The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer
David Abrutyn, From Intern to US$ 700 Million in Dry powder

David Abrutyn, From Intern to US$ 700 Million in Dry powder

May 27, 2020

David gives us a fascinating look into his amazing career from being an intern at the Washington Capitals to leading IMG's global Consulting Business to now being a founding Partner of Bruins Sports Capital and sitting on USD 700 million in Capital to invest. Enjoy the journey.


 
Key Highlights

  1. Early days, from internship at the Washington Capitals to the Sports Business Daily
  2. Learning the business, how to sell, cold calling, building a network leads to the next opportunities at the NHL and then IMG
  3. IMG – over 15 years building a new Consulting practise on the back of IMG’s global resources and knowledge in sports
  4. Educating Brands on how to leverage sports assets and the power of sports
  5. How to navigate potential conflict of interest, ie not being seen as just selling IMG properties
  6. Insights into Mark McCormack’s, legendary founder of IMG, leadership style  
  7. IMG 2.0 under Ted Forstmann, how Private Equity changed the business discipline and made IMG an even a better company, leading to a huge exit 10 years later
  8. Bruins Sports Capital (BSC) – big picture and funding power
  9. Focus on Media, Lifestyle and Marketing services in sports
  10. BSC – smart money, not just money but huge experiences
  11. BSC 1st Fund, US$ 300 million committed capital and BSC 2nd Fund, additional US$ 600 million (US$ 700 million of dry powder)
  12. Focus of 1st Fund – companies with US$ 10 million of earnings, investing several rounds (tug in rounds)
  13. On Location Experiences (OLE), partnership with NFL and sale of business for US$ 660 million
  14. Focus on building businesses, growing companies, long term vision – not focused on exit strategies
  15. Courtside Ventures (separate VC fund, managed by 3rd party) to invest in sports tech startups
  16. How to foster collaboration between portfolio companies
  17. Current climate for existing portfolio companies
  18. Focus on platform businesses, OTT, Digital, Marketing – not focuses on distressed assets (broken businesses), focus on great businesses and great people
  19. Biggest learning from his career (find Mentors & develop communication skills, build network)
  20. No real regrets, learn from losses
  21. TSA’s new mission in the region. Bring US$ 1 billion of new revenue and capital to the sports ecosystem in the next 10 years

 

About

David Abrutyn is a top strategist and innovative leader who has transformed sports and entertainment businesses for nearly 30 years. He specializes in helping global brands, sports leagues, rights holders, and marketing agencies on the ways to capitalize on emerging growth trends, disruption, and evolving consumer behaviors.

For Bruin, he sources and evaluates investment opportunities and is responsible for the company’s interests in the marketing services sector, including its ownership of award-winning agencies Engine Shop and Soulsight. His work establishing On Locations Experiences – a Bruin joint venture with the NFL – set the stage for OLE’s rapid growth and sale for $660M four years after launch. He has also been instrumental in the U.S. expansion of Deltatre, a Bruin media technology company, based in Turin, Italy, which now serves the most prestigious U.S. sports companies and leagues, among its global roster of clients.

David joined Bruin in 2015 after 15 years at IMG, where as Senior Vice President & Global Managing Director of its Consulting, and led one of the industry’s most successful practices. During his tenure the business grew from less than ten people to nearly 200 people operating in 13 countries and 50+ clients. He diversified the core capabilities of the business to include activation, communications, public relations, property consulting, public sector, and tourism. IMG’s practice was also US and UK Agency of the Year multiple times and its clients achieve across-the-board accolades from the industry’s most respected trade publications.

David’s career began in sales and marketing with the Washington Capitals before he joined The Sports Business Daily at its launch and served as Associate Publisher Sports Business Journal/Daily, now the industry’s leading trade publication. After SBJ, he joined the National Hockey League’s Marketing Group before moving on to IMG. In 2008, SBJ named David to its prestigious 40-Under-40 list.

A University of Hartford graduate, David, his wife, and two children reside in Rye, New York.

 

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If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Sports Entrepreneurs Mastermind (SEM) sessions too.

