• The Champions: Russ Granik

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    During yesterday's luncheon at the 2015 IMG World Congress of Sports, we presented video tributes to each member of the 2015 class of The Champions, Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business.

    Here's our video for Russ Granik.

    To read our profile of Granik from SportsBusiness Journal, click here.

    Tags: Champion, Champions, ING, IMG, IMG World Congress Of Sports, World Congress of Sports Dont use ever
  • The Champions: David Falk

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    During yesterday's luncheon at the 2015 IMG World Congress of Sports, we presented video tributes to each member of the 2015 class of The Champions, Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business.

    Here's our video for David Falk.

    To read our profile of Falk from SportsBusiness Journal, click here.

    Tags: Champion, Champions, ING, IMG, IMG World Congress Of Sports, World Congress of Sports Dont use ever
  • World Congress Wake Up, Day 2!

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    World Congress Wake Up, Day 2! What we learned in Day 1; What’s ahead for today

    -- What to Expect for Day 2. There’s lots of buzz already for our interview this morning with Adidas Group North America’s Mark King. We can’t promise that he’ll tell us why Adidas walked by the NBA’s court apparel deal, but we can promise that Terry Lefton will ask.

    -- Outlook: It was chilly enough last night that AEG brought out heat lamps for its party on Target Terrace at. L.A. Live. About 50 people, including Geoff Lester of StubHub, Mike Shaw of Groupon and Todd Kline of the Miami Dolphins, braved the elements to sup on red velvet whoopee pies. Partly cloudy today; high of 71.

    -- Mr. Popularity: Disney Chairman and CEO Bog Iger was a big draw in the Green Room Wednesday morning. Giants partner/DC United co-owner Will Chang introduced himself as "'Million Dollar Arm Will Chang," which started a conversation about Chang's role in the film, which you can read about here. Later, MLB Commish Rob Manfred told Iger to pick a date as to when the two would catch a game the next time Iger is in NYC…and Proskauer's Brad Ruskin told Iger how his daughter met the Disney CEO during his recent trip to India.

    -- Tonight…We Are Young…: Don’t forget tonight’s Forty Under 40 Awards Banquet, always a fun, slightly raucous time. (We’ll see if CAA Sports can keep its streak going as the loudest table at the dinner…) For the first time EVER, all Forty Under 40 winners will be in attendance. Well done, Class of 2015. Luminaries expected at the banquet include Universal Studios boss Jeff Shell in support of his brother; Tom Ricketts supporting Colin Faulkner; Jimmy Haslam and his wife; Jed York; Lew Wolf; Casey Wasserman. Event hosts: NFL Network’s Scott Hanson and Amber Theoharis. Other things you need to know: Registration starts at 6:30; dinner starts at 7:30; and the full parties will hit the bar by 10.

    -- Party Circuit: Expect to see some bleary eyes following a night of parties last night. Remember, folks: Our first session opens at 8:10 a.m. AEG’s cocktail reception hosted by AEG Senior VP Russell Silvers, Senior VP Nick Baker and Chief Revenue Officer Todd Goldstein. … Meanwhile, WME/IMG co-CEO Patrick Whitesell and his wife, Lauren, held a reception at his home for employees from far-flung offices who were in town for World Congress. Some of them had never met. Food, catered by Spencer Gray from Jack and Ben's - the WME in-house commissary at the company's Beverly Hills office, included a range of passed appetizers such as truffle grilled cheese, crispy arancini cake and chicken tinga tacos. Guest list included Ray DeWeese (40 Under 40 award recipient), Global COO Jason Lublin, biz affairs prez Karen Brodkin, Jill Smoller (agent to Serena, Eugenie and others), and global sales prez Greg D’Alba. Shuttles were provided from L.A. Live. … Elsewhere, Reed Bergman's Playbook Inc. hosted a dinner for 20 in a private room at Mastro's in Beverly Hills. Guests included WCOS panelist and Harman CMO Ralph Santana, NFL Net's Rich Eisen, fellow WCOS panelist and Bayern Munich FC Managing Detector Rudy Vidal and former 40 Under 40 winners Craig Karmazin and Rohan Oza. … Proskauer hosted about 60 people at Faith & Flower, a short walk from L.A. Live. Guests munched on seared petrale sole, ribeye, cavatelli and confit duck leg. Joe Leccese did a welcome toast and notably recognized SBJ/SBD Champion Russ Granik, who worked with Proskauer for years when at the NBA, as well as to the improved health of Sal Galatioto

