The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer
Razlan Razali, “From Hosting F1 To Leading A MotoGP Team”

Razlan Razali, “From Hosting F1 To Leading A MotoGP Team”

October 24, 2020

Dato Razlan Razali is living his childhood dream from running Sepang International Circuit (SIC) for over a decade, hosting F1 and MotoGP races and turning the loss-making facility into a sustainable business to turning his passion for motorcycling into being the Team Principal of the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Race Team which is taking MotoGP by storm the last two seasons and is on the verge of winning the Championship.  Listen, learn and be inspired by his stories on how to build a successful Racetrack and how those learnings helped him to create a very successful MotoGP racing team.   

Key Highlights

  1. His career start, selling his first company, starting a concert company with his brother and his first job interview for the CEO role of Sepang International Circuit (SIC) which didn’t go so well. Persistency paid off and he became the CEO of SIC in 2008, few weeks before the MotoGP race.
  2. Early days at SIC, he inherited a mess and had a culture shock,  rolled up his sleeve and started to make changes.
  3. Starting to charge for everything in and around the track to generate new revenues.  More professionalism and commercialization was the key.
  4. Turn SIC into a multi facet venue -  “a ballroom under the sky”.
  5. Hosting Formula 1 at SIC stories, his first meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, again didn’t go so well……
  6. 2009 the first F1 race under his leadership, made changes, focus on what’s best for SIC and Malaysia and disregarding F1 and the arrogance of F1 teams.
  7. Till the end, it was never a happy marriage with F1, race became jaded, nothing new and was eventually dropped.
  8. MotoGP was the opposite, Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta was open to all his ideas and wanted to do more, the growth and success of the race since then is proof.
  9. Very vocal when F1 race was dropped,  “even given for free, Malaysia would not host F1 race”,  Reuters headline worldwide.
  10. Revealing the fee SIC paid to F1 and the reasons why the Prime Minister of Malaysia asked him to get out.
  11. MotoGP success stories, how it all started, creating local heroes by starting a young rider search, academy and having wild card riders in Moto3 (125cc category).
  12. Created the first SIC Moto3 team in 2015,  challenge taking riders from “Kapcai” racing on the streets of Malaysia to a full fledge racing machine in Europe (money, motivation and mindset).
  13. Lots of talented local riders in terms of skill but most lacking mental strength.
  14. First Season in MotoGP in 2019 – lady luck played a role – stories of how it all started – his childhood dream came true.
  15. Petronas played a key role in taking over a financially struggling MotoGP team.
  16. How he found “Fabio” (Quartararo) – stroke of luck and how he came out blazing from the start and winning “Rookie of the Year” award, first podium till leading standing now.
  17. His thoughts on winning the MotoGP Championship this year – original target was to just win the “first” race  (which they did with the first & second race of the season).
  18. Superhumans – stories of his riders dealing with crashes.
  19. Valentino Rossi – the Doctor is joining the team in 2021 – the story behind it (and Fabio leaving to Yamaha Factory team).
  20. MotoGP “bubble”, how it’s working, SOPs, rules, regulations and restrictions – importance of team talks.
  21. His prediction for the Championship with four races to go.
  22. His final thoughts on the future of Motorsports after Covid – difference between F1 and MotoGP.

About

Dato Razlan Razali is a dynamic and highly successful Senior Executive with extensive high-level successes across a wide variety of industries, including world-class event management. First-class leadership skills with excellent marketing and sponsorship development experience in both national and international arenas. Consistently aims for the highest standards on a personal and corporate level. Proven ability to generate innovative growth strategies for successful and profitable companies.

Major Achievements

  1. Sepang International Circuit receives Training Support Excellence Award 2016 at the BSI Client Appreciation Night by BSI Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
  2. Sepang International Circuit was awarded Project Owner of the Year Award 2016 at Shell Bitumen Technical Conference & Customer Appreciation Dinner by Shell Malaysia.
  3. Sepang International Circuit was awarded the Global Branding Award 2016 in theGlobal Brands Icon in Motorsport by Global Brands Council.
  4. Sepang International Circuit receives Utusan Business Award 2015 in the category of Sports Entertainment Sector.
  5. Sepang International Circuit was awarded the Best Event Management Company for Excellence at the rAWr Awards 2015 by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCeb) and the Malaysia Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS).
  6. Sepang International Circuit received the Bronze Award in the Corporate Branding category at the Malaysia PR Awards 2014/2015.
  7. Sepang International Circuit was awarded for its excellence in the Industry Class in Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (“MICE”) in the State of Selangor, Malaysia in 2014.
  8. Sepang International Circuit received OHSAS 18001:2007 certification in 2013.
  9. Sepang International Circuit received the Best Grand Prix Award in 2012 for Malaysia MotoGP by the International Road Racing Team Association (“IRTA”)
  10. Sepang International Circuit awarded Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor 2012.
  11. Sepang International Circuit received ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2011.
  12. Sepang International Circuit was awarded the coveted Facilities Improvement Plan Fund in 2010 by the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (“FIA”).
  13. Masterminded the creation and development of Pineapple Concerts (a successful Malaysian events management company); led the organisation, promotion, marketingand sponsorship of large-scale sell out events, including huge concerts by major international artistes the Black Eyed Peas, Lionel Richie, Earth, Wind & Fire and Kanye West.
  14. Championed and led the first mobile e-tickets programme in Asia.
  15. Successfully raised USD6 million in capital investment for WAP Portal Sdn Bhd from a listed Malaysian company and a listed company from Singapore, convincing both companies to invest based purely on a concept presentation with no physical product, which clearly demonstrates high level influencing/negotiation skills.
  16. Consistently worked at Board Level as Director, Non-Executive Director and on the Audit and Remuneration Committees for a major mechanical and electrical service public listed company, Bintai Kinden Corporation Berhad.