The SEM sessions are an extension of the SEP series, where we bring experts from around the world together for 1.5-2 hours of brainstorming, learning, discussion and connecting.  It’s a live online round table format, moderated by Marcus Luer which includes a short presentation by him to set up the topic of the session and then the members will discuss, share their thoughts, ask questions and debate the topic.  The direction of the discussion is truly influenced by the participants of the given session.  It’s a fascinating learning experience for everyone involved. Come join us for future sessions by getting on our mailing list.  Please register HERE

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https://marcusluer.com
https://marcusluer.com/mastermind

John Dykes, “Becoming a Brand - A Career in Front Of The Camera”

John Dykes, “Becoming a Brand - A Career in Front Of The Camera”

May 20, 2020

John has been the voice and face of Football and in particular of the English Premier League for over a decade across Asia and the world.  In this episode, we go in front of the camera and have a look at how John’s career took him from being a face/voice to becoming a “brand” himself. Great storytelling by the man with the smooth voice and of course great insights and learning for anyone who has an aspiration in this space and/or likes to learn what it takes to be in front of cameras.

  

 Key Highlights

  1. Early days as a journalist at the South China Morning Post and host on TVB (Hong Kong)
  2. Making the decision to be in Sports full time and concentrate
  3. Dos and Don’ts of broadcasting as a presenter/anchor
  4. Premier League, from ESPN/Star Sports to Premier League Content service
  5. His most interesting interviews (from Thierry Henry to Michel Platini)
  6. The John Dykes Show – how it started and story behind it (how to create an engaging show without ‘live’ content)
  7. It’s more than just a TV program, it’s a multi-cross-platform production
  8. How to create engaging content even during Covid when there is no live sports
  9. Football talk – Premier League
  10. How new technology will change the viewing experience and VAR – the debate goes on


About

Asia’s best-known sports broadcast anchor. Host of “The John Dykes Show” on Fox Sports.

Twitter: @johndykesfc
Instagram: johnmdykes

“The John Dykes Show” on Fox Sports Asia drives a global football debate, with particular focus on the Premier League, across linear and digital platforms, engaging with fans across a 20-country Asian footprint and beyond.

John previously worked on the Premier League’s international broadcasts from 2010 to 2017,
fronting live, predominantly studio-based coverage. He also commentated on "Goal Rush" -- calling one game and crossing to goals and incidents from other matches as they happened.

Before that, 13 years broadcasting across Asia with ESPN STAR Sports, also to 50 African countries on SuperSport's FIFA World Cup 2014 and UEFA Euro2016 coverage. John has hosted Indian Super League content for STAR Sports in India.

As well as ESPN Star Sports' Premier League broadcasts to Asia, he has hosted a broad range of sports: cricket World Cups and tours, golf's Masters, Grand Slam tennis at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows, F1 (five years as host of the Raceday show on STAR Sports), rugby World Cups and Six Nations, Moto GP, Superbikes, UEFA Champions League finals.

John's network of professional collaborators ranges from football legends such as Ryan Giggs, Peter Schmeichel and Alan Shearer to other major stars from various sports.

As an event host, he has compered the Asian Football Confederation awards shows, corporate dinners and sporting occasions. In December 2014 John was on stage in front of more than 30,000 fans at the BPL Live fan park event in Mumbai, the following year it was in Cape Town. In April 2014 he hosted an event at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge for visiting members of the China Entrepreneurs Club. John speaks conversational Cantonese and Mandarin. 

 

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If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Sports Entrepreneurs Mastermind (SEM) sessions too.

The SEM sessions are an extension of the SEP series, where we bring experts from around the world together for 1.5-2 hours of brainstorming, learning, discussion and connecting.  It’s a live online round table format, moderated by Marcus Luer which includes a short presentation by him to set up the topic of the session and then the members will discuss, share their thoughts, ask questions and debate the topic.  The direction of the discussion is truly influenced by the participants of the given session.  It’s a fascinating learning experience for everyone involved. Come join us for future sessions by getting on our mailing list.  Please register HERE

-----------------------------------------------
https://marcusluer.com
https://marcusluer.com/mastermind

Marcus Luer, From Two Decades of Learning

Marcus Luer, From Two Decades of Learning

May 4, 2020

 

This time, I am sharing some of my stories of 27 years in the trenches of Sports Marketing, how I got into the industry and my 23 year journey as a Sports Marketing Entrepreneur in Asia. Hope you enjoy some of the stories and insights into TSA and our evolution as a company.

