What I Like: Charlie Besser, President & CEO, Intersport
What I Like …
■ AN INSIGHT: The world revolves around relationships.
■ AN INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN MY CAREER: Too many to list or rank.
■ AN OUT-OF-THE BOX IDEA: To serve is to win.
■ A TIMELESS IDEA: You reap what you sow … karma is a powerful force.
■ A BUSINESS DEAL: The NCAA with Turner/CBS, and Comcast and NBC.
■ A SPORTS EVENT: The Masters. It is the gold standard.
■ A STRATEGY: ESPN’s embrace of soccer.
■ A BRAND: March Madness.
■ A TREND: Streaming live events … feeding the long tail.
■ AN INNOVATION: High-speed mobile search.
■ A PRO LEAGUE OR TEAM BUSINESS INITIATIVE: The American Le Mans Series.
■ A STORY THAT BEARS WATCHING: The ever-increasing power of the major college football conferences and schools over all collegiate sports.
■ AN IDEA OR INVENTION I WISH I HAD THOUGHT OF: I will settle for the iPad.
■ A FANTASY JOB: President of the United States.
What I Like About …
■ MY JOB: The people that I work with; it is humbling.
■ SPORTS: Valiant competitors.
■ SPORTS BUSINESS: A ton of interesting people.
■ SPORTS MEDIA: It is always reinventing itself.
■ SPORTS FANS: Their love of the underdog.
■ COMPETING: You find out how good your team really is.
■ SPORTS TECHNOLOGY: When it enhances but does not unnecessarily complicate the sports experience.
■ THE FUTURE (OR DIRECTION) OF SPORTS BUSINESS: The globalization of sports … the world is shrinking fast!
What I Would Like To …
■ CHANGE IN WHAT I DO: Spend more time thinking.
■ SEE MORE OF IN SPORTS: The review of referees’ calls when it is quick, easy and obviously needed. I don’t care about tradition, I want it right.
■ SEE MORE OF IN SPORTS BUSINESS: Teams and sponsors providing event access to kids.
■ SEE LESS OF IN SPORTS: Players staying way too long. One year too long can ruin a lifetime of memories.
■ SEE LESS OF IN SPORTS BUSINESS: Overextended owners who ruin a town’s love affair with its team.
■ SEE: Abusive fans locked up.
■ SEE DIFFERENT: A better balance between the legitimate financial needs of college athletes and the interests of their universities.
■ ELIMINATE: 3 million of the 8 million sports talk radio shows!
What I Don’t Like …
■ IN GENERAL: Closed-mindedness.
■ PET PEEVE: Takers.
■ IN SPORTS: Strong opinions based on ignorance.
■ IN BUSINESS: Blind reliance on process when innovation is required.
■ ABOUT SPORTS FANS: Intolerance toward opposing fans. Sports are beautiful. All fans should experience that.
What I Like …
■ PEOPLE: Those who commit themselves to help others.
■ ABOVE ALL ELSE: The Bride.
■ HEROES: My parents and their generation, as well as the brave Americans who serve our country.
■ PLAYER: Gary Player, the first truly global athlete.
■ CITY: Chicago.
■ MEMENTO: A note of encouragement from my father.
■ TIME OF YEAR: March/April — March Madness rolls into Masters Week.
■ BOOKS: There are a million of them. Right now, I like “Rework.”
■ AUTHORS: Thomas Friedman, Peter Drucker, Brad Thor.
■ MAGAZINE: Fortune.
■ WEBSITE: www.CelebTV.com.
■ GADGET: BlackBerry.
■ IPAD APP: Kindle.
■ CHORE: Putting up a new chain net on the hoop in the alley.
■ TV: Charlie Rose.
■ CONCERTS: U2 and the Rolling Stones.
■ ARTIST: Specter.
■ FOOD: A really good stadium dog.
■ DESSERT: Angel food cake.
■ DRINK: Martini.
■ SCENT: Barbecue.
■ CARS: Good-looking and fast with room for golf clubs.
■ SINGERS: Alicia Keys and Fergie.
■ QUOTE: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” — Colin Powell.