Intersport Key players in ticketing Bristol perfect platform for sponsor Ticketing’s wide ‘open’ approach Labor & Agents: Dogra settlement talks Plugged In: Joni Smoller, NACMA SeatGeek adds name to MLS sales center Fanatics upbeat on NASCAR track retail Team-owned esports league gets leverage Faces and Places
SBJ/January 7-13, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The New Orleans Hornets promoted Marc Johnson to director of season-ticket sales, Travis Burkett to season-ticket account manager and Chris Wilson to account executive.
The Aspire Group hired Devin Day, Lindsey Kent, Josiah Castro and Tim Gilliam as sales consultants for New Mexico State University.
Fox Sports Florida and Fox’s Sun Sports named Brett Opdyke executive producer.
Former NFL players Ellis Hobbs and Michael Dean launched private membership group Privé Society.
Awards and Boards
Randy Brown was awarded his fourth consecutive CableFAX 100 Award. Brown is executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for the Outdoor Channel.
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A mix of negotiators and visionaries who have excelled in virtually every corner of the sports industry makes up the 2013 class of The Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business. The award recognizes the architects and builders of sports, and this year’s honorees include a group that any organization would love to have on their side of the table, both in terms of negotiating skill and being able to figure out the future.
■ Donald Dell, a negotiating expert who played a major role in the evolution of both pro tennis and sports marketing in general;
■ Rosa Gatti, one of the voices behind ESPN’s unmatched ability to tell its own story as well as provide a blueprint for diversity;
■ Roy Kramer, a visionary in the college sports world whose decisions have proved to be decades ahead of their time;
■ Harvey Schiller, a true sports business renaissance man if there ever was one;
■ Ron Shapiro, arguably the original baseball power agent; and
■ Pat Williams, a builder of successful NBA franchises for the last 45 years.
They join an exclusive group of entrepreneurs, risk-takers and colorful personalities as the fourth installment of The Champions. Each will be honored during a special ceremony April 3 at the IMG World Congress of Sports in Naples, Fla., and will share their story from a career that helped shape the sports business industry.
Click here for a slideshow featuring past Champions classes.
As one of the first sports agents, Dell co-founded ProServ and, along with IMG founder Mark McCormack, he is considered one of the fathers of both sports marketing and the sports agency business. During the golden age of tennis, Dell represented stars such as Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl. He co-founded the ATP and is vice chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
It’s impossible to talk about the history of ESPN without talking about Gatti, a communications executive who joined ESPN in 1980, soon after it launched. During the 1970s, Gatti was one of the few women in sports, working in the athletic departments at Brown and Villanova. Those early experiences played a major role in Gatti’s career. She founded ESPN’s diversity committee in 1992, and it’s not a coincidence that ESPN has one of the most diverse staffs of any company in sports.
Kramer was a coach and administrator who became one of the most influential figures in college athletics. As the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference from 1990 to 2002, Kramer expanded the conference to 12 schools with the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina in the early ’90s. He also formed the first conference championship football game and created the vision for the controversial Bowl Championship Series that, like it or not, for the first time in the history of college football ensured that No. 1 would play No. 2 at the end of the season.
The Citadel graduate and former chemistry professor at the Air Force Academy has a résumé stacked with jobs in virtually every area of the sports industry. In college sports, he was the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference for four years (1986-1990), a member of the NCAA executive committee and president of the Western Athletic Conference. In the Olympic world, he was executive director of the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1990 to 1994, and has served as president of the International Baseball Federation. He was also president of Turner Sports from 1994 to 2000 and chairman and CEO of YankeeNets from 2000 to 2002.
Known best as the agent for baseball Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr., Jim Palmer and Kirby Puckett, Shapiro used that platform as a means to expand beyond the realm of sports representation, establishing himself as a sought-after expert in all forms of negotiation. The consulting firm he founded in 1999 has trained more than 350,000 executives and other professionals in negotiation. In recent years, Shapiro has expanded the firm’s programs to offer sales training, including seminars for staffs at professional sports teams.