 

Key Highlights

  1. How I got started, from tennis in Cologne, Germany to University at TCU in the US
  2. American Airlines experience,  Official Airline of the FIFA World Cup 1994 (Concacaf Gold Cup)
  3. First real job in Hong Kong with Asia Sports (World Sports Group – now Lagardere Sports)
  4. Start of TSA in 1997 during the Asian Financial Crisis
  5. TSA 1.0 to 5.0
  6. TSA 1.0 -  WWE agent in Asia story – US$ 170 million later
  7. TSA 2.0 -  Media agent, representing US Open tennis, BWF, ITTF, PSM and other premium content
  8. TSA 3.0 – started with a painful experience, internally created and launch of GLORY Kickboxing, new revenue streams, Branded Real Estate
  9. TSA 4.0 – Digital experience, OTT – Sportsfix launch, Blockchain experience (ICO), E-Sports, Football Division
  10. TSA 5.0 -  TSA post Covid-19 – focus on Consulting, Beat Covid-19 products for the Live Sports industry, new revenue streams for Sports & Esports, Sports Fund
  11. BHAG:  Generated US$ 500 million in the past 20 years for the industry – NEW GOAL is to generate US$ 1 billion in next 10 years

 

About

Marcus Luer is Asia’s #1 Sports Marketing Entrepreneur and the Group CEO of TSA (Total Sports Asia), Asia’s global sports marketing agency which he founded 23 years ago in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Marcus is a thought after industry expert and speaker and has been featured on CNBC, BBC News, Bloomberg Asia, regularly presents at major global sports conferences and has contributed to many international newspapers and industry magazines articles.

He recently launched his own Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast Series featuring top sports executives and entrepreneurs from around the world. 

Sports Business International (SBI) magazine voted him into the “SBI 200 Team”, comprising of the most influential leaders in the industry over the past 18 years. He is also the Co-Founder of GLORY Sports International (GSI), the #1 Kickboxing League in the world. Marcus also created the Branded Real Estate (BRE) concept, a brand consulting business to the Real Estate industry. 

BRE has developed a very unique set of skills which matches the power of Superbrands with Residential Real Estate projects in the region. From the Michael Schumacher World Tower to two Armani Residences in India and China, TSA BRE has developed projects with a combined GDV value of over US$ 1 billion and is the leading agency globally in this space.

Living and working in the sports industry in Asia for over 25 years, Marcus is considered one of the Founding fathers of Sports Marketing in Asia and continues to follow his passion to develop the Asian and global sports industry.

At the end of 1997, at the age of 29 and after three years in Asia working for World Sports Group (WSG), Marcus founded TSA. Marcus’ drive and leadership has guided the company to what it is today, Asia’s global leader in sports content and branding solutions. TSA has created over US$ 500 million worth of new revenue for rights holders globally over the past 20 years and targets to generate US$ 1 billion over the next 10 years for Asian sports and Esports properties.

TSA represents and/or has worked with major global sports brands from Premier League Football Clubs, Formula One teams, WWE, US Open Tennis and a host of Olympic Sports Federations (BWF, ITTF, AIBA, IAAF, FINA, UCI, etc) over the last 23 years. TSA also partnered with the SPARTAN RACE series in 2015 to develop the first events in Asia.

TSA’s role is always focused on developing new commercial opportunities and build larger platforms for rights holders, events, Venues and brands in the region or worldwide. TSA’s clients range from broadcasters, Asian multinationals to global corporations and governments seeking to maximize the power of sports for their own brand benefit. 

TSA provides a range of consulting services to these clients, for example, as the Commercial Partnership Consultant to KL Sports City, TSA created Malaysia’s first Venue Naming rights deal with the Axiata Arena. TSA is currently developing a 10 Year Sports Masterplan for an Asian Government, including grassroots, education to elite athlete training concepts. Sports Education is becoming a new driving force in Asia and TSA has partnered with the prestigious Loughborough University in the UK.

TSA Football is focused on serving the growing Asian Football market, including Player transfers, Football Club/Leagues Consulting services, sponsorship and other fund raising.

Total Esports (TES), is the latest venture, combining the expertise in sponsorship, media and events from the traditional world of sports to the booming Esports ecosystem. TES works with top E-gaming publishers, platforms and teams in Asia.

Marcus’ ventured into the Digital start up space with SPORTSFIX, a Netflix of Sports concept in Asean. Sportsfix focus is live and on Demand content delivered via an OTT (Over the Top) platform incorporating Blockchain technology targeted towards the new generation of sports fans which heavily consume content on their mobile devices.

In early 2012, Marcus teamed up with a group of blue chip investors and Fight Sports industry experts to launch GLORY Kickboxing, the premier kickboxing League in the world. Marcus used his 20 years of experience across the global sports marketing world to start the new venture. GLORY has produced over 70 events since its inception in major cities around the world from London, New York to Tokyo and will continue to expand its reach with more events in the future, including events in China and across media platforms worldwide.