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If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. For more information HERE
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Robert Müller von Vultejus, “From UFA, Lagardere To SPORTFIVE Again”

Robert Müller von Vultejus, “From UFA, Lagardere To SPORTFIVE Again”

October 16, 2020

Robert Müller von Vultejus has been on the forefront of Sports Marketing for decades, as would appear in many different companies, but in reality, these groups were often an “iteration” of previous legacy businesses.  Operating for 25 years from Hamburg, Germany, Robert gives us a great inside look into all the companies and is now one of the key executives to take Sportfive 2.0 back to its glory days globally.  Listen to his fascinating career and stories across UFA Sports 1.0, Sportfive 1.0,  Lagardere, UFA Sports 2.0 to now Sportfive 2.0 again.

Key Higlights

  1. Robert's start into the industry, studied Sports Management in Bayreuth, while studying and DJ-ing started his first agency
  2. UFA Sports 1.0,  in Hamburg,  his boss Bernd Hoffman, ownership by Bertelsmann Group/RTL - the old Media Rights arbitrage game, buy/sell rights
  3. Merger of UFA Sports with Sport + (Sports marketing arm of Canal+) and  Jean Claude Darmon (French sports marketing group) – new group called Sportfive, managing the German and French culture -  lasted a few years and was sold again to Advent (US PE Group). Opportunity for management to participate in deal.
  4. New focus on “Comprehensive Marketing” of 25 Football Clubs in Europe
  5. Different models of upfront guarantees and other facilities to clubs and rights holders – mostly internally funded based on EBIT of Euro 90-100 mil
  6. Next sale to Lagardere Group (French again) for EURO 860 million (US$ 1 b)  - good move from a shareholder point of view, but company culture suffered (entire senior management left)
  7. UFA Sports 2.0, starting again with the team that left Lagardere Sports and found RTL as investors again
  8. New way of working with rights holders, open book, more transparent way – helped to grow the new business , starting in 2008 during the global financial crisis
  9. Sold UFA Sports 2.0 to Lagardere Sports (RTL was looking to exit, change in strategy)  - initially Lagardere was black listed until discussion with Philipp Hasenbein changed the view
  10. Lagardere, where did it all go wrong. Multiple reasons ……. And Recently sold for a fraction of the original value to HIG Capital
  11. Sportfive 2.0 (after the purchase by HIG Capital), reason to go back to the old name, 1,000 strong team with offices in Germany and across Europe, US, Asia
  12. Focus on Selling, still strong portfolio across the regions from rights representation to talent business and consulting
  13. Strong believe that the Agency business is still very important in the ecosystem but a new approach is needed  
  14. Sportfive in Esports – RIOT Games tournaments in Europe, T1 from Korea
  15. Career highlights and worst moments
  16. His view on sports going forward after Covid and during the pandemic

About

Robert Müller von Vultejus, born in 1969, graduated in sports economics at the University of Bayreuth in 1994. He started his professional career at UFA Sports GmbH as a manager in media rights marketing in the same year. From 1997 to 2002, Müller von Vultejus was responsible for the European football business as a member of the management board. In 2001, UFA Sports was renamed Sportfive and Müller von Vultejus was appointed Managing Director with responsibility for the German business.

In December 2007, Robert Müller von Vultejus left the Sportfive Group and in 2008, together with former high-ranking Sportfive managers, he founded a startup company named UFA Sports, later renamed U!Sports GmbH. The start-up was bought by the Lagardère Sports Group in 2015 and became part of the global network of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment. In addition to his role as Managing Director of Lagardère Sports Germany, Robert Müller von Vultejus continued to be Managing Director of U!Sports and moreover was responsible for the European Business Development Unit of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment. In April 2020, Lagardère Sports and Entertainment was sold to H.I.G. Capital.

