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Volume 21 No. 2
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Chris McGowan, president and CEO, Portland Trail Blazers


What I Like …

McGowan’s Blazers open the season with a new name on their home.

An insight: Actions speak louder than words.

An influential person in my career: Tim Leiweke.

An out-of-the-box idea: Hyperloop.

A timeless idea: Hand-written thank you cards.

A business deal: Moda Center naming rights.

A sports facility: Staples Center, Anfield Stadium.

President and CEO
Portland Trail Blazers

Where I'm from: Carlisle, Pa.
Where I Went to School: B.A., University of Delaware.
My First Job: Grocery store bagger.

A sports event: Stanley Cup Final, Los Angeles Kings’ clinching game, June 11, 2012.

A strategy: Hire great people — and give them room to be great.

A hire: Adam Silver.

A brand: Nike.

A trend: Analytics and big data.


An innovation: TiVo/DVR.

A pro league or team business initiative: Seattle Sounders’ GM retention vote by season-ticket holders.

A story that bears watching: Ed O’Bannon NCAA lawsuit.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Google.


A fantasy job: Rancher.

What I Like about …

Sports: One of the few unpredictable things in life.

Sports business: The ability to bring communities together to create lasting memories.

Sports media: Willingness to tell our story, good or bad.

Sports technology: Ability to expose our brands to a wider audience.

The future of sports business: Innovation and sophistication of leaders in the industry improves daily.

Sports fans: The personal investment and commitment they give to their favorite team.

My job: It doesn’t feel like a job.

What I Would Like To …

Change: Relying too heavily on email to interact and maintain important relationships.

Change in what I do: Fewer meetings and more time to strategize.

See: My kids grow up happy and healthy.

See more of in sports business: People starting their sports careers in the ticket department.

See less of in sports: Seemingly never-ending discussion about performance-enhancing drugs.

See less of in sports business: Division between the team side and the business side.

See different: Treatment of the greats from the past; they deserve better.

Eliminate: Negativity on message boards and social media.


What I Like …

That would surprise those who know me: In high school, I wanted to be a police officer.

Above all else: Family: Susan, Ryan, Kyle.

Landon Donovan
Hero: My dad.

Players: Damian Lillard, Landon Donovan, Dustin Brown, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tim Duncan.

City: San Francisco.

Possession: Stanley Cup championship ring.

Memento: Khata (Tibetan scarf) given to me by the Dalai Lama.

Time of year: Summer, because I get to spend more time with my kids.

Author: Jim Collins.

Magazines: Portland Monthly, Sunset, Wine Spectator.

Chore: Taking the trash down a long, long, long driveway to the curb.

Hobbies: Trail running, wine tasting, fly fishing, mountain biking, food.

Trip: Argentina.

Movies: “Into the Wild,” “Rushmore,” “Goodfellas.”

TV: “Portlandia,” “Man vs. Wild,” “Chopped,” “Wild Alaska.”

Concerts: Pearl Jam, Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons, Willie Nelson.

Artists: Melissa Graves Brown, Chad McGowan (my brother).

Food: Cheeseburger with french fries.

Dessert: Chocolate milkshake.

Drink: Water.

Scent: Whatever my wife picks out …

Vacation spot: Sun Valley, Idaho.

Cars: Necessary to get from Point A to Point B (not a big car guy).

Quote: “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable and those that move.” Benjamin Franklin.