Marcus is not just an avid sports executive and fan but also gets into the action. You will see him regularly participate in Triathlons or other races across the region. He is also a member and active on the board of YPO’s (Young Presidents Organization) Malaysian Chapter since 2007.

Unmish Parthasarathi, Watching Cricket for a Living

Unmish Parthasarathi, Watching Cricket for a Living

April 27, 2020

Unmish talks us thru his 20 years of experiences and learning sitting on different sides of the table, from his time at agencies, rights holders and broadcasters.

  1. Starting his career with TWI in the production space, great learning
  2. Early days of New Media 1998-2000
  3. BBC Days,  developing new media platforms, more learning experiences
  4. ESPN/Star Sports – developing new media platforms and services for broadcast clients
  5. New Media turns Digital
  6. ICC (Cricket), monetizing non-linear, short form content
  7. The different forms in Cricket, T10, T20 and the difference to other sports
  8. Current services and projects of his own agency
  9. What changes are we seeing in digital from Covid-19

 

About

Unmish brings a rare mix of competencies that includes multi-media content creation, video-based product development, strategy & sales coupled with a deep understanding of partnership development and cross-cultural collaboration in Asia & Europe. 

Unmish's international profile and contact networks are the result of 20 years in a leadership role at blue-chip firms such as IMG Media (Endeavour), BBC Technology, ESPN STAR Sports, Fox International Channels (FIC), News Corp., Scripps Interactive Networks (now owned by Discovery) and the International Cricket Council.   

Educated at St. Stephen's College (Delhi), Cambridge University (UK) and London Business School, Unmish promotes entrepreneurship via institutional collaborations with Jungle Ventures (as Venture Partner) and TiE Singapore (Charter Member) and also mentors startups (in MediaTech, VideoTech & SportsTech) in a personal capacity.

Jim Wright, The Commercial world of Motorsports

Jim Wright, The Commercial world of Motorsports

April 19, 2020

 

Jim is taking us on a great journey through the commercial world of motorsports from his humble beginnings in UK motorsports to his career in Formula 1 to Formula E now. He is one of the most creative and talented commercial guys in Motorsports I know. His thinking and approach for how to create stories and sponsorship programs works for any sports. As a “commercial guy”, I love this talk.  Anyone can sell a hot property, like the FIFA World Cup, the Team or athlete that just won a big Championship. In that space, it’s less about creativity but about managing the demand and getting top value for the client/property.  When you sell a back/mid-table team or a new franchise, you have to be a whole lot more creative and come up with new angles. Jim is a master of that.  Enjoy the lessons and give us your feedback.

 

Key Highlights

  1. His passion for motorsports from his teens and how he got into it step by step
  2. His knack for the commercial side of the business
  3. His Williams F1 racing days under Sir Frank Williams, incredible learning
  4. BMW and Williams F1 team deal, the learning and stories around it
  5. Hundreds of Millions of Dollars of deals but even the little deals count
  6. Learning how people treat other people
  7. Power of B2B part in sponsorship
  8. Switch to Formula E, difficult start but as usual staying focused on the end goal always works
  9. Difference in budgets between F1 and Formula E
  10. How to sell Formula E, the story book, do your home work on the client
  11. Andretti Autosport, going beyond traditional motorsports revenue
  12. The difference between selling commercial rights for a Winning team vs others (Mahindra Formula E story)
  13. How to sell sponsorships in the new world after Covid-19
  14. Current plans to get Formula E back on the track

 

 

About

A marketing professional with a proven and quantifiable track record for sponsorship sales, particularly in motorsport, Jim Wright is a sports fan with a finely honed talent for creating mutually beneficial opportunities and making partnerships happen using strategic vision techniques.
 
Having started his career upon completion of a Business Studies degree, Wright moved from team management and logistics in to the commercial side of motor sport working for the fledgling ATS F1 team in 1980/81 before accepting an offer from Eddie Jordan to help grow his eponymous team.
 
Through the acquisition of team sponsorship and trade partnerships, Jordan was able to hire race winning drivers and move his team to the forefront of international racing below Formula 1. Wright was the driving force behind this strategy and he also worked with the ebullient Irishman on driver management, starting the Eddie Jordan Management business.
 