    -- Overheard at the JW Marriot bar: Jeff Marks of Premier Partnerships was back from one of his frequent jaunts from L.A. to Atlanta, where Premier is helping the Falcons sell marketing assists. As for latest on selling naming rights? "We're very optimistic" a deal will be done soon, Marks said.

    --What People Are Talking About Today: When will ESPN launch Jason Whitlock’s new site? Is the future of journalism rooted in Peter King’s MMQB? Will FIFA's Thierry Weil talk about Qatar?... What will John Walsh’s post-ESPN career look like? And Bayern Munich's Rudolf Vidal will discuss the benefits of the brand's NY office and how AS Roma is making progress under it's new U.S.-based ownership. What a time to have LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner speak at our event. Just this morning, he announced a $1.5 billion deal to buy online learning company Lynda.com — a move that is sure to be discussing during his morning interview.

    -- Spotted: Was that really MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred standing alone in the JW Marriott lobby yesterday morning? He was waiting to have breakfast with his son Michael. But the sight of the solitary figure struck us an unusual, given that Bud Selig almost certainly would have had some security or entourage in tow.

    -- Busman’s Holiday: Cubs VP of sales and partnerships Colin Faulkner (a Forty Under 40 honoree this year) and Dodgers CFO Tucker Kain (a Forty Under 40 honoree last year) took in the Dodgers-Padres game last night.

    -- Shout out: Kudos to the NFL’s Dawn Hudson, who talked openly about damage to the NFL after its tumultuous year: “I agreed to take this job before the Ray Rice video went viral. I saw this as an opportunity for change. Sports are a big platform. You can make a difference. We are starting to get credit for making a difference. I can’t look you in the face and tell you there wasn’t any damage at all.”

    -- Oh, to be a fly on the wall: Seated on casual couches in the Green Room: Russ Granik, Len Elmore and David Falk talking labor relations with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

    -- They Are The Champions: There were some great speeches at the Champions luncheon. David Falk: “The story in SportsBusiness Journal about me was easily the nicest thing ever written about me in the media.” Meanwhile, Mike Trager read quotes from a Sports Illustrated story on the future of sports media from the mid-1980s and showed his deftness with new technology by taking a selfie….. Former NCAA Commissioner Cedric Dempsey joined Jim and Pat Host in honoring Tom Jernstedt…..Previous Champion honoree Alan Rothenberg attended to pay tribute to this year’s class….Donna de Varona called out kudos to Special Olympians and members from the Special Olympics World Games, which takes place in July in L.A… Spotted at the Champions lunch: AEG CEO Phil Anschutz having lunch with a full table of AEG Sports executives.

    -- Champions videos: If you want to take another look at the Champions videos that we showed at the luncheon yesterday, we’ve posted Donna de Varona’s on our On The Ground blog, and will be posting others throughout the day.

    -- An Alan Arkin Sighting: No. It’s just Galatioto Sports Partners’ Sal Galatioto. But a star-sighting tourist in the JW Marriott lobby thought he was the legendary actor. At least nobody mistook John Skipper for Adam Silver this year (that we know of…)

    -- Women in the Biz: At the annual '"Wasserwomen" WCOS gathering of sports marketers, which has grown to 40 women from six in the last five years, we saw the NFL sales and marketing heads, CMO Dawn Hudson and SVP Sponsorship and Partnership Management Renie Anderson, along with Green Bay Packers VP Marketing and Fan Engagement Gabrielle Dow, NASCAR SVP Jill Gregory, and NBA CMO Pam El and SVP Biz Dev Rachel Jacobson.

