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Volume 24 No. 117
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Minding My Business With Sports Business Week Founder Russell Scibetti

Name: Russell Scibetti

Title: Sports Business Week Founder, Kore Software VP/Product Strategy

Age: 36

Where I call home: New Jersey

Where I'm from: New Jersey

Focusing on right now: Promoting the entire Sports Business Week and fundraising for it.

Best advice: The phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know" is incomplete. The phrase really needs to be, "It's not what you know and it's not who you know. It's who you know who knows what you know." The idea of that is that it's not just about connecting or collecting business cards. it's about creating an opportunity to build a relationship with someone.

A must for a new hire: Creative problem solvers, especially ones who can use data and technology to solve the problem. Sports is an industry of so many other types of industries that the types of data and the types of tools you have at your disposal are going to vary. It's not so much about knowing how to use a particular software, it's "Here's the problem, how do we get to a solution?"

Exec I admire: My first boss out of grad school, MARK DIMAURIZIO at Comcast Spectacor. He was someone I connected with while still in school. I only got to spend one year working with him, but I always joked that one year with Mark was like five years of learning anywhere else. He was a great teacher and someone who let you be independent and figure things out. 

Best book I've read: I was late to the game on it, but "The Signal and the Noise" by NATE SILVER. From an analytics-oriented perspective, seeing someone like that who has done so much research on how statistics can be used both properly and incorrectly, all the challenges around it. It was a really great book -- even if some of the examples weren't based in sports.

First thing in the morning: Grab the phone, check the calendar, check email and check Twitter. There are certain hashtags, between the #SBWeek16 and #sportsbiz one, I share a lot of content. Instantly check those and see what's going on as I prep for the day. I also check out ESPN and Pro Football Talk to get my fan fix for the day.

Must-have music: Right now a lot of FOO FIGHTERS -- I'm a hard rock guy. Although it's funny, because the last concert I went to was GARTH BROOKS at Yankee Stadium in July. He was a bucket list performer who I hadn't seen yet. 

Food for thought: The one thing I do when it comes to food -- I travel a lot -- is I'll ask someone locally for one good place to go. I started doing that a few years ago when I was stuck in L.A. for a night -- I went to Bouchon, a Thomas Keller restaurant, and ever since then I make it a point to try something local when I hit the road. If I had one meal for the rest of my life, there's nothing better than a slice of pizza. 

How I unwind: We're quiet couch potatoes. There's nothing I'd rather do than grab some food and get on the couch with my wife and daughter and watch something -- we usually end up watching her cartoons. So cartoons until bedtime and then a movie after that. It's nice to be able to put the phone away for an hour and detach from the rest of the world.

Day in the life: This is the third year of Sports Business Week in its current incarnation. Before that we tried Sports Business Night, where we had a whole bunch of cities do events on the same night. But that ran into some scheduling issues, so for this week we have 50 cities participating. We have new cities, which means new hosts. There are a lot of marketing efforts trying to promote all the events. This really shows the value of networking within the industry.