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Volume 21 No. 1
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Through the years — In his own words

Mark Tatum in 2008 was selected to the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame after his third consecutive selection for the annual recognition. Following are comments from him, and from others about him, that were made on the occasion of those selections.

“Things today are changing so quickly that if you don’t innovate and create an environment where our account team comes up with new ideas, then you are left behind.” (Tatum, in 2008)

“The challenge is to deliver value and results to our partners. The big trend now is in digital media, and we are developing more digital marketing programs that are relevant.” (Tatum, in 2008)

“The international pace is picking up and the challenge in this business continues to be developing value for our partners and what they are trying to accomplish. You’ve got to be on the same page with them while continuing to utilize the NBA’s assets.” (Tatum, in 2007)

“We don’t call them sponsors, we call them marketing partners, and that’s our philosophy. We have some of the best brands in the world, and we make sure we are talking to them and meeting their objectives.” (Tatum, in 2006)

“What is changing is that the business has gotten so much more sophisticated and decisions are no longer made on feel and relationships. There is more analysis, and companies want tangible results that resonate. So the challenge for us is that we have to continue to show real return on the investments.” (Tatum, in 2006)

“The focus is, know who our fans are and how can we help companies reach those fans.” (Tatum, in 2006)

Fantasy job: Owner of a professional sports team
Executive most admired: David Stern
Business advice: Always over-deliver against the expectations that are set for you.

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“Mark has grown into a true marketing most valuable player. He has outstanding relationship skills, which makes him a pleasure to deal with. We at the NBA love his easy style, as do our partners.” (Adam Silver, in 2008)

“He enjoys the confidence of our marketers on a global scale. His relationship skills are outstanding and his knowledge about our business and the way our partners can advance their goals is at the highest possible level. It has been a pleasure to watch Mark develop into a complete marketer.” (David Stern, in 2007)