SBJ/March 18-24, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Adam Barrett, tournament director, Sony Open

Adam Barrett was a 20-something CPA in south Florida in the late 1980s, bored with his job. One of his clients was in the same office building that housed the administrative home of the Lipton Championships tennis event. The young tournament, then just a few years old, was moving its accounting function to Florida from Lipton’s New Jersey corporate headquarters. The tournament planned to hire someone to handle the function, and Barrett won the job, starting in 1990. In 2003, he became director for the tournament, which is now known as the Sony Open and is one of America’s premier tennis events.  
 — Compiled by Daniel Kaplan

Photo by: SONY OPEN TENNIS

I fell in love with the event business.


On this year’s event, which starts this week:
Ticket sales are strong, sponsors are strong, we have local and global sponsors, governmental support has been great. … We continue to grow and crowds continue to grow.

Any concerns about the potential sale of event owner IMG?: My philosophy on life is just continue doing the best job you can. … These are things I cannot control. I will run the best event I can, and hopefully it will work for the event, it will work out for myself, and it will work out for my staff. I tell my team I believe we control our own destiny with strong results.
 
On the state of tennis in the U.S.: Globally, tennis is strong. Right now, we are waiting for our next superstars. … Tennis is good in the U.S.; it is not great in the U.S.

Reaction to rival BNP Paribas Open’s increased spending: What Indian Wells is doing is great for them and great for the sport. It is creating and elevating the business that we are in. I completely respect what they are doing. … They are fortunate to have an owner [Larry Ellison] who has the ability to write a check and make these things happen.

How does that affect the Sony Open?: I continue to believe we will do the best we can. … We have a great environment, between the ocean and the bay; we have south Florida weather; we have an international crowd that brings energy.

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