THE DAILY PRESENTS FIRST INDUSTRIALIST OF THE YEAR AWARD
As we said in September when we opened nominations forSPORTS INDUSTRIALIST OF THE YEAR, our aim is to recognize oneexecutive each year as the person who best embodies THE DAILY'svision of the sports industry -- namely, sports as entertainment,sports as a distinct industry, and sports as a global business.Ours is a post-modern view of sports recognizing its reach andimpact beyond the playing field. This year one nominee stood far above the rest -- notbecause of his title, position, or profile, but because no otherexecutive better personifies the total vision of THE SPORTSBUSINESS DAILY. That nominee and our selection for the 1995SPORTS INDUSTRIALIST OF THE YEAR is DAVID STERN. RATIONALE: Since he was unanimously elected the NBA's 4thcommissioner in '84, David Stern has worked tirelessly to buildthe league into a global entertainment powerhouse. In turn, hehas had a strong hand in reshaping the sports industry andcontributing to its growth and maturation over the last decade.David Stern understands the post-modern view of sports because,in large part, he created it. During 1995, David Stern and his team maintained theleague's partnership with its players -- masterfully handling theowners' lockout and negotiations with the NBPA; protecting laborpeace into the 21st Century; and, continuing the NBA's unmatcheddistinction as the only major sports league in North Americanever to lose a game to a work stoppage or labor dispute. Thisis quite an achievement in a year when keeping the peace withlabor, and even among management, has become a major challenge. Under Stern's leadership, the NBA continued to grow andflourish this year with expansion into Toronto and Vancouver; thesigning of international TV deals with Channel 4 in England, TVAsahi in Japan, and TV Azteca in Mexico; the opening of newleague offices in London, Mexico City, and Miami; renewedcorporate partnerships with AT&T, Nestle, and IBM; a newsponsorship deal with American Express; the opening of new,state-of-the-art arenas in Portland, Seattle, and Boston; strongsupport and backing for the USA Women's team; the launch of oneof the best sports sites on the World Wide Web; a new collectivebargaining agreement for referees; a record-breaking $3B inglobal merchandise sales; and, increased overall attendance for'94-95, increased ratings for the '95 Finals, and even increasedcable ratings for the start of '95-96 season. This is just a partial list of the league's accomplishmentsthis year, but the theme and thread should be obvious: NBAbasketball as a hot property and sports as a dynamic, globalentertainment business. To us, David Stern is the gold standardfor sports industrialists. FOR THE FUTURE: In terms of setting a precedent for futureSPORTS INDUSTRIALISTS OF THE YEAR, it is not that nominees andrecipients will have to be like David Stern in terms of positionor stature -- although they can -- but they should come from acomparable school of thought in terms of outlook and vision. THANK YOU: We at THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY would like tothank our many clients who took the time to nominate their peersand colleagues for this year's award. We encourage you, and allof our subscribers, to participate again in 1996 (THE DAILY).