    -- Live, and live on tape: We did live-streaming interviews yesterday with everyone from three team owners early in the day to marketers from brands and properties at the end of the day. One of the best of the day: John Skipper took a shot at FIFA for its World Cup deal and addressed the "fake John Skipper" that made a prank call to a DC radio station. See all the archived interviews here, as well as watch new ones that we’ll do today, starting with Mark King at 8 a.m. PT.

    -- FOLLOW THIS!: Remember, to keep up with all the action today, follow us on Twitter @SBJSBD, and keep checking the event hashtag, #sbjwcs.

    -- Stories that people will be talking about today: You should bookmark Wright Thompson’s ESPN.com story on the life and death of UTEP’s college basketball coach Jason Rabedeaux. Here’s the lede: “Jason Rabedeaux died without shoes in the back seat of a Saigon taxicab, somewhere between his apartment tower on the bleak outskirts of the city and a hospital with a name he couldn’t pronounce.” See it here.

    In TODAY’S BUZZ: Paris will bid to host the ’24 Games: The City Council on Monday will vote to "decide whether to make a bid." Paris "would only bid for 2024, not 2024 and 2028 should it fail for the former."

    LAUGH TRACK: Jimmy Fallon: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council said that the Cleveland Indians sell the best hotdog in baseball, although ‘National Hotdog and Sausage Council’ sounds more like the way you describe a party where there are too many dudes. Actually, baseball might be in a little trouble.

    Top speaker: Bob Iger. An all-star crowd, including Adam Silver and John Skipper, sat in the crowd to watch the long-time media executive speak.
    Best moment: Did Brian Burke really compare gambling to heroin?
    Best laugh line: Brian Burke (We know. We know. We listed him twice…). The Calgary Flames exec had this to say about the unintended consequences of an emphasis on player safety: “We’re at risk of having a generation of bubble boys.”
    Best dressed: Always the fashionable Larry Miller from Jordan Brand, with purple hues.
    Most dressed alike: Two of our friends from Omnigon. They swear they did not plan this.

    What did we miss? Let us know at rnethery@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

    Tags: ING, Adidas, North America, NBA, AEG, GE, Target, StubHub, Miami Dolphins, DC United, MLB, India
  • The Champions: Len Elmore

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    During yesterday's luncheon at the 2015 IMG World Congress of Sports, we presented video tributes to each member of the 2015 class of The Champions, Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business.

    Here's our video for Len Elmore.

    To read our profile of Elmore from SportsBusiness Journal, click here.

    Tags: ING, IMG, IMG World Congress Of Sports, World Congress of Sports Dont use ever, Champion, Champions
  • The Champions: Donna de Varona

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    During today's luncheon at the 2015 IMG World Congress of Sports, we presented video tributes to each member of the 2015 class of The Champions, Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business.

    Here's our video for Donna de Varona.

    To read our profile of de Varona from SportsBusiness Journal, click here.

    Tags: Champion, Champions, ING
  • World Congress Wake Up! Sights and Sounds From L.A. Live

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    -- Welcome To L.A.: It will be a full house this morning as the World Congress of Sports kicks off at L.A. Live. There are nearly 850 names are on the delegate list – an all-time high. Attendees started descending on the JW Marriott as early as Tuesday morning. The WCOS begins in just about an hour – and already there’s buzz around the appearances of Disney’s Bob Iger, MLB’s Rob Manfred and the often quotable Brian Burke of the Flames. The only question that interests us: will he wear a tie?

    -- Outlook: Sunny and lively: BTW, we promise better weather today than the overcast and occasional downpour that greeted early arrivals yesterday. More than once we heard, “For this you brought us to L.A.?” Sunny today, high of 70. If you aren’t here, you should be!

