a true story of the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico, their incredible running capabilities, and what the author learned from immersing himself in their culture; sounds fascinating.
“Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are,” by Rob Walker
Need at least one business book. Described as part marketing, part cultural anthropology … sounds good to me!
“Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives,”
by Mina Samuels
Compilation of true stories from women about how confidence from participating in sports transformed their lives. Always need an inspirational story in the mix.
“Eden’s Outcasts,” by John Matteson
It’s a biography of Louisa May Alcott. As a kid I was obsessed by her books, Little Women, etc. Interested to learn more about the author.

JOHN WALSH
EVP and executive editor, ESPN
Walsh
I will definitely continue to chip away at “Selected Stories,” by William Trevor, an Irish treasure, and life’s good taste mandates daily Grantland pleasures. Otherwise I am looking into and turning forward on “Swamplandia!” by Karen Russell, and “Billy Ray’s Farm: Essays From a Place Called Tula,” by Larry Brown, and my long-awaited dive into Mary Karr’s “Lit” and the much ballyhooed “1861: The Civil War Awakening,” by Adam Goodheart. And I am finishing up our own Chuck Klosterman’s “Eating the Dinosaur.”

KIM ZAYOTTI
Founder and CEO, Blue Sky Sports & Entertainment
Zayotti
“The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness,”
by Brianna Karp
I read a touching article about the author on Yahoo! and am very intrigued to read this memoir. It is by a 22-year-old girl who found herself jobless and homeless in the Great Recession. I have a feeling it will change my opinion about the “homeless.”
“Water for Elephants,”
by Sara Gruen
I like novels that are set in a historical time period, and this book takes place in post-Depression America and depicts life in a traveling circus. The main character is a 90-year-old man, which ought to be interesting. But the main reason I plan to read it is that one of my best friends said I would love it, which is good enough for me.
Two or three of Emily Giffin’s novels. I have read the first two and found them quick, fun reads, which is just what I like to read on the beach. I love to laugh out loud, and her books usually do the trick; nothing too serious, as I need to be able to stop and start it frequently since I will have one eye on my 4-year-old.

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