In 2020, Müller von Vultejus has been appointed Chief Growth Officer (CGO) and is one of four members of the Executive Committee of the international sports business agency SPORTFIVE. Müller von Vultejus is a family man, plays tennis and has a preference for fitness, nutrition and cooking. He is married, father of four children and lives with his family in Hamburg.

-----------------------------------------------
If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. For more information HERE
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Chris Pepe, “Road to LA28″

Chris Pepe, “Road to LA28″

October 11, 2020

Chris is sharing stories of his illustrious career from being a founding executive member of Major League Soccer, to working at FIFA World Cups and Olympics at the client-side with Yahoo and VISA which has led him to his current role as the Chief Commercial Officer of the LA 2028 Olympics and the US Olympic & Paralympic Properties. With eight years out, it’s a long and interesting road ahead.

Key Highlights

  1. Accidental entry into sports, not the typical lawyer career path.  Doug Logan, a client and first Commissioner of Major League Soccer got him involved in the new League
  2. Working at the MLS – with industry Tycoons from Lamar Hunt, Phil Anschutz and Bob Kraft and Alan Rothenberg.  From Team names to Venues, tickets, etc starting from scratch
  3. Credit to founders for keeping the League alive to the big success it is now
  4. Yahoo Days,  dot com era.  Yahoo became Partner of FIFA on 9/11 (announcement on the fatal day) and Chris’s role, FIFA World Cup in Japan/Korea
  5. Premier Partnerships, joining Randy Bernstein who left Yahoo and started the agency
  6. A decade at VISA, transition from Agency to Client-side. Lots of “internal selling” vs external. Olympic and Rugby sponsor at the time. Not yet with FIFA
  7. First VISA involvement at FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010.  Massive issues in the transition between Mastercard and VISA prior to it.
  8. Why is VISA in Sports – growth of VISA brand is directly lined to Olympics.  Pass through rights for Banks is key.  
  9. FIFA deal, target to reach a different consumer base than Olympics.  More Debit card focused than Credit Card.  First World Cup, huge success.
  10. Marcus & Chris 1984 LA Olympics stories
  11. LA 28 – The story behind the LOGO and MARKS
  12. Eight Years out – first focus is TEAM USA and develop a long term story for brands
  13. Elevator pitch – key is to empower brands, drive engagement, drive brands business – co-creation
  14. Talking Numbers,  US$ 2.5 billion target in sponsorship.  US$ 7 billion overall budget  
  15. Balancing act between IOC Global partners and local partners
  16. Tokyo learning and how to work with partners – extension without any additional fees
  17. Learning/Lessons from his career – don’t take yourself to seriously and don’t let the job get into your head (teamwork matters)

About

Chris Pepe is a seasoned sports business executive leading commercial negotiations, property and team management, market activation and business development. As the Chief Commercial Officer for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties (USOPP), the joint venture between LA28 and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Pepe is responsible for marketing and selling rights for LA28 and Team USA from 2021 through 2028.

Prior to USOPP, Pepe was Head of Strategic Partnerships for Visa International’s North American Product Division. During nearly 10 years there, he held various leadership positions including Head of U.S. Sports & Entertainment Partnerships and Global Head of FIFA/Football Management in Visa’s Worldwide Sponsorships and Partnerships group. In these roles, Pepe managed many of Visa’s multi-million dollar sports investments and led many of the company’s global sports and lifestyle strategies.

In addition to his career at Visa, Pepe has developed business strategies for a variety of sports and entertainment properties, including the first-ever global sales network at Yahoo! and Premier Partnerships when in its startup phase. He began his career in sports as a founding executive member at Major League Soccer (MLS).

Pepe received his B.A. and J.D. from Villanova University and is a cited expert in trusted sport business outlets including Sports Business Daily, Sportcal and Inside the Games.

-----------------------------------------------
If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. For more details HERE
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Oleg Butenko, “From Russia To Gaming”

Oleg Butenko, “From Russia To Gaming”

October 2, 2020

Oleg Butenko has an incredible life journey, coming to the US as a young boy from Kazakhstan and then moving back to Russia in his twenties to build hugely successful businesses there and now back in the USA for more. He is an extraordinary Entrepreneur and sees emerging trends before others and then goes after them like there is no tomorrow.  From his huge success in building and selling tech businesses in Russia over 20 years to now building a new Gaming business in the US with a global focus.  Listen, learn and be inspired.