    -- What Was Hot Last Night: IMG/WME and SBJ/SBD hosted their VIP speaker dinner at Nest at WP24, at the top of the Ritz Carlton. Offering spectacular views of downtown L.A., guests munched on lobster and veggie spring rolls before sitting down to a dinner of Hong Kong Style Steamed Salmon and Szechuan Style Prime Flat Iron Steak. Seen around: new MLB Commish Rob Manfred and top PR exec Pat Courtney; NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and PR exec Jamey Horan; WME/IMG's Patrick Whitesell, along with Christian Muirhead; AEG out in full force with Dan Beckerman, Todd Goldstein and Michael Roth; and SBJ/SBD 2015 Champions Tom Jernstedt, David Falk, Mike Trager, Donna de Varona and Len Elmore. Jim Host and his wife were there, as well. Also seen: Proskauer's Joe Leccese, Howard Ganz and Brad Ruskin; DC United co-Owner Will Chang; MLS's Gary Stevenson and Howard Handler.

    -- Busman’s Holiday: Last night, the NBA’s Mike Bass took in the Clippers-Lakers game at Staples Center, while ESPN’s Mike Soltys was holed up in his hotel room watching – you guessed it – ESPN. An employee of the league office, Bass can’t cheer for either team. But a few celebratory shouts could be heard from Soltys’ room as his favored Connecticut Huskies beat Notre Dame in women’s college basketball.

    -- The Place To Be: Last night’s bar scene at “Pikes” – the JW Marriott bar – was solid. Spotted: Brad Sims and Mike Tomon catching up in the bar; Clay Walker holding court; and USOC CEO Scott Blackmun talking on his cell phone. Learfield's Marc Jenkins flew in from Indy, was seen catching up with Norris Scott from NASCAR. Others seen propping up the bar: Brian Burke, Ed Horne, Subway’s Paul Bamundo, Scott Milleisen and Brian Kantarian from JP Morgan Chase.

    -- Early Iger buzz: Expect a full house for Disney’s Bob Iger interview at 10:30 PT. Word is that he’s pumped about talking sports – a topic that he rarely addresses publicly. Look for him to talk about everything from his early days starting at ABC Sports to ESPN’s role in the success of Disney. Other topics: the future of the cable bundle and Disney’s latest OTT offering. Expected in the standing-room only crowd: ESPN President John Skipper and NBA commish Adam Silver.

    --Manfred’s mission: The new MLB leader – two-and-a-half months on the job – will lay out his blueprint to speed up the game by 30 minutes (We kid! We kid!). But seriously, he’s expected to talk about everything from pace of play to gambling to his new leadership team. He will be grilled on what the answer is for MASN, what’s happening in Oakland and Tampa and if we’ll ever see in-market streaming.

    -- Hitting home: Manfred said opening day finally brought it home to him that he is really the commissioner of baseball. From today’s NYT: "It was one of those moments where it really hit me. They are about to play a game, with my name on the baseball. It's an amazing feeling."

    -- What People Are Asking: Will Mark Tatum talk about the NBA’s new jersey sponsorship? How will Scott Blackmun position Boston 2024? What is Bill Daly’s take on Las Vegas ticket sales? Will Oliver Luck touch on a new governance model for the NCAA? Place your bets -- Who will make the most news today?

    -- WCOS LIVE! Neulion and SBJ/SBD bring you WCOS LIVE! – Starting at 7:30 PT/10:30 ET, we’ll bring you a full slate of live streaming interviews. Many of the boldfaced names we’ve already mentioned will appear, including Skipper, Silver, Blackmun, Luck, Manfred, Daly, plus NBA owners Lacob (Warriors) and Ranadive (Kings). One-minute registration gets you access to the live stream and all archived videos: http://worldcongresslive.neulion.com/#!home

    -- HASHTAG FOLLOW THIS!: To keep up with all the action today, follow us on Twitter @SBJSBD, and keep checking the event hashtag, #sbjwcs.

    -- Don’t Miss Today: The Champions lunch is always a hit and, for the first time, all six members of this year’s class will attend: Mike Trager, David Falk, Donna de Varona, Len Elmore, Russ Granik and Tom Jernstedt. Adam Silver is expected to be at the lunch in support of Granik. – Back to back CMO panels: It will be interesting to see the different strategies of both the property side and brand side CMOs. For the property side CMOs, it marks one of the first major public appearances by Dawn Hudson since she joined the NFL. It certainly is one of the few times newcomers Hudson and Pam El of the NBA have been on the stage with their league peers….Cocktails in the Diamond Ballroom Foyer will easily be the place to be for networking, gossiping (no, we don’t do that!) and catching up.