Williams has spent nearly 50 years in sports, mostly in the NBA where his contributions have put him into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He began his NBA career in 1968 as business manager for the Philadelphia 76ers. In 1969, at age 29, he joined the Chicago Bulls as general manager. He later returned to the Sixers as general manager, where he won an NBA title in 1983. He then played an integral role in bringing the NBA to Orlando and has been a leading executive with the Magic since the franchise’s inception in 1987. His success as an executive also has made Williams an acclaimed motivational speaker.
For the first time, SportsBusiness Journal/Daily will profile each of these honorees and tell their impressive stories in separate issues, beginning with the Feb. 4 issue and running through the March 11 issue. In addition, the six Champions will be honored on April 3 at the IMG World Congress of Sports in Naples, Fla.
Phoenix FC finds home at ASU
Phoenix FC finds home at Arizona State
Phoenix FC, a franchise member of the USL Pro league, announced an agreement with Arizona State University to play home games at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe starting with the club’s inaugural season this year. At a news conference Dec. 11 (from left): Steve Patterson, ASU VP for university athletics; Dave Robertson, Phoenix FC coach; Tim Thomas, Phoenix FC president; and Rui Filipe Bento, Phoenix FC general manager.
Photo by:STEVE RODRIGUEZ / ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Big Papi swings for the fairways
The fifth annual David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic presented by Vitaminwater took place Dec. 6-9 at Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic. Proceeds from the event, held at the Sanctuary Resort and Punta Espada Golf Club in Punta Cana, benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which provides pediatric health care to children in New England and the Dominican Republic. With the Red Sox’s Ortiz (center) are Radegen Sports Management team members (from left) Jonathan Lampert, director of client marketing; Alex Radetsky, president and founder; Joe Sullivan, VP of operations; and Angelo Solomita, VP of business and legal affairs.
Photos by:CHAZ NIELL
Bilas talks hoops at Wendy's HQs
ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas recently traveled to Wendy’s headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, for an event to celebrate the beginning of college basketball and a new agreement between ESPN, the Los Angeles Athletic Club and Wendy’s around the John R. Wooden Award. From left: Emil Brolick, Wendy’s Corp. CEO; Bilas; Eric Johnson, ESPN EVP of multimedia sales; Sean Hanrahan, ESPN SVP of marketing solutions; Craig Bahner, Wendy’s Corp. CMO; Steve Hathaway, Los Angeles Athletic Club president; and Tricia Betron, ESPN SVP of multimedia sales.
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You see it every week in sports: Companies buy a sponsorship, and then they retain an agency to help them activate it. As John Wooden used to say, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Tom Haidinger, president of the reborn Advantage International of Darien, Conn., has strong opinions on property selection.
Photo by:MARC BRYAN-BROWN
There should be a lot more education than selling, but often that is not the case.”
About that “property first, strategy second” mindset: Companies and brands are being sold to constantly. When a good salesman is selling, and good properties have excellent salespeople, most things look very good. But when the buying is done without a strategy and before criteria for property selection is established, it is backward; it’s the tail wagging the dog. A client without a strategy, without a defined selection and acquisition process, is lost. They don’t know how to say yes and, more importantly, they don’t know how to say no. When you have one, saying no and saying yes to the right property becomes easy.
What’s needed before a first sales meeting with a property?: A properly constructed sponsorship strategy will speak to the core mission of the business and it will connect both to marketing metrics and business goals. If well established, that will reveal criteria through which the right properties will reveal themselves clearly; there’s really no need to listen to all the selling going on out there until you understand what could offer a solution.
What next?: Armed first with an activation plan, you can have a negotiation that pulls out everything valuable to you. That doesn’t mean you can’t modify a partnership once it’s under way. However, you should never walk into a relationship with a property that’s generic and make up your activation later. You’ll have inefficiencies built in.
How best to prepare for selecting a sponsorship: You should just never do a property deal until an activation plan is devised. The activation plan will inform what the property deal should look like. The deals need to be category- or even client-specific, not property-specific. An activation plan has all the parts that will hook the brand into consumers’ passion points. The less sexy parts are about goals and how to measure progress toward those goals. Once you establish those, you can see your way through the property acquisition piece with some sanity.
President, New Era Cap Co.