Key Highlights

  1. Late 80s/early 90s, at the age of 13 he moved to California from Kazakhstan
  2. Dot.com boom in late 90s, everyone building online products and he saw the need for engineer talent from Russia in the US
  3. Early 2000, went to Moscow living out of a suitcase initially which turned into a 20 year journey in Russia
  4. Digitizing content, from older Soviet movies to News shows and sold the company to a Russian Newsgroup
  5. Creating new digital services for Mobile Devices, get to the phone and you get to people’s wallets, from Mobile TV, SMS to Ringtones/Ringback tones (8 billion dollar industry, 40% in Asia), partnerships with Mobile Carriers
  6. Looking East (China) for technology, business model and equipment and West for content
  7. Low credit card penetration and mostly Pre-paid model in Russia (similar to Asia)
  8. His time building Megalabs within MegaFon (2nd largest Mobile operator in Russia), lots of learnings
  9. Launched UMA (United Media Agency) – build leading music streaming platform and sold it to Mail.ru  
  10. Mail.ru, multi billion dollar group, owns VK – Facebook of Russia, Online Games, Search, etc
  11. Local digital players beating the big US groups in their own game
  12. Anton Cherepennikov, new partner in Esports . ESForce (owned several teams, Virtus.pro, Navi, SK Gaming), Esports arena, etc  - sold business to Mail.ru as well     
  13. VY Esports – the latest tech venture, hosting virtual events, creating new type of content, entertainment focus, not professional competitions and some big investors
  14. Gaming as a whole is the key (much larger industry), Esports is a small part of it
  15. Building a Virtual Destination, create own events, showcase talent, TwitchCon with a twist in virtual space
  16. Game1 and VY Esports partnership, to create new type of Gaming content, main stream audience focus and bring big brands into the space (Russia vs USA competition as 1st project)
  17. Styngr – Music and Gaming venture, personalized Music for Gamers
  18. How to bring sponsors into Games, examples from Garena.  Games become powerful platforms for brands to reach massive audiences

About

Oleg Butenko is the CEO of VY Esports, a global esports company which is launching a tech platform to host virtual events in the esports and gaming space. A seasoned tech entrepreneur, Oleg has a successful track record of having founded six companies worth more than a billion dollars, in the global marketplace. VY Esports is backed by a notable group of organizations including:

• The Raine Group
• Elysian Park Ventures (LA Dodger’s Ownership Group)
• Warner Music Group
• Courtside Ventures

In addition to founding VY Esports, Oleg is a tech investor in seed to early stage companies offering a trifecta of strong teams, aligned with market trends and offering a unique proposition. His latest venture is Styngr, a tech platform for integrating and licensing musical content into game play for greater personalization.

A pioneer in the field of digital music and the gaming space, Oleg created one of Russia’s premier mobile music, television, and payment platforms, which was successfully acquired by Russia’s second largest telecommunications company. He then served as CEO of its product and innovation unit, leading the business from inception to a billion-dollar-per-year revenue subsidiary.

In 2014, Oleg founded United Media Agency (UMA), Russia’s leading music streaming content aggregator which represents all digital music on Mail.ru (including VK.com and Boom). He was instrumental in executing digital rights deals with leading music labels and publishing companies including:

• Universal Music
• Sony Music
• Warner Music Group

Together with the USM group, Oleg co- founded ESforce, a global esports company holding among its numerous assets ownership of three esports teams, an esports event/production company and an esports arena.

Oleg is a strong believer in giving back to his community and is a member of YPO and is the Pacific Northwest regional champion for the Sports and Entertainment Network. In addition, he supports a wide variety of charities including:

• LA County Museum of Art (Legacy Circle & Collectors Committee)
• LA Philharmonic
• LA Opera
• LA Music Center
• The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

Oleg is an avid world traveler for both work and pleasure. When he is not on an airplane, he and his family divide their time between Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe.

-----------------------------------------------
If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. For more details HERE
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Follow us on our social sites for the latest updates
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Website: https://marcusluer.com

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Nigel Rushman, “From Major Events To Structured Visual Thinking”

Nigel Rushman, “From Major Events To Structured Visual Thinking”

September 22, 2020

Nigel, has been around the block for nearly 40 years in our industry, and in his typical no-nonsense British style, delivers a masterclass in Events Operations, starting with his first event in the 80s to his role as Advisor of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Bid in Qatar.  Nigel is a true entrepreneur who understands the value of working with tight budgets, putting his own money on the line and using “strategic thinking” as a key tool.  Learn about “Structured Visual Thinking” and how Nigel uses this across many new projects around the world now.

 

Key Highlights

  1. His start in early 80s at a major Athletics Events in the UK and working on the America’s Cup Victory Challenge (Media & PR)
  2. 1991 Rugby World Cup, first major gig (Media & Accreditation Services).  Alan Callan negotiated a deal for all commercial rights to the Rugby World Cup in perpetuity story (CPMA & Rushmans partnership) and the growth of the rights
  3. Moto GP story and how important it is to build relationships across the board
  4. Asian Games in Doha, Qatar 2006 – first big gig in the Middle East – scale and size of the Asian Games is huge (bigger than Olympics) and significant event for the region
  5. Qatar - “Expect Amazing” at the FIFA World Cup 2022, helping Qatar winning the bid – structured thinking process
  6. Never saw any wrong doings by the Bid Committee, playing Devil’s Advocate and initially sceptical about the air cooling system concept
  7. Many venues are temporary and will be sold to other countries afterwards
  8. Volunteer programs from South Africa to Qatar
  9. London Olympics 2012, Non-accredited Media center for the City of London
  10. Nigel’s view on overblown budgets by large event organizers, staffing vs volunteers
  11. Rushmans new focus on “Structured Vision Thinking” (optimization, planning and strategies)
  12. Biggest learning from 40 years (never react in haste)
  13. Biggest success (Rugby World Cup 1991 and winning the Qatar bid) and failure (online accreditation platform)
  14. Final tip “stay fluid with event dates in current climate”  

 

About

Nigel Rushman has spent 25 years working with governments and enterprises on wide ranging programs all over the world.