    -- Early Risers? Virtually no one at the LA Live Starbucks this morning. Maybe all the early-rising East Coasters had already come and gone by the time we stumbled in. There were a few in the gym though. Most notable early sighting: AEG chief Phil Anschutz power walking the conference level of the JW Marriott.

    -- What’s Up Tonight? What we know about: Proskauer is feteing VIPs at Faith and Flower, hosted by Joe Leccese, Rob Freeman, Howard Ganz, Wayne Katz, Jon Oram and Brad Ruskin. AEG is hosting cocktails at Target Terrace, and we hear that the Boston Bruins’ Charlie Jacobs and Delaware North’s Rick Abramson are hosting an exclusive dinner at Patina Restaurant with executive chef Paul Lee. Good luck getting into any of those parties. Everyone else can probably be found at the lobby bar after 10.

    -- You Should Be Reading: Stories that people will be talking about today: Have you read the Vanity Fair piece on the mess that is NBC News yet? Must reading for people who like media gossip, as the story has details on future Fox Sports executive Jamie Horowitz’s short, tempestuous tenure there. “It was then, Horowitz’s defenders argue, that Matt Lauer intervened to get Horowitz fired.”



    IN TODAY’S BUZZ: Rory McIlroy is the most marketable golfer in the world, according to an exclusive survey of more than 40 industry marketers, tournament directors and media conducted by SportsBusiness Daily. McIlroy received 56% of all first-place votes to take the top spot, outdistancing second-place Rickie Fowler and third-place Tiger Woods. Check out Morning Buzz for more: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Morning-Buzz.aspx

    LAUGH TRACK: This Jimmy Fallon joke made us laugh: “Big upset in March Madness over the weekend. On Saturday, the Wisconsin Badgers beat the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats to play in tonight’s national championship. When asked how they felt about the loss, Kentucky’s players were already in the NBA so they could care less."

    Our Favorites: Yes, you will want to see who wins our “best of” kudos. We’re going to give shout outs to our top speaker, best moments, best laugh line, best panel, best dressed speaker, the best question and, of course, best moderators. Look for it in your email box tomorrow morning.

    WHAT DID WE MISS?: Any parties we should put on our calendar tonight? Any back room deals being made? Let us know at rnethery@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

    Tags: ING, World Congress of Sports Dont use ever, ATT, Marriott, CES, GE, MLB, BT, IMG, NHL, AEG, Champion, Champions, DC United, MLS
  • TV Timeout: Play Ball!

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    ESPN’s Keith Olbermann addressed the way in which the Angels have handled the recent substance abuse relapse by OF Josh Hamilton, “Unfortunately today, we accept the premise of a sports team trying to change the rules of a dark part of the game retroactively long after they had been agreed upon so that the team could save as much as $23 million, maybe as much as $83 million. Because without a complex series of rationalizations like that for amoral behavior, the sports business itself would vanish before sunrise and $23 million will buy a lot of rationalizations and it turns the Angels and baseball’s attitude towards Josh Hamilton into some kind of business decision over which the fan shrugs his shoulders instead of recognizing it for the human atrocity it is” (“Olbermann,” ESPN2, 4/6).

    TECH SAVVY: MLBAM President of Business & Media Bob Bowman, in response to a Wall Street Journal report that the league would stop fans from streaming game footage said, “Obviously, we're a friend of technology. Every social media technology that’s come along, whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and now Periscope, they've all been fans and friends of baseball. So we expect our fans to use it. We don't expect them to stream a game. That's absurd” (“Squawk Alley,” CNBC, 4/7).

