Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 113

People and Pop Culture

In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, SportsNet N.Y. President STEVE RAAB.

What I Like…

An insight: Nothing’s more important than leverage and relationships.

Influential people in my career: STEVE LESNICK, who owned KemperSports, which was my first real job; [Mets Owner] FRED WILPON, who's been all about honesty, integrity and relationships; and SAUL KATZ, co-Founder and President of Sterling Equities.

An out-of-the-box idea: Harrah's hiring GARY LOVEMAN, a career academic, in 1998 to be its COO with oversight for 35,000-plus employees.

A timeless idea: Maintaining a focus on customer service.

A business deal
: The Pac-12 Network.

A sports facility: AT&T Park is built in just a stunning setting, but Wrigley Field is still my favorite ballpark of all time. And it is the star, not the team.

A sports event: Any truly big-time college football game, probably SEC.

A strategy: IBM transforming itself from mainframe obscurity into a software and service company.


A brand: Ironman Triathlon.

An ad campaign: I always thought "Where's the Beef" from Wendy's was brilliant.

A trend: Customization, which is just really hyper-segmentation.

An innovation: The yellow first-down line on televised football.

A pro league or team business initiative: Soccer United Marketing (SUM). Having a plan from the outset to branch beyond MLS and involve itself in soccer's most important properties across North America.

A sports announcer: MARV ALBERT ... but [SNY's] GARY COHEN/KEITH HERNANDEZ/RON DARLING for baseball on television and [WFAN-AM's] Gary Cohen/HOWIE ROSE for baseball on radio.

A story that bears watching: TV Everywhere.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: StubHub and the whole movement that has made the secondary ticketing market so efficient.

A previous job: GM of the CBA Sioux Falls Skyforce team. I was 23.

A fantasy job: U.S. ambassador to a neutral country with a great climate.

What I Like About...

My job: The ability to manage an entire business every day.

Sports: The passion that it generates.

Sports business: A lot of days, it doesn't really feel like a job.

Sports media: The fan base with an insatiable appetite.

Sports technology: The challenge to stay informed.

Competing: The chance to win.

What I Would Like To...

Change: Pricing, so that more consumers can participate.

See more of in sports: Sportsmanship.

See less of in sports business: The winning-is-everything attitude.

What I Don't Like...

About sports fans: A winning-is-everything attitude.

What I Like...

Heroes: My father. My dad is a pediatric ophthalmologist and so what he does is highly specialized and highly valued. That's got to be very fulfilling.


Teams: The championship Knicks teams.

City: S.F.

Possession: Does my family count? They are more important to me than any one thing.

Music: Springsteen.

TV shows: "THE OFFICE" and "60 MINUTES."



Magazines: SI, Fortune.

Websites: Deadspin, SNY.TV.

Gadgets: BlackBerry.

Food: Italian.

Drink: A cold beer.

Vacation spot: Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Louisville Arena Authority Chair JIM HOST “has resigned his post.” The 74-year-old Host “announced last December that he planned to step down, but he stayed on as chairman through last month’s board meeting, when a consultant presented a review critical of some management practices of the Kentucky State Fair Board.” KERRI RICHARDSON, a spokesperson for Kentucky Gov. STEVE BESHEAR, said that the governor “expects to conduct a ‘thorough’ search for Host’s replacement, but there is no timeline for naming a successor” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/10).

EXECS: The Stars “have agreed to terms with former GM BOB GAINEY to return to the team as a consultant.” Gainey is “expected to be an important voice” for GM JOE NIEUWENDYK and President JIM LITES. Gainey was most recently with the Canadiens from ’06-12, and was part of the Stars organization from ’90-’02 (, 5/9)….The Rams named Falcons Pro Scout RAN CARTHON Dir of Pro Personnel and Falcons Area Scout TAYLOR MORTON Dir of College Scouting. Carthon is the son of Chiefs assistant coach MAURICE CARTHON. Morton was most recently “scouting college players in the southeastern states” for the Falcons (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/10)….The PBR promoted Partnership Marketing Exec LEE MEREDITH to Dir of Partnership Marketing (PBR).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

In N.Y., Peter Lattman noted Dewey & LeBoeuf Global Litigation Chair JEFFREY KESSLER is "leaving the law firm to join Winston & Strawn.” As recently as last week, Kessler “maintained that the firm had no plans to close in mid-May or to seek bankruptcy protection.” A number of Dewey partners are “expected to join him at Winston.” Kessler has represented the players’ unions of all four major sports leagues, as well as numerous athletes (, 5/9). Kessler served as outside counsel to the NBPA and NFLPA last year during their respective lockouts ( THE DAILY).

HELPING HAND: MLB, the Players Trust and league sponsor State Farm yesterday announced a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Int’l to build a total of nine new homes in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., each of which was hit by significant tornadoes last year. Two of the nine houses will be framed July in Kauffman Stadium as part of All-Star Game events being held there. The effort builds upon a collective donation of $200,000 made by MLB and the MLBPA immediately after the tornadoes (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

PARK IT: In Cleveland, James McCarthy notes federal investigators have “subpoenaed the Cleveland Cuyahoga Port Authority for records dealing with parking lot leases with the Cleveland Browns, including a price-cutting deal approved last year.” The subpoena “makes no mention of what investigators suspect,” but Port Authority BOD member RICHARD KNOTH “accused three of his colleagues in May 2011 of meeting illegally with the Browns to discuss the team’s request for concessions” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/10).

NAMES: Packers QB AARON RODGERS accepted “an official resolution recognizing Dec. 12, 2012 as Aaron Rodgers Day in Wisconsin” (GREEN BAY PRESS GAZETTE, 5/10)….Golf HOFer GARY PLAYER yesterday became the 10th recipient of the PGA Tour’s Lifetime Achievement Award (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/10)….Golf HOFer NANCY LOPEZ will be awarded the ’12 Byron Nelson Prize at the HP Byron Nelson Championship on May 15. The prize is “awarded to a person in the golf world who embodies the same philanthropic spirit” as Nelson (HP Byron Nelson Championship)….Catalyst PR received the ’12 SABRE Award for Boutique Agency of the Year (Catalyst)....Singer MARTINA MCBRIDE will perform the national anthem before the Indianapolis 500 on May 27 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/9).

IN MEMORY: Red Sox PA announcer CARL BEANE died yesterday after suffering a heart attack while driving his car in Sturbridge, Mass. The 59-year-old had been the “Voice of Fenway Park” since '03 (Red Sox). In Boston, Chad Finn notes for decades, Beane was a prominent freelance radio reporter and provided national updates for ESPN Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, Westwood One, the AP and Metro Networks. Beane “even stepped in for JOHNNY MOST on a Celtics game in 1979 when Most lost his voice after the first quarter.” The Red Sox will honor Beane in pregame ceremonies Friday (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/10).