Sports Business Awards: Arthur Blank Wins Sports Exec Of The Year
Arthur Blank scanned the room of 900 attendees at the Sports Business Awards last night and reminded them that "You're here because you're winners," putting an upbeat cap on the evening. But in the final award category of the evening, Sports Executive of the Year, Blank was the one holding the trophy. Blank, chairman of AMB Group, the business that owns the Falcons, Atlanta United and PGA Superstores across the country, was named the top executive in sports against a deep field that included Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley, NBC Broadcasting & Sports Chair Mark Lazarus, Fanatics Founder & Exec Chair Michael Rubin and Casey Wasserman. "I would have applauded any one of the finalists," said Blank, whose AMB Group also won Breakthrough of the Year for its food-and-beverage model. Blank's standout year stemmed from several major events his company orchestrated. It all started with the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium last year, which was accompanied by the Falcons' and United's fan-first pricing on food and beverage. Then United set the MLS on fire by breaking every one of the league's attendance records in the club's inaugural season. "If you put yourself in a servant-leader position and understand that your job is to listen, the fans will give you all the answers," Blank said. "You just have to believe them."