After five years with Eddie Jordan, Jim was recruited by Cellnet, then Britain’s fastest growing mobile phone network to set up and manage a strategic motor sport division of their marketing department aimed at creating awareness and commercial opportunity for Cellnet as the mobile phone market emerged in the UK. Alongside this commitment, Wright developed his own agency to service other motor sport clients including drivers, championship promoters and car constructors. This business was a great success, particularly in Japan where Wright delivered the single biggest sponsorship of the booming Japanese F3000 championship with the Promise financial services company and Reynard Racing Cars.
 
Wright’s exploits were noticed by Frank Williams and in 1994 Jim Wright was offered an opportunity to head up sponsorship sales for the Rothmans Williams Renault F1 team, an opportunity that he could not turn down. Having landed his first deal within 10 days of joining Frank’s team, Wright quickly emerged as a real force and within 14 months of joining Williams he was asked by Frank Williams to be the Head of Marketing & Sponsorship, a position that Wright held for the next 11 years. During this term, Williams created the Senior Management Group – a core of five key executives who reported to the shareholders, Frank Williams and Patrick Head through monthly Board meetings and Wright represented the company’s commercial interests at these meetings.
 
Before he left Williams in 2006, Wright was directly responsible for introducing and/or negotiating more than 200 million dollars of commercial income to the team and he built a commercial reputation for the Williams F1 team based upon principles laid down by Frank Williams of fairness, transparency honesty and integrity. Those principles endure today, both at Williams and through the Anglo Svenska operation.
 
Having worked with Gerhard Berger through the BMW partnership with Williams, Wright was recruited by Berger upon his completion of the purchase of a shareholding in the Toro Rosso F1 team and Wright moved his family to Monte Carlo to begin work on this project. When Berger sold his shareholding back to Red Bull at the end of the 2008 season, Jim was asked to work on a CSR programme with Keke and Nico Rosberg which was concluded when Virgin made Wright their first commercial hire for their start up F1 team which was awarded an F1 entry in June 2009.
 
Starting work in July 2009, Wright created a marketing team from scratch and delivered against an ambitious target of sponsorship, mostly from companies new to the sport to ensure that the team formed up on the grid in March 2010. In addition to securing the vital third party investment, Wright was responsible for directing the creation of the look & feel of the team and working with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin brand and other stakeholders such as Lloyds Development Capital in developing a commercial and marketing communications strategy and served on the Board of Virgin Racing / Marussia Virgin Racing between September 2009 and December 2011. Wright was responsible for the introduction of more than 35 million USD of sponsorship for the fledgling Formula 1 team over two seasons, a remarkable achievement for a new team with limited on-track performance.
Increasingly disillusioned with the rising costs of F1 and lack of commercial direction from the Commercial Rights Holder ( Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management ), Wright devoted time to pursuing other activities, transferring his skills to the non-profit sector by setting up a commercial structure for Jeremy Gilley’s Peace One Day organisation and mentoring others to achieve commercial goals for Peace One Day.
 
The creation of the FIA Formula E series for electric powertrain racing cars in 2013 proved to be of great interest to Wright who accepted an invitation from the Monaco entrepreneur Gildo Pallanca Pastor to lead the commercial aspects of his fledgling Venturi Formula E team. Wright was instrumental in convincing F1 veteran Nick Heidfeld to switch to the new racing series and Wright was able to introduce a number of technical partners to the team in ZF, Rohm Semiconductor and Farasis batteries as well as other companies such as Delta Auto.
As the Formula E series began to grow, the Teams formed a representative group ( Formula E Teams Association - FETA ) and from 2014, the Teams elected Jim Wright to serve as Secretariat working with an elected Chairman in rotation, a position that he holds to date. As the series expanded and more OEMs came on board and the business model changed from the start of the second generation car and battery, the role was increased to represent the Teams and the Manufacturers ( FETAMA ) and Wright remains in that elected position today. Nowadays, FETAMA is a well-respected stakeholder group working alongside the governing body ( FIA ) and the Promoter ( FEO ) to grow the FIA Formula E World Championship.
 
The Mahindra Formula E Team recruited Wright from Venturi in 2016 as their Chief Commercial Officer, a position that he held through to the beginning of 2019 during which time he personally introduced and / or negotiated a portfolio of sponsorship partners to offset the Mahindra & Mahindra budget spend as well as supporting Team Principal Dilbagh Gill in all commercial matters. Shell, Renesas, Avis, Umicore, Lear Corporation were major corporations which were brought on board during Wright’s tenure as they adjusted their business models for the e-mobility era.
 