I went to a leadership conference recently, and they were talking about the fact that if you want to lead, you have to be physically ready. So I have been on a health kick, watching what I eat, and I hope to bring that into the new year and supply the energy needed to meet all these aggressive goals we’ve got as a company.
Director, 2012 Ryder Cup
I would love to take an international vacation in the coming year and teach my son to golf (with help from a professional).
Executive vice president of sports marketing, GMR Marketing
Personal: Support my wife and lifelong cheerleader, Kim, as she promotes her first book, “The Wisdom of Hair,” which drops March 5. No, I was not the inspiration and, yes, I see the irony in promoting a title that suggests hair equals intelligence.
Professional: I try to focus on our people and our culture as much as revenue growth, but it’s never enough. Those two areas ultimately drive our success more than any lead or prospect list.
Athletic director, University of Denver
Taking into account the hectic pace associated with collegiate athletics, my individual goals for 2013 are to focus on building a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, and to spend quality time with family and friends — my personal lifeblood.
On the sports business side of the ledger, we will continue to set high, achievable goals for all University of Denver teams. Since we will begin Summit League participation in 2013, our objective is to jump in and compete for NCAA postseason play right away — demonstrating that DU has one of the best Division I-AAA athletics programs in the country.
Executive producer and vice president of production, CBS Sports
The sports television business tends to consume a majority of our time. We lose track of friends and don’t stay in contact with family members. I am making a concerted effort to spend more time with family and friends.
Vice president of television and emerging media, LPGA
From an LPGA perspective, I’d like to see another thrilling Solheim Cup in August. Personally, I’d like to see Indiana University win the NCAA basketball championship. Also, a salary cap for college football coaches and less greed in sports.
JOIE CHITWOOD III
President, Daytona International Speedway
My business resolution for 2013 is to survive the marathon of Grand-Am, ARCA, NASCAR, and AMA testing/racing events that Daytona hosts in January, February and March.
My personal resolution is to spend more time with family — see above. Seriously, plan more “guy” trips with my father and my 11-year-old son (tarpon fishing in Boca Grande, Fla., was a big hit last year!) and finally make that family vacation to Hawaii happen instead of talking about it year after year.
Executive vice president and sports group president, Time Inc.
We’ve been very focused on serving clients through intense data on customers and programmatic solutions, but I want to get to solving problems with more big ideas. Data is critical, but without a big idea, you are never going to get your business to a bigger place. Data has to fuel creativity, not be an end unto itself.
Athletic director, Grand Valley State University
To continue with the same resolution I made for 2012, which is to NEVER AGAIN read a comment posted at the end of an article. It is a complete waste of time and energy for anyone in a decision-making position, including those of us in the sports world. It is equivalent to listening to your neighbor tell you which stocks to pick for your investment portfolio, which is a direct path to losing.
Hoping to see more collaboration across women’s sports — across sports, leagues and organizations — to raise the appeal, impact and market prowess of the great athletes competing every day.
President, Speedo USA and Calvin Klein Swimwear
My resolution for 2013 is to continue to preach the benefits of swimming and how it has transformed my own fitness routine. Every day is an opportunity to walk the walk and inspire those around you.
President, Ovations Food Services
Just to win as many championships as possible.
President and CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks
When it comes to our business, I would like to see the diversity in our workforce increase dramatically and better reflect the demographics of our market. Personally, I would like to enjoy more tennis with my oldest son, play more catch with my youngest son, and agree to more “mani-pedis” with my little girl.
Tournament director, Travelers Championship
Goals for 2013: Personal — I want to finish my next Tough Mudder in 90 minutes. Professional — In 2012, just over 100 charities benefited from the proceeds of the Travelers Championship. My personal goal is for us to reach 200 charities this year.
President, Engine Shop
Business: My resolution is the same every year: continue to work hard with people I enjoy and have fun while doing it. The goal is to succeed, but too often we forget that sports (whether for work or play) is supposed to be fun.
Personal: Improve the quality of the time that I spend with family. This year I’m trading golf for fishing — no preteen wants to spend six hours on a Saturday with his dad. Plus we don’t have to stop talking while the other person is casting.
To focus on what is important and less time on things I can’t control. Making time to read more books.
Senior vice president of operations and administration, CBS Sports Network
To better manage the daily stress.