“Nigel is a continuous learner, working with enterprises to create ‘clarity of purpose’, ‘get stuff done’, “making it real”  and using “uncommon thinking to deliver common sense”.

He continues to study psychology, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, negotiation and strategy as these are becoming foundational to the vital changes businesses need to make.

After founding, building and selling marketing and PR companies, he has established and advised numerous businesses, governments and organisations across a broad range of industries including technology, data, broadcast, sports, medtech, catering, construction, manufacturing and others. He has directed and project managed over 500 political, sports and commercial programmes in more than 30 countries over the last 25 years.

Working with John Caswell, Nigel travels the world helping governments and enterprises large and small solve their challenges and master their opportunities.

A Co-founder of Venica with the mission of ‘Making Good Science Good Business’. Nigel is active in numerous businesses and initiatives worldwide.

You can find out more about Nigel through his blog www.nigelrushman.com.

-----------------------------------------------
If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. For more details HERE
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Follow us on our social sites for the latest updates
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Website: https://marcusluer.com

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Dan Ghosh-Roy, “From Music to Fight Sports”

Dan Ghosh-Roy, “From Music to Fight Sports”

September 8, 2020

From aspiring Music DJ, turned Music Executives working with some of the biggest labels and artist to Chief Digital Officer at the PFL (Professional Fighters League).  Learning from the music industry and how platforms evolved and disrupted the industry and how that relates to sports now and how the PFL is leveraging the new trends to its advantage by launching its own OTT.    

 

Key Highlights

  1. From Liquid Audio, to Napster to EMI Music – the first decade in the music industry operations
  2. Early learning, the power of data, if it’s not collected and recorded properly, no revenue from it
  3. EMI Music – growth of ring-tones for Mobile devices globally – platforms starting to emerge
  4. Katy Perry story,  Last Friday Night release on Facebook through a “fake” profile
  5. Calvin Harris, how he became a big EDM star, new way of promoting an artist
  6. Beyonce, launch of Lemonade Album (Parkwood Entertainment), from Super Bowl Half time show to other creative “drops”, giving fans access to content before it goes out officially
  7. Complex Networks,  learning creative content creation and distribution there
  8. Professional Fighters League (PFL) – the difference to other Fight sports Leagues (League format)
  9. How to become a clear #2 in the space behind the UFC
  10. PFL’s OTT play and the reason why – best place for fans to consume the content
  11. Key learning from his career, be flexible and solutions oriented, turn challenges into new opportunities
  12. Cancelling the 2020 season for health and safety reasons first
  13. International Qualifiers, starting overseas early next year and then the US season 
  14. Future of digital,  anytime, anywhere, any device.  NBA leading with innovations
  15. Final thoughts on piracy   

 

About

Dan Ghosh-Roy joined the PFL from Complex Networks, where he served as SVP, Marketing and Audience Development. During his tenure, he created and curated engaging content, reaching millions of fans with varied passion points, developed customer acquisition campaigns and oversaw year-over-year growth across Complex’s social and web properties.

Prior to Complex, he served as Head of Digital for Parkwood Entertainment, responsible for the strategy and execution of Beyoncé's digital business. Dan previously held senior leadership roles at Ultra Music and EMI Music, working with the likes of Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Coldplay, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki and others.

 

-----------------------------------------------
If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. Check out for more details HERE
-----------------------------------------------
Follow us on our social sites for the latest updates
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Facebook: https://lnkd.in/fw7Z_9h
LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/fVQzNj5
Website: https://marcusluer.com

https://marcusluer.com
https://marcusluer.com/university
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Seven Volpone, “From Musician to Entrepreneur of Sub-cultures”

Seven Volpone, “From Musician to Entrepreneur of Sub-cultures”

September 1, 2020

Seven Volpone is a true artist turned entrepreneur, from singer, songwriter to starting several businesses and now leading the Big Block Family Office and Sub-Nation to new heights across various “sub-cultures” from Esports, Gaming, Music, entertainment, Sports, etc.

