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Volume 20 No. 42
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Readers Speak Out

When we asked readers to tell us what SportsBusiness Journal and Daily have meant to them and to the industry, we received many more responses than we could ever get into print. Here are some excerpts of what they said.

Val Ackerman
Commissioner / Big East Conference
Former president of the WNBA

“I started reading both publications from the very beginning. The NBA was an early subscriber. My first recollection was of SBD. People were printing out hard copies, and I remember getting the hard copies and reading them on the subway home from work. I was an early follower. It was a great way for people in the business to stay informed, and I still believe it. It was an evening ritual, taking it on the subway on the way home. SBJ was a different kind of read, with more in-depth articles and a wider array of coverage. So a great service, as it provided a different kind of read. “

Stacey Allaster
Chairman and CEO / WTA

“I remember religiously reading the SBD that would arrive by fax every day, and anxiously awaiting the SBJ each week in the mail. It was a must read if you wanted to keep up on the daily news and movements in our industry, and it was certainly a topic of water-cooler conversation at Tennis Canada for the 15 years I worked there, and still is today in my role as chairman and CEO of the WTA. What always stood out for me with both SBJ and SBD was the quality of the reporting. This is what separated it from other trades and what still separates it from other trades in the industry.”

Wasserman: Lots of things I read in SBD/SBJ led us to take action

Casey Wasserman
Founder and CEO / Wasserman Media Group

“I remember subscribing to SBD in college. Having grown up in Los Angeles around the entertainment industry, pubs like Variety and Hollywood Reporter defined the industry in many ways. For an industry as big and as public as the business of sports to not have had a publication is really testament to the original plan and your execution. The business of sports became larger and more prevalent, and that elevated everyone, including the publications that cover it. There are lots of things I have read in SBD/SBJ that led us to go take action, including buying the [Los Angeles] Arena Football League team. After I read that the NFL had met with the Arena Football League, that seemed interesting.”

Gary Bettman
Commissioner / NHL

“S ince my brother, [Jeffrey Pollack], was the founder and creator, I was aware of SportsBusiness Daily from its inception. It was an evolutionary, groundbreaking publication. It came at a time which really marked the transition of the business of sports. Our league goes back almost 100 years, but people started focusing on the elements of the business of sport and the elements that go into it relatively recently. As a daily documentation of everything going on in this industry, SportsBusiness Daily was a validation of the growth sports had seen.

“When SBJ and SBD started the awards and people were really attending those, I thought that was a transformational moment in terms of the credibility that you were capturing sports as business.”

Scott Blackmun
President / USOC

“I started reading SBD in 2002, and have read SBJ since it started. It was great to have one place to go to that you could find out who was going where and saying what in the industry.”

George Bodenheimer
Executive Chairman / ESPN

“At the time, coverage of the business side of sports was really hit-and-miss. I’ll just say SBD and SBJ brought it together in a focused, credible manner. You became the go-to source. I believe that. Your timing was great because the business exploded and we needed a serious comprehensive source to put it all together. And SBD and SBJ were there. You brought the coverage together with two highly credible sources.”

Tim Brosnan
Executive Vice President of Business / Major League Baseball

“We really operated back then a lot more in a vacuum and had to rely a lot more on loose agency info, hearsay, anecdotal data, things like that. So the Daily and Journal have really helped create a whole industry and put needed information at our fingertips, and it is somewhat hard to overstate the value of that.”

David Falk
Founder and CEO / Falk Associates Management Enterprises

“The SportsBusiness Journal has become the Hollywood Reporter for the sports industry. It is helpful to have some kind of professional publication that you know is reliable in keeping up with what is going on in the industry. “

George Pyne
President, Sports & Entertainment IMG Worldwide

“It seems like I have been reading the SBJ and SBD forever. I can’t even remember when it did not exist. … I first read the SBD via fax. I read them on a regular basis and I think they serve the industry well. “

Bud Selig
Commissioner / Major League Baseball

“Pro sports has gone from a relatively simple business to something now very sophisticated, and the growth has been clearly reflected over the years in The Daily and Journal.”

Phil de Picciotto
President / Octagon Worldwide

“SBD and SBJ changed the business in making the leading brands, properties and agencies in the business more aware of what they were all doing.”

