Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 20 No. 46
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

What I Like: Andrew Saltzman, Atlanta Hawks


What I like …


An insight: Everything communicates. What you say, do or write says something about your brand. Never mail it in or take a play off, as it makes a statement.

An influential person in my career: Tony Salvadore, my first real boss and GM at KFOG radio, “the Coolest Station in the Nation” in San Francisco. He gave me great advice, room to succeed and fail and taught me the value of storytelling.

Andrew Saltzman
Executive Vice President
and Chief Revenue Officer
Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena

Where I’m From: The City. New York City. Manhattan.
Where I Went to School: Georgetown University, B.S. in business administration.
My First Job: Putting up and maintaining signage in NYC subway cars.

An out-of-the-box idea: Feed mayo to the tuna (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

A timeless idea: Having a catch — nothing like throwing a ball in the backyard with your son or daughter.

A business deal: Disney buying Cap Cities (ESPN).

A sports facility: Augusta National.

A sports event: The great rivalries of the ’80s in Big East basketball.

Augusta National

A strategy: Manage down, not up.

A hire: Steve Koonin to the Atlanta Hawks.

A trend: Millennials moving back to city centers.

A pro league or team business initiative: The Red Zone channel.

A story that bears watching: Daily fantasy sports.

Harry the Hawk and Steve Koonin
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Uber.

A fantasy job: Casino host.

What I like about …

My job: Creating extraordinary moments for people.

Sports: It’s DVR-proof.

Sports business: It’s constantly evolving. The rapid rate of change makes it a constant challenge.

Sports media: Brings people to the television together.

Sports technology: How the phone is becoming the remote control of our lives.

The future of sports business: It’s going global … especially the NBA.

Competing: It’s the ultimate scoreboard. There is no subjectivity in competition. You know exactly where you stand by looking at the scoreboard.

What I would like to …

Change: Bad officiating in all sports.

Change in what I do: Ability to spend more time with entry-level sellers.

See: A championship parade for the Atlanta Hawks.

See more of in sports: Frictionless fan experience.

See less of in sports business: Less competition and more collaboration between local teams.

See more of in sports business: Real fans having real access.

See less of in sports: Hyperbole in sports radio.

See different: Nationalized legal gaming.

Eliminate: Empty corporate seats.

What I don’t like …

In general: Ego run amuck.

Pet peeve: Bad drivers.

In sports: The overtime rule in the NFL.

In business: Making oneself intentionally inaccessible.


What I Like …

About myself: I married the perfect wife.

Heroes: My dad, the legendary Herbie Saltzman.

Joe Namath as a rookie in 1965
Players: Joe Namath and tennis players circa 1970s.

City: Atlanta. There is no more welcoming city for business creators and creative thinkers.

Possession: Collection of Grateful Dead concert tickets framed in double-sided glass so I can read the set lists that I scribbled on the back.

Memento: Collection of photos of me as a kid with New York sports icons and in each photo my fly seems to be down.

Time of year: Spring … it’s playoffs, baby.

The Grateful Dead, 1985
Music: Grateful Dead, preferably circa 1985, the greatest year of modern Dead.

Authors: Erik Larson, Jon Krakauer.

Magazines: I will not admit to reading each and every one of my wife’s trashy magazines, but I feel comfortable saying I enjoy Garden & Gun and Vanity Fair.

Chores: I’m in charge of all garbage and car-related things.

Hobbies: Woodworking … that’s

actually a downright lie, but I thought it sounded interesting.

Trips: Driving north over the Golden Gate Bridge is always the start of a great trip.

Movies: “Animal House,” “The Godfather” and “Shawshank Redemption.”

TV: “Ray Donovan” and “Seinfeld.”

Concerts: I love seeing all kinds of live music, but nothing will compare to following the Dead on tour.

Artist: Warhol.

Food: Pizza … good pizza, bad pizza, mediocre pizza …

Drink: Grey Goose on the rocks with a lime.

Vacation spots: Tuscany or the north shore on Maui.

Cars: I’m not a car guy. Anything that runs.

Quote: “You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know.”