In 2019, Wright accepted an offer from Michael Andretti to fill a new role, Group Commercial Director, with a brief to widen the commercial appeal of the Andretti Autosport business and to create new business opportunities for the iconic American racing team. Wright reports directly to Andretti Autosport President J.F.Thormann and he works across the Group’s motorsport platforms.
Sam Li, The world of Sina Sports

Sam Li, The world of Sina Sports

April 10, 2020

 

Sam takes us into a deep dive tour of the fascinating world of SINA Sports, part of Sina- Weibo Group, China’s largest Social Media group (the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram of China, all rolled into one).

 Key Highlights

  1. China perspective on Covid-19, Sina Sports planning
  2. Early eye on sports thru law Degree – well established route
  3. Go back to his roots – NBA China first role in sports
  4. China Sports Social Media 101 – Sina – Weibo (Micro Blog)
  5. Weibo – the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram blend of China (biggest open Social Media platform in China)
  6. Wechat – closed social media in comparison plus other functions (Whatsapp on steroids)
  7. Business model – advertising driven, driven by large traffic
  8. Sina Sports – how it started and where it is now
  9. The Crazy years of Chinese Sports Media rights
  10. Monetization of Content, Chinese learning & the same challenge everywhere
  11.  Sina Sports three pillars :
    1. Digital Media
    2. Social Media
    3. Offline Events
  12. Offline events – owning events, IP and content (3-on-3 Basketball, Futsal and Skiing) – massive numbers
  13. Large logistics across the whole country, over 100 stops for most of the sports, including Skiing, venturing overseas
  14. Focus on “Mobile friendly” sports, core audience of Weibo
  15. Events are very sponsor friendly and driven, fully integrated with their Social Media platforms
  16. From Amateur to Elite League
  17. His advisory roles for various groups, entrepreneurship, learning

 

About

Sam Li is the Head of International Business Strategy for Sina Sports where he is responsible for domestic and international sports rights acquisition; strategic partnerships with rights holders, teams and individual athletes; and international sponsorships and marketing.

He was previously an Associate Vice President with the National Basketball Association. Sam has a Juris Doctor degree from University of Michigan Law School and dual bachelor degrees from University of California, Los Angeles.

David Falk, The NBA Super Agent Goat

David Falk, The NBA Super Agent Goat

April 5, 2020

 

Having the opportunity to interview one of the true Superstars of our industry was a privilege and honour. David, is not just the well known “Super Agent” of Michael Jordan but he is truly someone who changed the face of our industry and still is at the age of 70.  Listen, learn and enjoy. Tons of wisdom in that 1.5 hours.  

 

Key Highlights

  1. Suburb of New York upbringing and his parents influence
  2. Always had a passion for Law & having College Basketball players as his buddies
  3. 1972, early days of Sports Agents - trying to get a meeting with Donald Dell (called him 17 times in 4 hours)
  4. Start working for Donald for free while finishing his Law degree, just to get into the industry
  5. At 25 big break to handle major clients, became Donald’s Chief of staff
  6. Developing his own style of negotiations “always overprepare”
  7. Michael Jordan and Barry Bond story about work ethics
  8. His style of negotiations and how it changed over time (building relationships)
  9. Negotiation is not a zero sum game, both sides need to be in the same “zone”
  10. Being liked vs being respected
  11. Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan deal with Nike (the real story how Air Jordan name came about)
  12. Size of Deals during those Days (early 80s) and how he was able to craft the deal
  13. Michael wanted Adidas and didn’t want to see Nike
  14. His relationship with Michael now
  15. The last Dance – new movie about Michael’s final season
  16. 1984 as a Rookie, Michael’s first commercial deals (McDonald’s, a small local deal in Chicago)
  17. Coke, McDonald and Chevrolet – all American Image
  18. Gatorade, break thru deal 1991 (10 years, seven figure deal)
  19. The biggest and best deals, don’t just take cash, look for equity  
  20. The start of FAME (David’s own agency)
  21. A man has got to know his limitations
  22. Marque & SFX story (now Live Nation)
  23. You need a “walk away” point in a deal – his target was US$ 100 million
  24. Goldman Sachs Chairman story
  25. His SFX time, buying other smaller agencies, culture is key
  26. SFX US$ 4.5 billion merger with Clear Channel story
  27. Round 2 with Donald
  28. Big agencies and the huge competition between them
  29. Big Basketball stars, new route, family offices
  30. Tennis prodigy story – the next Serena Williams
  31. Learning from mistakes – Stephan Marbury story
  32. Current Ventures, dozen different companies, X-Factory (Sports tech accelerator), etc
  33. Never too old to learn