Mark Steinberg
Partner / Excel Sports Management

“I started reading the magazine before SBD, but I do read SBD every day, and that has been going on for years. Before, you’d just get the main daily, but now you get the Morning Buzz, you get The Daily, you get the afternoon wrap, you get the Global Daily. It’s evolved so much.”

David Stern
Commissioner / NBA

“I have been reading both of the publications from the beginning. I am all in on any coverage of the business of sports, and I have been dating back to when you had to piece it together from other periodicals. My understanding was that I was one of a limited minority that was reading SBD. I wasn’t sure SBJ was going to get traction. SBJ is in sound hands now. They have a number of awards and issues and the like, and have stepped up opportunities for interested sponsors to advertise in the publication.”

Skipper: SBD is just essential now

John Skipper
President / ESPN

“SportsBusiness Daily is just essential now. I read The Daily within the first 15 minutes I get it. It’s the source of an unbelievably frequent passing around. ‘Hey, have you seen this?’ ‘What do you think about this?’ ‘Is this true?’ ‘Did you know about this?’ It really works.

“It’s a big and important industry now.
SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily have played their role in growing the business and making it important. It also reflects the fact that it is covering an industry that is important and is becoming more important.”

Steve Phelps

“The publications brought a lot of transparency to the industry. That’s a good thing. Because there wasn’t something like this previously, there wasn’t a home for some of the things now being written about. When you have people who understand your business and what’s happening in your business, it brings a sense of accountability to the business. It is good for the industry that there’s an SBD and SBJ. If it went away tomorrow, something would take its place because there’s a need for it. There’s a demand for what’s being written. It’s our industry’s book. There’s an ownership we all feel. With the conferences, Forty Under 40, we celebrate, as well. But this is where the news of our industry is.”

Rick Welts
President and COO / Golden State Warriors

“I don’t know how we did without the publications. They have come to be the road map for anyone who wants to be successful in the business. Now we have a whole generation of sports marketers who take it for granted, because they weren’t around before [SBJ and SBD] existed. The publications filled an absolute void that we didn’t know existed until we had them.”

Jim Nash
Managing Director, Sports Finance and Advisory Group/ Bank of America

“You are must-have programming. When The Daily launched, it was, ‘OK, what is this?’ But very quickly it was, ‘Wow.’ You wanted to check it out every day to find a nugget of something that might trigger an idea. It was a good aggregator and very efficient, and it would help me generate ideas. I still print mine out every day.”

Kathy Carter
President / Soccer United Marketing

“The publications continue to be an invaluable resource for us. Not a day goes by when I don’t hear about SBJ/SBD, and now, with the international edition, the importance just continues to increase. Our business is better as a result of the information and services they provide.”

Tom Condon
Football agent / CAA Sports

“SBJ pioneered the emphasis on the universe of competitive sports as a profession in and of itself. It has always been a must read for me for its accuracy, its primary-source reporting, and its own reputation for exclusivity in sources and stories. It is a resource that is dependable, is read by decision- and opinion-makers, and is stand-alone in its reputation for those reasons.”

Sean McManus
Chairman / CBS Sports

“I became aware of SBJ and SBD right when they came into existence and became a faithful and regular reader of both. SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily is the primary source for news and information because it’s accurate, it’s complete and it has writers that are knowledgeable enough that usually their insights are valuable. Since the launches of SBJ and SBD, the sports industry has become much more a part of the business world and society.”

Peter Ueberroth
1999 Recipient of SBJ/SBD Lifetime Achievement Award

“You were and are a place to go for all to see the business of all sports. You brought journalism to the world of sports. You brought economics. Now the public is capable of understanding what’s going on. It’s business but also a service. When people are better informed, the whole world of sports is better off.”

Photo by: HOK SPORT
Earl Santee
Senior Principal / Populous

“SBD was the first publication where the news was at the moment. It wasn’t old news. It happened that day or the day before. It was faxed to us. We printed it and we would pass it around the office to the market leaders and they could read stuff and know collectively what was going on in the sports business.

“We relied on SBJ and SBD because of the content and information. Sometimes, it would confirm what we already knew. Sometimes, it was information we didn’t know. Sometimes, it was information we knew that wasn’t necessarily true. But it was information, so you’re looking for it.”