Vice president of social marketing, IMRE
To start (and actually finish) one Tumblr project this year. To change the way brands sponsor athletes by making sure every sponsorship includes innovative use of athlete/influencer’s social channels/graph
I have two personal ones. Of course, the age-old one is to lose weight, but I really mean it this time! Second, I want to slow down and enjoy the world spinning around me with my family.
Business: Somehow, some way, I pray we can find some stability in the economy and that will allow us to continue seeing the positive growth of GoVision and our clients’ businesses.
Managing director of marketing, U.S. Olympic Committee
Business: Deliver against our promise of world-class strategic thinking and customer service for our USOC partners, expanding our activation window throughout the calendar year. Spread the word more widely about how badly our Olympians and Paralympians need corporate and public support.
Personal: Refine my luge skills, spend more time with my wife, Rosemary, and my kids, Eva and Gibby. And improve my soccer coaching skills — their teams went a combined 3-17 last season!
Spotlight: Terry McIntyre, director of business development at sports venues, Shawmut Design and Construction
Shawmut Design and Construction recently named Terry McIntyre its director of business development for sports venues. McIntyre comes to Shawmut after spending 18 years in the newspaper industry. As USA Today’s sports marketing director, McIntyre’s list of strategic partnerships included Anheuser-Busch, Nike, FedEx, Chrysler and ESPN. He spoke recently with SportsBusiness Journal staff writer Anna Hrushka.
■ New title: Director of business development for sports venues at Shawmut Design and Construction.
■ Previous title: Sports marketing director at USA Today.
■ First job: Automotive sales representative for the Palos Verdes News.
■ Education: Bachelor’s in English, Pepperdine University, 1978; MBA in marketing, Regis University, 2004.
■ Resides: Sante Fe, N.M.
■ Grew up: Palos Verdes, Calif.
■ Executive most admired: Tom Curley. “Tom was one of the geniuses who helped create USA Today. His vision in the late ’80s and through the ’90s helped create the Nation’s Newspaper.”
■ Brand most admired: The NFL. “In the world of professional sports, the NFL has no peers. The model that Pete Rozelle created way back when still exists today, and it’s what differentiates the NFL from all other professional sports organizations. All other sports organizations try to model themselves after the NFL.”
■ Favorite vacation spot: Carmel, Calif.
■ Last book read: “The Kings of Cool,” by Don Winslow.
■ Last movie seen: “Lincoln.”
■ Favorite movie: “The Searchers.”
■ Favorite musician/band: Miles Davis.
■ What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Helping sports facilities compete with the home theater experience, which is siphoning off attendance. What we do at Shawmut is build fan experience. So the challenge is to help sports venues transform their facilities from a place where people come to watch a sports event, to a destination where they have an incredible experience beyond the game.
■ What is the biggest risk you've taken in your career?
The one I’m doing right now. I spent over 30 years in the media business. Leaving the sports media business for a construction management company was a little scary, but there is such tremendous growth in this category. Shawmut is doing such incredible work, not only in sports facilities but high-end retail, restaurants, hotels and academic.
■ What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
My 18 years at USA Today, where I helped shape the strategy for USA Today’s sports section. We created revenue-generating relationships with virtually every league and major sports association.
■ What is your biggest professional disappointment?
Probably watching the demise of the newspaper industry. I spent a long time in that business. The New York Times is the last great newspaper in this country and it’s sad to see what’s happening in newsrooms across the country. The journalistic quality is going fast and newspaper companies are cutting budgets to try and survive. Readers have migrated to the Internet. The newspaper industry was very slow to respond to the Internet challenge, and there’s so much competition.
■ What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
In my spare time I have taught at the college level. I’m teaching now part time at the University of New Mexico, and I tell my students, “Make sure you have a well-rounded education.” Sports organizations aren’t looking for fans. They’re looking for professionals who understand business, who understand sales and marketing, who understand how to drive a sports organization forward from a business perspective.
■ What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
The increasing demand at sports venues to offer the latest technologies and best fan experience. Venues are trying to one-up each other. Jerry Jones kind of raised the bar at Cowboys Stadium. Now every newer, renovated venue wants to outdo Jerry.