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SBJ/May 7-13, 2012/People and Pop Culture
Steve Raab, president, SportsNet New York
Published May 7, 2012, Page 30
What I Like …
■ Influential people in my career: Steve Lesnick, who owned KemperSports, which was my first real job. [Mets owners] Fred Wilpon, who’s been all about honesty, integrity and relationships, and Saul Katz, co-founder and president of Sterling Equities.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Harrah’s hiring Gary Loveman, a career academic, in 1998 to
■ A timeless idea: Maintaining a focus on customer service.
■ A business deal: The Pac-12 Network.
■ A sports facility: AT&T Park is built in just a stunning setting, but Wrigley Field is still my favorite ballpark of all time. And it is the star, not the team.
■ A sports event: Any truly big-time college football game, probably SEC.
■ A strategy: IBM transforming itself from mainframe obscurity into a software and service company.
■ A hire: Mark Lazarus by NBC.
■ A brand: Ironman Triathlon.
■ An ad campaign: I always thought “Where’s the Beef” from Wendy’s was brilliant.
■ A trend: Customization, which is just really hyper-segmentation.
■ An innovation: The yellow first-down line on televised football.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: Soccer United Marketing (SUM). Having a plan from the outset to branch beyond MLS and involve itself in soccer’s most important properties across North America.
■ A story that bears watching: TV Everywhere.
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: StubHub and the whole movement that has made the secondary ticketing market so efficient.
■ A previous job: GM of the CBA Sioux Falls Skyforce team. I was 23.
■ A fantasy job: U.S. ambassador to a neutral country with a great climate.
What I Like About …
■ My job: The ability to manage an entire business every day.
■ Sports: The passion that it generates.
■ Sports business: A lot of days, it doesn’t really feel like a job.
■ Sports media: The fan base with an insatiable appetite.
■ Sports technology: The challenge to stay informed.
■ Competing: The chance to win.
What I’d Like To …
■ Change: Pricing, so that more consumers can participate.
■ See more of in sports: Sportsmanship.
■ See less of in sports business: The winning-is-everything attitude.
What I Don’t Like …
■ About sports fans: A winning-is-everything attitude.
What I Like …
■ Heroes: My father. My dad is a pediatric ophthalmologist, and so what he does is highly specialized and highly valued. That’s got to be very fulfilling.
■ Athletes: Thurman Munson, Bernard King, Bill Bradley.
■ City: San Francisco.
■ Possession: Does my family count? They are more important to me than any one thing.
■ Music: Springsteen.
■ TV shows: “The Office” and “60 Minutes.”
■ Movies: “Raising Arizona,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Brian’s Song.”
■ Books: “Ball Four,” by Jim Bouton.
■ Magazines: Sports Illustrated, Fortune.
■ Websites: Deadspin, SNY.TV.
■ Gadgets: BlackBerry.
■ Food: Italian.
■ Drink: A cold beer.
■ Vacation spot: Jackson Hole, Wyo.