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Volume 20 No. 42
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Hot topic: The surging Dow

Everybody’s talking about the stock market, so we asked some top sports executives to chime in

Wyc Grousbeck
Governor and co-owner, Boston Celtics;
former partner, Highland Capital Partners

“Long term, I am positive on the place of sports and specifically sports media rights in the overall economy — their growth is based on the demonstrable value the media rights deliver to advertisers and to media providers.”

Rob Kauffman
Co-owner, Michael Waltrip Racing;
co-founder, Fortress Investment Group

“As a single-point-in-time event, it’s not particularly significant, but it’s a good indicator of a couple of things. Firstly, that the damage from the financial crisis has been substantially reversed at least in some quarters, probably more Wall Street than Main Street. Second, it’s a barometer of more positive outlook on the general economic environment, which should support sports in getting attendance at venues and ticket sales. … To the extent it’s an indication of a more robust environment for lending, we may see more transactions for sports teams.”

David Hill
Senior executive vice president, News Corp.

“Four indicators I use to gauge how well the market is going to do:

1) Checking with friends at headhunting firms. If their business is doing well, firms are hiring executive talent, and the economy is strong.

2) Asking taxi drivers how’s business. When times get tough, public transport gets used and the cab business gets hurt.

3) Watching the housing price indicators. If it’s gently edging up, and homes are worth more than their purchase price, the economic mood become buoyant.

4) A rising Dow means 401(k)s are doing well, people’s retirement situation is secure, which means an economic sense of optimism.”