Weekend Plans With BIG3 CEO Amy Trask: Trading In Silver & Black For 3-On-3 Hoops
AMY TRASK spent almost 30 years in the NFL with the Raiders, eventually becoming the league's first female CEO back in '97. Now she's up for a new challenge with the BIG3, the 3-on-3 basketball league touring across the U.S. this summer. Trask, the league's CEO, knows she's in new territory after decades in the football world. But that hasn't stopped her from jumping in with both feet. Trask: "The word 'weekend' has almost always been in quotes for me. Everything I’ve done when either working for a team or league is geared to gameday. It's what we work towards all week long. Sunday is the culmination, the day where everything comes together." This weekend the BIG3 heads to Tulsa, after debuting in Brooklyn two weeks ago followed by a visit to Charlotte's Spectrum Center. Trask caught up with THE DAILY on what a typical BIG3 weekend looks like, how her NFL career prepared her for this moment and her long history with die-hard Raiders fan and BIG3 co-Founder ICE CUBE.
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Typically for a BIG3 weekend I’ll travel to the site a day before, sometimes two. We’ll have meetings, roll up our sleeves, and take care of every detail that needs to be accomplished. We’ll attend to the unexpected. I myself like to get to the arena very early on gameday. That’s consistent with my craft when I was with the Raiders. I like to be there as the arena comes to life in the morning. I've always considered that a magical moment. The latest I’d ever arrive for a road game with the Raiders was with the first bus to the stadium in the morning with the equipment guys.
CIRCLE THE WAGONS: I don’t take in the games consistently in any one location. I do spend some of my time in a suite with business partners and sponsors, but I also move around every area of the arena. I'll walk courtside, behind the basket, I go to every level. You’re not doing your league any good if you’re only mixing and mingling with your fans that are in the premiere seats. You’ve gotta go to the third deck and see the concession lines, the restroom lines. You have to see the fan experience. If I’m not lining up and using a public restroom or waiting in a concession line, then I can’t weigh in on what our fans are experiencing. I walked through Barclays and spoke to over 100 people of different ages to get input. Then at the end of a Sunday we all jump on airplanes and head back to L.A. with the exception of BIG3 President & Commissioner ROGER MASON JR. who lives in the N.Y. area. Some folks immediately then zoom over to FS1 to start working on the broadcast and others begin working on the next week’s game.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Our first two weekends were exciting and exceeded the expectations of many. We had 15,000 folks on their feet at Barlcays Center. But we are still working to get better every single week. After each game, our collective focus isn’t "What did we do right?" but rather "Take 10 seconds to enjoy this because now we have to figure out what we can do better." Earlier this week we had conference calls addressing every single aspect of the in-arena experience. Then we do the same for the broadcast itself.
RAIDER ROOTS: It’s thrilling to see how detail-oriented and passionate Cube and co-Founder JEFF KWATINETZ are about all of this. I met both through the Raiders decades ago. In fact, I was able to get late Raiders Owner AL DAVIS to agree to speak with Cube on camera for his “30 FOR 30: STRAIGHT OUTTA L.A.” back in ’10. Those who knew Al know how aberrational that was for him to agree to do something of that nature.