 

Key Highlights

  1. Early days as music artist from Pop Rock to Country Harmony
  2. We3Kings, the first business, created Music IP for TV shows, Sports teams Theme songs, brands, etc
    • From Hit TV Sitcoms to Green Bay Packers – G-Force – helping win the Super Bowl
  3. Secret Futurist,  looking at leading technology, and tech for the future , focused on Digital ecosystems
  4. Push Point Management & Media Group – lead him to work with ESL and getting into Esports
  5. Adidas story, in the early days of Esports
  6. Realizing the power of Esports to connect with younger generations through the “lifestyle and culture” part
  7. Connecting with Bruce Bendell and setting up the Family Office, Big Block Capital Group
  8. The start of Sub-nation and building the team
    • Project with E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) on creative concepts
    • Big Vision, to be the Disney of “E-Gaming” – creating IP and partnering with venues, cities and IP owners
    • Enhancing the experience for the Gamers – content creation, new concepts   
  9. Atari Hotel concept coming to your city soon  
  10. Big Block Capital Family office – 5Cs – Culture, Content, Conversation, Commerce,
  11. Investments in Israel tech start-ups, via Surround Ventures, from entertainment, sports to media
  12. Focus on Millennials and Gen Z, guide brands to connect with this audience
  13. Tips to young executives or entrepreneurs.  Check out the “Great Fail” Podcast by
  14. Final look into the future as a Futurist

 

About

Seven Volpone is an Executive, Fund Manager and Entrepreneur who for over a decade served as President, Co-Founder and architect behind the music, marketing and branding company We3Kings. He has been recognized through out the gaming, Music, Television, & Marketing communities for not only his award winning IP but his forward thinking business development initiatives and integration campaigns that included the likes of AAMCO transmissions, Whiskey Falls & Dale Earnhardt Jr., Whiskey Falls and NAPSTER, The American Labors Union, The Atlanta Braves, and television shows for FOX, NBC, Mark Burnett, and many more.
 
Seven’s drive, entrepreneurial spirit and ability to understand the delicate art of branding, integration and advertising was what led him to conceptualize and develop the celebrity integration and social influencing platform Radio Connect/TwitYap which he sold to the Publicly traded entity Xhibit Corp (XBTC). Seven later became a consultant for Xhibit Corp and its wholly owned entities SkyMall and SkyMall Ventures, (a leader in the loyalty space).
 
Seven is a leader in the ever-changing media and digital space and he brings over a decade of executive experience from all facets of the entertainment industry as well as key relationships, with top tier, developers, celebrities, athletes, managers, agents, TV networks, producers and corporations that aid in his ability to help develop companies and brands.
 
In addition to Seven’s music and content development initiatives, he advises & consults 3rd party companies and individuals through his company AFDKAM on strategic business development opportunities and the leveraging of content, technology, brand integration, online product sales and social influence in new media.
 

 

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If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. Check out for more details HERE
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Ravi Krishnan, “From Australia to India”

Ravi Krishnan, “From Australia to India”

August 23, 2020

Ravi Krishnan is a true pioneer in Indian sports, from Australia with Indian origin, he was part of the team which set up IMG India 25 years ago and later on lead the organization.  We take a good look into what has happened over those 25 years in Indian sports and where it is heading in the future, including his own venture Stepathlon.  Enjoy the history lessons.

 

Key Highlights

  1. From being an inspiring youth tennis player in Australia to getting even more inspired reading an article about Mark McCormack and his route to get into IMG
  2. Part of the team to set up IMG India in the mid 90s, getting the basic right
  3. Hospitality of Cricket World in India in 1996 opened the doors to all the corporates, building relationships which lasted till today
  4. Sahara Cup in 1997, India vs Pakistan in Toronto, another game changer (it’s war minus the shooting)
  5. First ATP tournament in India in 1996, still around till today, not an easy start and not a huge initial success
  6. Inside look into the IPL and how it started, why it worked and the ingredients which made it work
  7. Franchise Model, the “Indian way” – and how other sports are now copying it in India with mixed success
  8. Banter on Media rights model
  9. Football in India & IPTL model dissected
  10. Stepathlon –  virtual racing, his vision, being a health & wellness company which brings a new form of “fan engagement” and activation to brands and stake holders (data driven)  
  11. Final advise for young execs – network, move and be prepared to fail
  12. And look into the future

 

About

Ravi Krishnan is a key and prominent name in the business of Sports, Entertainment and Media in India. According to BusinessWorld he has been a pioneer in India's sports management business, helping global sports and media group IMG find a foothold in the country back in 1995.

As Managing Director of IMG he was instrumental in creating properties such as the Sahara Cup, The Aircel Chennai Open, Lakme India Fashion Week and many more noteworthy events in India. He has played a notable role in developing potential new business opportunities in the field of Sports, Entertainment and Media. Ravi continues to explore and develop business in the Industry and helped secure Mahindra & Mahindra as the title sponsor of the inaugural Mahindra Sri Lanka Premier League.

As Vice Chairman, Ravi also played an important strategic role with Rajasthan Royals, champions of IPL 2008.