 

About

David Falk has long been recognized as one of the sports industry’s leading figures and most talented innovators. He is recognized as the NBA Super Agent of his time and the man behind Michael Jordan’s commercial success. A trained lawyers, he began his career representing professional athletes with ProServ in 1974, rising to Vice Chairman of the company. In 1992, he formed Falk Associates Management Enterprises (FAME) to provide specialized and personal representation service to the company’s elite clientele of NBA superstars. ​

During his career, Falk has represented more NBA first-round draft selections, lottery picks, Rookies-of-the-Year, and All-Stars than anyone else in the athlete management business. In 1985, he negotiated Michael Jordan’s ground-breaking deal with Nike--the most successful endorsement relationship in history--and in the process coined the nickname “Air Jordan.” Falk negotiated the highest contracts in NBA league history for Patrick Ewing in 1985 and Danny Ferry in 1990. He also negotiated professional sports’ first $100 million contract in 1996 for Alonzo Mourning as part of an unprecedented free agency period in which FAME changed the entire salary structure of the NBA, negotiating over $400 million in contracts for its free agent clients in a six-day period. ​

In 1998, Falk sold FAME to SFX Entertainment for US$ 200 million, serving on SFX’s Board of Directors and in the Office of the Chairman. As Chairman of SFX Sports Group, Falk oversaw the acquisition of a dozen sports agencies that enabled SFX to represent approximately 20 percent of MLB and NBA players. Falk stepped down as Chairman in 2001 to pursue other interests. In January 2007, Falk re-launched FAME and currently serves as its Founder and CEO.​

Falk is also involved in a dozen ventures now, both as an investor and advisor.

Maurizio Barbieri, “Maurizio’s Digital Journey to Twitter”

Maurizio Barbieri, “Maurizio’s Digital Journey to Twitter”

March 27, 2020

 

Maurizio's story has been all about digital for 20+ years of his career, from the early days of sports websites, to streaming content, to other digital ventures, some worked, some were too early. His journey lead him to Twitter. And he is loving it. Enjoy his stories.

 

Key Highlights

  1. His early days in Basketball Coaching, always with an eye on technology and data
  2. Working with Ricardo D’Silva and launching the first Basketball portal in Europe  (MP Web)
  3. Breaking ground, first to produce content for Mobile phones in early 2000 and starting live streaming on websites
  4. Venture with Thomas Martens, early days of social media . First deal with YouTube
  5. Branded content on Social media, too early
  6. Samsung time - #1 Consumer brand in the world
  7. His views on streaming, content delivery and monetization for rights holders and platform owners
  8. Twitter – maybe the largest sports Venue in the world
  9. His role in Twitter, helping global content owners and local publishers leverage the platform
  10. NBA in the Philippines, how Twitter supports the League
  11. His learning, don’t bust people’s balls…..
  12. The future, DAZN, ESPN+….. who will be the new dominant player
  13. Twitter’s role in E-Gaming

 

About

Maurizio leads Sports Partnerships across Southeast Asia for Twitter. In this role, Maurizio is responsible for developing and driving innovative sports partnerships, creating new revenue opportunities for Twitter and its sports partners in the region, and bringing exciting sports content onto Twitter to reach fans around the world.

Prior to Twitter, Maurizio founded and raised capital for two sports startups. With more than 18 years of experience in sports content, Maurizio has worked across Europe and Asia and was Head of Sports for Samsung Asia between 2013 and 2016.

After a successful career as a basketball coach, Maurizio started working in the digital field in 1999 at MP Web, the digital media arm of the Mediapartners Group (now Infront Italy). Maurizio has always been interested in technology, sports, and media, while movies and movie making are where his true passion lies.

Joe de Sena, “Spartan Tough”

Joe de Sena, “Spartan Tough”

March 12, 2020

 

Spartan Tough - Amazing insights and awesome “raw” sharing by Mr Spartan himself, Joe de Sena.  His mindset and philosophies for business and life are perfect for the current climate and global challenges.

You have to be “Spartan Tough” to make it through all the obstacles which are currently out there.  Business is a “Combat sport” (surprised he didn’t say “Spartan Race”) and he prepares for it with that in mind.

When I asked him after the interview about the Corona Virus and the impact on his events, he just said “what Virus”.  “Where your focus goes, energy flows”, famous words by my mentor Tony Robbins.

Hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I do.

 

Key Highlights

  1. Joe’s very early days (pre-teen), growing up in a crime infested neighbourhood and his tough life lessons (be indispensable, be early and don’t ask for money)
  2. From his Pool cleaning business to Wall Street
  3. His mum’s impact on his life from Yoga to running
  4. In his mid-20s, transition from running his Pool cleaning business to working on Wall Street  
  5. How life style changes also changed his business, Vermont and family  
  6. The first races started from his farm in Vermont
  7. Tough love – “no one cares, work harder”
  8. Spartan Races, big ambitions, burning money for 15 years to get where the business is now
  9. Business is a “combat sport”
  10. Challenges for Spartan (being an analog business) is “digital”, promoting something which makes people “uncomfortable”
  11. Brand building in the digital age
  12. Tough Mudder vs Spartan Race – competition made both stronger
  13. Purchase of Tough Mudder a week ago – his vision for both brands and how to fix Tough Mudder’s problems
  14. Spartan’s future and current state
  15. His time in Asia and Spartan’s growth here
  16. At the core human beings are all “Spartans”
  17. His Ultimate goal “change 100 million lives”
  18. Olympic dream
  19. His advise to young entrepreneurs
  20. A day in Joe’s life

 


About

Joe De Sena – Founder and CEO of Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand – has demonstrated his entrepreneurial drive since his pre-teens. Following a successful career on Wall Street De Sena set his sights on ripping people off their couches by creating the Spartan lifestyle.

With more than one million annual global participants at more than 250 events across more than 40 countries, Spartan offers heats for all fitness levels and ages, from beginner to elite and Kids as young as four-years-old. The brand has transformed more than seven million lives since it was founded in 2010.

De Sena is also the host of the Spartan Up! podcast and is a New York Times Best Selling Author having written three books: “Spartan Up,” “Spartan Fit” and “The Spartan Way.”

Alistair Gosling, “Mr Extreme”, A 25 Year Journey

Alistair Gosling, “Mr Extreme”, A 25 Year Journey

February 11, 2020

 

Key Highlights

  1. Al talks about how he got into the business of Extreme Sports thru his passion for that type of Sports in his youth
  2. How he felt Dyslexia has helped him to be mentally tough and ready for a role as an Entrepreneur
  3. How the business was scaled and the first big break thru launching the Extreme Sports Channel with UPC as investor (raising US$ 35 million)
  4. Al talks us thru the different facets of the business now, selling the channel to Liberty Media and focusing on building the “Extreme” brand
  5. New digital media space, short form content, new revenue streams (10 year journey)
  6. Extreme Events and Marcus’ story about “Danny Way - Great Wall of China Jump” (2005)
  7. Al goes into details on the new projects in Saudi Arabia and his role developing Extreme Sports in the Kingdom (Tourism Vision for the country)
  8. Key Learning from his 25 years, all about People, having the right team and how to manage them
  9. His thoughts on institutional investors, dealing with them, legal challenges at times (when to fight and when to talk)
  10. What Private Equity investors can bring to an entrepreneurial company
  11. “Extreme sports” 25 years ago, where it is now and future (experiential)
  12. His view on Esports (and his dogs view on it) and parallels to Extreme sports

 

About

Alistair Gosling is a seasoned entrepreneur and investor with over 25 years of experience spanning media, marketing, events and large scale sport and leisure destination development. Always armed with a ‘Can Do’ attitude, Alistair is the driving force behind The Extreme Sports Company and holds overall responsibility for the strategic direction, critical decisions and management of the business.

Initially focused on the fast-paced media sector, Alistair built a world-leading TV distribution company, then in 1998, aged 27, he saw a gap in the market and had the vision for the EXTREME brand franchise and The Extreme Sports TV Channel. He partnered with UPC and Liberty Media, raised $35m and went on to launch the brand in over 60 counties around the world.

Today backed by Kleinwort Hambros and Soc Gen banks Alistair is working alongside brilliant teams building EXTREME across media and marketing, events and arenas, destinations and resorts, and is operating between London, Riyadh and Dubai.

He is honoured and privileged to be on the International advisory board of Qiddiya, ة القدية للاستثمار the 334-square-km sports, entertainment and cultural destination being developed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a supporter of Medshr.net the award-winning medical network that is helping save lives through peer to peer learning between doctors. Alistair is a passionate sailor, skier, pilot, dive master and significant supporter of several global marine conservation projects.