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.

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