Ravi was featured among the 50 Most Influential People in Indian Sport by Sports Illustrated (2010) and India's Top 25 Executives under age 40 by Business Today (2004).

Currently, he is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Stepathlon Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd. (SLPL), a global wellness company that aims to create an ecosystem promoting corporate health, fitness and productivity by increasing daily activity, through a unique Mass Participation initiative called Stepathlon - A race around the virtual world. In the last two years, Stepathlon has contributed towards gaining participation from more than 500,000 employees from 722 companies across 75 Countries and 1040 cities/locations.

 

-----------------------------------------------

If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. Check out for more details HERE
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Jeff Marks, “Power of Contractual Obligated Income (COI)”

Jeff Marks, “Power of Contractual Obligated Income (COI)”

August 16, 2020

Jeff Marks is a true Sports Entrepreneur, having started several agencies from an early age and now leading a “best in class” COI (Contractual Obligated Income) Agency which is breaking grounds around the world, including a recent huge deal with FC Barcelona to manage the branding of the Nou Camp Stadium and new facilities.  Tons of learning and insights into the world of COI.  

 

Key Highlights

  1. Early start during MBA days, Managing Director of a 2 Man Consulting business with his Professor. Stubhub story, the one that got away.
  2. Started Sports Business Ventures, Venture Capital Pledged Fund dedicated to Sports, partnered with Alan Rosenberg and other big hitters
  3. Premier Partnerships, premier Naming rights agency. Generating massive COI, for large US teams and franchises.
  4. Premier Ventures, advisory agency, another run at Venture Capital
  5. Innovate Partnership Group (IPG360), starting of a new business development group to help sports IP owners generate long term commercial revenue
    1. Two words you are not allowed to say “Sales” or “Sponsorship” in IPG
  6. Four Main Areas of Focus:
    1. Consultative business development
    2. Valuation analytics
    3. IP Asset creation
    4. Creative agency
  7. Proprietary Software – Partnership intelligence platform (a brand new Valuation System)
    1. Direct and Indirect Revenue measurements
    2. R&D, Technology, other non-traditional areas to measure returns
  8. Projects:  US Triathlon,  Circuit of Americas (US F1 Track), MLS teams, Canadian Premier League
  9. FC Barcelona story -  Goldman & Sachs intro leads to working on re-development of Camp Nou
  10. Not just about Naming rights of a Venue but way beyond …. Naming a part of the city
  11. B2B elements in sports partnership deals
  12. New NTT Japan Partnership, re-imagine marketplace
  13. Allianz and other examples of brands leveraging the power of Naming partnerships and Venue deals (Verizon 5G)
  14. Sponsorship Hierarchy of Needs (based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs)
    1. Social Responsibility getting more important
  15. Advise - Give and don’t sell – figure out how you can add value first
  16. Also working with Non-for-profit, municipalities and Health Care Groups on Marketing partnerships
  17. Final Learning, sales people always get recognized the most, important to also celebrate the team behind it and reward them

 

About

Jeff Marks is a sports business executive with over twenty years of experience working with C-level executives at Fortune 500 companies, sports teams, leagues, venues, governments, universities, franchise owners and investors. Marks currently serves as Founder and Chief Executive of IPG360 (Innovative Partnerships Group) which is a leading business development company that drives long-term revenue for prestige properties with a focus on sports and entertainment.

Marks has been credited with negotiating the largest naming rights agreement of 2016, the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, which turned out to be one of the most recognized sports deals of the year and a catalyst for changing how naming rights and commercial partnership deals are executed in the sports industry and beyond.

Marks has worked on over a hundred plus business partnerships over his career and a few notable partnerships include: Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Globe Life Park in Arlington, TD Place in Ottawa, Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium and O.co Coliseum and Tim Horton’s Field. Marks also executed one of the largest jersey naming rights deal in MLS history with the Atlanta United and American Family Insurance.

Jeff Marks is also credited for developing the sports industry’s leading valuation tool which is an analytical sales model for identifying, creating and valuing sponsorships and naming rights.

Marks is a frequent industry speaker on revenue related topics in the Sports Industry including NFL league meetings, Sports Business Journal and other industry organizations. Marks is an adjunct faculty member at University of San Francisco’s Sports Management Program and teaches “New Business Models in the Sports Industry.” He frequently provides sports business insight to leading national media outlets, and has also published industry studies on sports business trends and best practices.

Prior to IPG360, Jeff served as president of Premier Ventures which specializes in sports investment and advisory for owners seeking to build shareholder value around sports franchises, emerging properties and related businesses. Jeff was concurrently Managing Director of Premier Partnerships where he executed some of the top sports commercial business transactions in the country over the last decade. Marks was also Founding Partner and Managing Director of Sports Business Ventures (SBV), a sports investment and advisory firm.

