SBJ/March 10-16, 2014/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40: Andrew Lustgarten


TOM O'CONNOR / NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES

Andrew 
Lustgarten

League: NBA
Title: SVP, business and strategic development
Age: 36
Where born: New York City
Education: University of Pennsylvania (B.A.), Columbia Business School (MBA)
Career background: Bear Stearns, media and entertainment investment banking; Cablevision Systems Corp., VP, finance; NBA, special assistant to the commissioner
Family: Wife, Rachel; children Charlotte (3) and Marcus (4 months)

Favorite apps: Spotify, Waze, Kayak, NBA Game Time.
Favorite way to unwind: Spending time with my family, playing golf and watching a basketball game.
Cause supported: Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.
I have a fear of … : Heights, crowded rooms and running out of gas on the LIE.
Most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : Heli-skiing in the Alps.
2014 will be a good year if … : I can help Adam [Silver] grow the global basketball game, and personally would love to break 90 on Bethpage Black.

As a kid growing up in New York, Andrew Lustgarten likely knew more about sports marketing than most youngsters, given that he’d talk business with his father, Marc, who was chairman of Madison Square Garden.

“My father was an early person in the regional sports business. I’d sit at the table with my dad, and we’d talk,” Lustgarten said. “That was my real entry into the business.”

Those early lessons have paid off handsomely, as Lustgarten now works for the NBA as senior vice president of business and strategic development. It’s a job he has held since 2012 and one that has given him insight and a key role into nearly every one of the league’s major business initiatives.

Lustgarten began working for the NBA in 2007, as a special assistant to former NBA Commissioner David Stern, whom Lustgarten first met when he was a kid attending the 1987 All-Star Game in Chicago. Fast forward two decades, and Lustgarten joined the league after working in investment banking followed by a stint working at Cablevision. His first job at the NBA was to help raise capital for NBA China. This year, he will play a key role in helping the league negotiate a new media deal while also pushing ahead the league’s international growth efforts.

SBJ Podcast:
Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and project editor Mark Mensheha talk about the Forty Under 40 selection process and the class of 2014.

“I always say that I do a good job when I make other people look good,” Lustgarten said. “If [NBA Commissioner] Adam Silver or [Deputy Commissioner] Mark Tatum looks good, I know I am doing my job right.”

Said Silver: “Andy has a vast knowledge of complex business forecasting methods and his efforts on our behalf have been crucial in our negotiations over the last CBA, the formation of our revenue-sharing plan, and the identification of innovative business approaches to grow our business globally. He is extraordinarily smart, insightful and strategic.”

— John Lombardo

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