    NATIONALS HONOR: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said of the Nationals hosting the ’18 All-Star Game, “The Nationals and the entire Lerner family were absolutely dogged in their pursuit of this All-Star Game. I thought somebody was going to ask me ‘how dogged’ and I was concerned about how I was going to answer that” (“Mets-Nationals,” MASN, 4/6).

  • Podcast: Will Pac-12 blow up rights model?

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    College writer Michael Smith and editor Tom Stinson talk about the Pac-12's plans to study rolling up multimedia rights and selling them across all 12 schools, and how that could alter the college rights model as we know it.

    Tags: Media, Colleges, Marketing and Sponsorship, SBJSBD Podcast
  • ESPN agrees to buy stake in DraftKings

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    The stakes in daily fantasy keep getting bigger.

    DraftKings is close to getting significant financial backing from arguably the most powerful brand in sports: ESPN.

    Industry sources said ESPN has agreed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars for up to a 20 percent stake in DraftKings. The major investment will be part of the daily fantasy sports operator’s next round of venture capital financing in May.

    As part of the deal, DraftKings will sign a three-year advertising commitment that will, in turn, pay hundreds of millions back to ESPN, sources said. The ad commitment will give DraftKings exclusive status on much of ESPN’s fantasy content across all of the company’s media platforms, including fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry’s columns and podcasts.

    ESPN and DraftKings declined to comment. Last month, DraftKings Chief Executive Jason Robins said he was actively developing a Series D venture round that would value the company at $1 billion. ESPN’s investment could increase that, and 10-figure valuations are generally reserved for only the hottest of startups.

    Robins spoke to SportsBusiness Journal last month about the developing investment talks, saying, “We’re spending a lot of time thinking about what’s next … this space presents a huge amount of opportunities. We’re not only changing how fantasy is played, but more fundamentally, how fans engage with sports.”

    Neither DraftKings nor its chief rival FanDuel have turned a profit. Armed with capital, a battle for official team and league affiliations has raged over the past year, and each now holds dozens of such relationships. The NHL and MLB Advanced Media each are aligned with DraftKings, and the NBA last fall took an equity position and a board seat with FanDuel.

    In that scrum for partnerships, ESPN remained a holdout, though it is one of the largest and most prominent players in traditional fantasy sports. Given ESPN’s expansive reach, a formal alignment represents a major win for Boston-based DraftKings.

    “An affiliation with ESPN is industry redefining,” said Geoff Reiss, a former ESPN executive who was in a similar position two decades ago when ESPN parent Disney bought Starwave, which became ESPN.com. “ESPN represents the largest and most consistent promotional platform in sports for daily fantasy. The only other kingmaker as far as this industry goes is the NFL.”

    Industry sources said ESPN elected to buy into DraftKings after a “bake-off” in which executives for both DraftKings and FanDuel pitched their companies and their business prospects to senior ESPN executives, including President John Skipper.

    Among the key factors elevating Draft-Kings in the minds of ESPN executives was its less cluttered and conflicting ownership structure. DraftKings’ last round of financing, a $41 million Series C last summer, was led by venture capital groups such as The Raine Group and prior investors such as Atlas Venture and Redpoint Ventures. FanDuel, by comparison, already has media partners among its investor group as Comcast Ventures and NBC Sports Ventures participated in its $70 million Series D that closed in September, and Rick Cordella, NBC Sports Group senior vice president of digital media, is a board observer for the company.

    Earlier this year, an ESPN group led by John Kosner, executive vice president of digital and print media, was charged with figuring out how ESPN could participate in daily fantasy, which has seen meteoric growth over the past year. Kosner’s team considered multiple options, including launching its own rival daily fantasy operation and an equity investment. That study reached the highest levels of ESPN parent Walt Disney Co., which presented some issues given Disney’s long-standing opposition to gambling.

    But daily fantasy operators, and the fantasy sports industry at large, have sought to create clear distinctions between gambling and daily fantasy, including the discouragement of marketing through overt gambling-style terms such as “rake.” And the runaway growth of daily fantasy — DraftKings alone is projecting to increase its revenue fivefold this year to $150 million — has proved too much to ignore.

    Staff writer Eric Fisher contributed to this report.