Vince Wladika
Consultant & Publicist / Formerly with NBC Sports, Fox Sports and Major League Baseball

Wladika said the arrival of SBD in particular made it impossible to hide a negative story from the rest of the country: “During the early days of The Daily, you had other things like Burrell’s clipping service, but there obviously was no Google and no Twitter. You couldn’t just search out things. So before, if there was a bad story in one market, it often could stay confined to that market, and, as a network, you could sort of contain it. But with The Daily, you couldn’t do that anymore. Everybody now was seeing everything. It completely nationalized the industry.”

Pilson: You went well beyond
sending out a daily fax

Neal Pilson
President and Founder / Pilson Communications / member
of the SBJ/SBD “Champions” Class of 2010

“Idon’t think there was that magic moment where we said, ‘Aha. They’re going to make it.’ I think it was a gradual process of professional reporting, accurate and timely news and information. Then I watched as you integrated your business into the sports industry. By that, I mean you went well beyond just sending out a daily fax. It was a fax in the early days, then the glossy periodical. You were producing sports conferences of one kind or another. You were seeking advertising support from branches in our industry that I think no one had ever paid attention to before, like arenas or various service companies that, up to this point, many of us weren’t even aware were around. We never realized they were important components of a much larger business.

“You proved to us that the business was a lot bigger than we even thought it was.”

Mike Tollin
Executive Producer / Director, including “Arli$$,” “The Franchise,” “30 for 30,” “Coach Carter”

“There’s five issues a week, so that’s about 250 or 260 a year. And I’d say I’ve read all but 240-plus for 17 years. I don’t miss it. It’s part of my daily routine. I usually save it until the end of the night for the dessert after I’ve read everything else. I’m old school. I still print it out every day and read it. Only when I’m away do I read it via the Internet.”

Dale Koger
Sports Group Vice President / General Manager / Turner Construction

“I have read SBJ for at least 10 years. SBD for probably seven or eight years. When I first started seeing SBJ, it literally became a must-read every week for me. I felt like it gave so much information about the marketplace. Not just about facilities, but the franchises, ownership groups, even players — people who formed the industry. I think it’s unique in that it really does cover the entire spectrum of the sports industry.”

Brian McIntyre
Senior Communications Advisor to the Commissioner / NBA

“I remember reading SBD on the first day it published. It was one of those things you read and said, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ It was one place to get a roundup on the industry. It impacted every element of our business.”

Gary Stevenson
President and Managing Director / MLS Business Ventures

“Early on, SBD was just aggregated stories, and now you are all reporting and breaking news in SBD or SBJ, and you add insight into stories. That leads to a deeper understanding of the issues, and you add to that a knowledge swap at all your conferences. So you’ve gone from aggregating stories to reporting stories to the ability to swap information with your peers at conferences. It’s a pretty smart plan.”

Paul Tagliabue
Former Commissioner / NFL

“SBD came to my attention first, and probably because I used to get daily briefings from our people on everything. Once SBJ arrived, it showed up as a piece of my daily report. We had a good daily clip service, but SportsBusiness Daily added to the scope of coverage and the quality.”

Frank Supovitz
Senior Vice President of Events / NFL

“SportsBusiness Journal and The Daily became must-reads when the boss began calling shortly after a story broke. If you hadn’t read the story, he or she knew you were not at the top of your game.”


Bob Bowman
CEO / MLB Advanced Media

“Back in another time, there were political writers, business writers and sportswriters, and never did the three meet. But what SBJ did, really, was combine elements of all three. And for me, personally, it’s become very important reading. Beyond that, though, it’s sort of like the New Yorker magazine, where I actually like to read it in addition to needing to read it.”

Joe Leccese
Chairman / Proskauer

“We were early subscribers and regular users ever since. The product was different. The layout was very different. The type settings were different. It was all distributed by fax and then it got distributed by email. All of us were reading this thing religiously. I had The Daily in my briefcase every day. Whatever I didn’t get through during the day, I read on the train at night. Every time new associates joined the firm, we said, ‘If you want to work in sports, you need to read this every day.’

“You have had this progression: The Daily, then SportsBusiness Journal, then the conferences. Forty Under 40 and the conferences were significant innovations in the business. At that point, eight to 10 years into development, when you had all three legs of the tripod, that cemented the permanency of the organization and the business.”