Marks currently serves on the LA Sports Council Board as well as the Cedars Sinai Medical Center Sports Spectacular Committee. Jeff is also involved with his alma mater, the University of California Berkeley on the Revenue Generating Board and the Berkeley Athletics Southern California Committee. Jeff is a member of YPO and former chairman of the Golden West Chapter. Marks is also a past chair of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Marks earned a bachelor’s degree in International Economics with a minor in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, and his MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He is married with two children and considers Los Angeles, California his home.

 

-----------------------------------------------

If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. Check out for more details HERE
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Greg Economou, “Sport goes to Hollywood”

Greg Economou, “Sport goes to Hollywood”

August 5, 2020

Greg has had an incredible journey and with it great stories to tell from his Pro-Basketball playing days at Greek’s Olympiakos to launching his first Agency and selling it to SFX, working with David Stern at the NBA, joining Madison Square Garden, Guggenheim Media, Ticketmaster in senior roles to now bringing his passion for sports to Hollywood with game1.  Listen, learn and get inspired.

 

Key Highlights

  1. From playing basketball at the University of Connecticut to going back to his roots with Olympiakos in Athens, Greek
  2. SME Branding story, after re-branding “The Patriots” (no not those Patriots), over 1,500 re-branding assignments across sports from Colleges to athletes
  3. Acquisition of SME by SFX Sports in late Nineties
  4. BrandThink, his new baby, taking branding to a strategic level
  5. Call from David Stern, after re-branding Detroit Pistons successfully, re-positioning of the League globally
  6. Early days of the Charlotte Hornets franchise – tough job in tough environment, small market team
  7. Back to the Big Apple, Madison Square Garden, focused on bringing in new Revenue
  8. Guggenheim Media – Dick Clark Production – exposure to entertainment and branded content
  9. Missing his Sports Tribe, swing back into Sports retooling Ticketmaster Sports Division
  10. Game1 -  Sports, Culture and Stories -  combining his passion for sports with his Hollywood partners Basil Iwanyk (John Wick franchise) and Michael Smith (ESPN Sports Center)
  11. Becoming a “storyteller” from short form, documentary, feature films to Podcasts in Sports
  12. Back to being an Entrepreneur
  13. The meaning of “Elevated Content”
  14. Forty projects in pipeline from Feature films, scripted, unscripted to podcast
  15. The Last Dance, amazing storytelling and perfect timing
  16. Danica Patrick, former Race driver, new show about Equality – Oprah Winfrey watch out
  17. Content distribution & Funding/Financing strategies
  18. Covid’s challenges and opportunities   

 

About

Greg Economou is a Co-Founder and Partner of game1, the cutting-edge content incubator that sits at the intersection of sports, entertainment, and culture, producing an array of sports-related content in conjunction with the world’s greatest athletes, teams, leagues, and their counterparts in the entertainment industry. This content includes feature films, scripted and unscripted television and digital programming, as well as audio programming. In his role at game1, he helps oversee the day-to-day operations of the company, while leading all revenue generation and white label studio efforts.

Economou also manages his own advisory and investment practice formed in 2016 that focuses on helping a variety of businesses succeed in and around the sports and entertainment industries through strategic counsel and at times financial support and investment. In this capacity, he and his team oversee a series of advisory assignments that range from strategy development, branding, marketing, and digital to client acquisition, business development and sales as well.

Prior to launching game1 and his advisory practice, Economou served as Chief Commercial Officer & Head of Sports at Ticketmaster. In this role, he directed the company’s extensive sports division, overseeing all Ticketmaster products and services delivered to clients throughout professional sports and college athletics, while also leading all new business development efforts as well. Economou also had responsibility over all of the company’s industry sales and marketing operations, including sales operations, brand marketing, enterprise marketing, sponsorship and partnership marketing, event marketing, as well as all premium product sales and services included in the Ticketmaster Agency offering.

Economou previously served as the Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer at Guggenheim Media/Dick Clark Productions where he built a thriving branded content practice with over $250M worth of deals in four years. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President of Revenue Performance for The Madison Square Garden Company (CRO) where he oversaw multiple billion-dollar revenue portfolios. Economou has also held senior positions as the EVP of Business Operations & Chief Marketing Officer of the Charlotte Hornets (COO) and SVP of Marketing & Communications of the NBA (CMO). In addition to the above-mentioned roles, he also co-founded and sold two successful sports industry-centric consulting firms, BRANDTHINK and SME Branding. He began his career in sports as a professional basketball player in Europe, playing for Olympiakos in Athens, Greece – following a successful collegiate basketball career at the University of Connecticut.

Economou also serves on several advisory boards, including Journey One, LAFC, Merchant Advocate, OpenNode, ReachTV, and Sportsdigita, while formerly serving on the advisory boards of The Player’s Tribune and the American Film Institute.  He lives in Santa Monica with his fiancé, Juliette de Campos, and his three sons, Rip 20, Luke 17, and AJ 15.

 

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