    Tags: ESPN, ING, GE, CES, Media, ATT, Ping, And 1, Ally, UPS, NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, Comcast, NBC, Dell, Walt Disney
  • Getting to know this year’s Forty Under 40: What they like to read

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    We asked each of the 40:

    What is a book you would recommend?

    Here are their responses.

    Michael Allen: “Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson

    Chris Allphin: For practical purposes, “Presentation Zen,” by Garr Reynolds; easy way to make a massive change in the way you communicate. And for life-changing inspiration, “Where Men Win Glory,” by Jon Krakauer.

    Renie Anderson: “Bossypants,” by Tina Fey

    Lyle Ayes: “The Art of Fielding,” by Chad Harbach

    Nick Baker: “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead,” by Jerry Weintraub

    Tom Brady: Two that I recommend consistently are “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen,” by Christopher McDougall; and “Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II,” by Robert Kurson.

    Sashi Brown: “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins

    Nicholas Carey: Anything by Michael Lewis, whether it’s “The Blind Side,” “Liar’s Poker” or “Moneyball.”

    Justin Connolly: “John Adams,” by David McCollough

    Juan Delgado: “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” by Ben Horowitz

    Ray DeWeese: “The Seven Storey Mountain,” by Thomas Merton

    Jennifer Duberstein: “The Giving Tree,” by Shel Silverstein. (Even for adults, it echoes a good lesson.)

    Janet Duch: “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee

    Rosalyn Durant: “The Survivors Club,” by Ben Sherwood

    Colin Faulkner: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey

    Tom Griffiths: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey

    Eric Guthoff: “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins; and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” by Dr. Seuss

    Flavil Hampsten: “The Perfect SalesForce” by Derek Gatehouse, or “Who Moved My Cheese?,” by Spencer Johnson

    Seth Jacobs: “The Book of Basketball,” by Bill Simmons, for a sports book; “East of Eden,” by John Steinbeck, for a classic

    Dave Kaval: “Grinding it Out” — the autobiography of Ray Kroc

    Chris Klein: “The Boys in the Boat,” by Daniel James Brown

    AJ Maestas: “Freakonomics,” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

    Paraag Marathe: “The Namesake,” by Jhumpa Lahiri; a great book about growing up in an immigrant family.

    Chris Marinak: “As They See ’Em,” by Bruce Weber (about life as an MLB umpire).

    Stephen McArdle: “Permission to Parent,” by Robin Berman, for figuring out how to raise a toddler for the first time; “The Lord of the Rings,” by J.R.R. Tolkien, for a book that I can pick up no matter how many times I’ve read it.

    Scott Milleisen: “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth,” by Chris Hadfield

    Dan Reed: Before you watch the next season of “Game of Thrones,” read the “Song of Ice and Fire” books by George R.R. Martin. They’re fantastic and better than the show. (As a shorter alternative: “The Bone Clocks,” by David Mitchell.)

    Jason Robins: “The Stranger,” by Albert Camus

    Frank Saviano: “Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf”

    André Schunk: “Catch 22,” by Joseph Heller

    Chad Seigler: “I Feel Great,” by Pat Croce

    Dan Shell: John Feinstein’s “The Last Amateurs” or Jim Collins’ “Good to Great”

    Brad Sims: Anything by Michael Lewis; not just his sports books (“Moneyball,” “The Blind Side”), but I also love his books on the economy and Wall Street (“Liar’s Poker,” “The Big Short,” “Boomerang,” “Flash Boys”).  

    Jared Smith: “Start with Why,” by Simon Sinek

    Teri Patterson Smith: “Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson

    Meredith Starkey: “Lincoln,” by Gore Vidal

    Mike Tomon: “Outliers,” by Malcolm Gladwell

    Danny Townsend: “One Crowded Hour,” by Tim Bowden

    Jennifer van Dijk: “The 48 Laws of Power,” by Robert Greene

    Nicole Jeter West: “Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive,” by T.D. Jakes

    Tags: On The Ground, Forty Under 40
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