On the Ball: What You Can Learn About Business From America's Sports Leaders

 
9780131009639: On the Ball: What You Can Learn About Business From America's Sports Leaders

Sports, like business, is a nonstop, flat-out competition where winners prosper and losers are sent packing. Think the multi-billion-dollar sports industry might have something to teach your business? You better believe it. With On the Ball, you will learn those lessons before your competitors do.

Get in the sports business game and learn about breakthrough techniques for building a business. Reaching customers. Delivering customer service. Branding yourself and your business. Handling employee relations. Alliance building. Crisis management. Entering new markets. Turning around a business. Leadership. All that, plus your own personal behind-the-scenes tour of the sports industry-courtesy of top sports business consultant David M. Carter and ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell. Hop on. It'll be a fun ride. A very profitable fun ride.

* Branding, NBA style
Powerful branding lessons from David Stern, Michael Jordan & Co.
* Strategic alliances with the New York Yankees
Win-win partnerships with George Steinbrenner
* Building your business the way NASCAR did it
Fast lane from the backwoods to NBC Sports
* Terrorism to bribery: practical lessons in crisis management
Straight from sports, 10 steps for handling any business crisis
* Penetrate and dominate: Nike in new markets
How Tiger Woods helped Nike go global
* Know your fan, know your customer
Take a tour of the baseball minor leagues and see how to really please your customers
Today's most powerful business lessons...

...you could learn them from some boring business school text. But, hey, life's too short. With On the Ball, you can learn the same lessons from sports! Top sports business consultant David M. Carter and ESPN.com sports business journalist Darren Rovell serve up winning techniques straight out of the big leagues. Business is a sport, and sport's a business, right? So why not learn...

* Entrepreneurship from NASCAR's Bill France Sr.
* Target marketing the MasterCard way
* Customer service from the late great Bill Veeck
* Personal branding from cyclist Lance Armstrong and women's tennis player Anna Kournikova
* Employee relations from Major League Baseball
* Strategic alliances from New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner
* Crisis Management from NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
* Penetrating new markets using Tiger Woods
* Brand building from NBA Commissioner David Stern
* Turnarounds from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
* Leadership from Notre Dame head football coach Tyrone Willingham

Fast, furious, outrageous, and unforgettable, On the Ball is everything you expect from sports, and don't expect from a business book!

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

DAVID M. CARTER founded The Sports Business Group in 1999 following more than 10 years of consulting for the sports and entertainment industries. As a sports business consultant specializing in strategic marketing, he consults for corporations, law firms, sports organizations, sports/entertainment venues, and individual athletes. He provides sports business commentary to national media organizations and teaches The Business of Sports Entertainment at the USC Graduate School of Business. He is author of Keeping $core, which provides companies and organizations with a framework for devising sports marketing strategies, and You Can't Play the Game if You Don't Know the Rules, for those seeking careers in the sports business.

DARREN ROVELL has been reporting on sports business since 1998. Since June 2000, he has served as ESPN.com's sports business reporter. He appears on numerous ESPN radio affiliate shows, analyzes the sports business world for ESPNEWS, and contributes to ESPN's flagship SportsCenter and its investigative show Outside the Lines, among others.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction: On Deck

Legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell referred to sports as "the sandbox of life." An escape from the demands and frustrations of everyday activities, sports continue to serve as a refuge for millions of fans wanting a break from their daily grinds. A walk-off home run, a half-court buzzer-beater, or a successful Hail Mary touchdown pass as time expires all make us momentarily forget tomorrow's all-day sales meeting or time-wasting video conference call with headquarters.

This "refuge" has become a massive industry all its own, one estimated to generate spending approaching $200 billion annually. The sports business not only continues to expand, but it seems to do so against an increasingly intriguing backdrop, occasionally highlighted by seemingly unorthodox and questionable decision making from many of the industry's top executives.

The sports business has become an extremely involved industry that now includes the same elements and applies the same business principles seen throughout the rest of big business. As it grows, the industry provides compelling examples of business building, strategic marketing, brand management, customer service, and leadership, among other business tenets. There is much to be learned about everyday business from the way sports handles its own operations and there is also a lot of fun to be had in the process.

In the following pages, On the Ball: What You Can Learn about Business from America's Sports Leaders delves deeply into the sports business, examining traditional business practices as they have been applied in the sports industry. On the Ball provides relevant and important examples that readers can immediately apply to their own business environment. Along the way, On the Ball also answers the following questions:

What can I learn from...

  • How sports franchises and leagues, including National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), have established and built their businesses?
  • The major corporations that sponsor sports, such as MasterCard, and how they effectively and efficiently reach customers?
  • The way sports teams and leagues, especially those throughout Minor League Baseball, handle customer service?
  • The manner in which athletes like Tiger Woods and Andre Agassi have developed, extended, and in some cases harmed, their own personal brands?
  • How professional sports leagues, such as the National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), have handled employee relations?
  • How and why major sports organizations, including the New York Yankees, form strategic alliances?
  • How sports power brokers, such as National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, handle crises?
  • Sports marketing-minded corporations, including Nike, that have successfully penetrated new markets?
  • Examining the way sports leagues, such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), have established themselves as brands?
  • The strategies employed by sports executives, like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, to turn their businesses around?
  • Sports business industry executives, including Branch Rickey and the Maloof brothers, about leadership styles and traits?

On the Ball chronicles many of the sports industry's largest developments and provides specific lessons that can be learned from the actions and, in some cases, inaction, of industry leaders. On the Ball provides businesspeople with an inside look at how the sports business game is played and, in the process, unveils business tactics and strategies that apply to companies large and small, public and private.

These questions, along with industry developments and outrageous anecdotes, are discussed throughout the book and addressed in the following chapters.

Chapter 1: Building a Business

This chapter reviews how to build a business from scratch and includes, among other examples, how the France family has taken NASCAR from a regional sport with a "redneck" reputation to one of America's most prominent sports leagues. Its relatively recent and rapid growth, which has resulted in a multibillion-dollar broadcast TV contract, has not been without its challenges.

Chapter 1 examines the issues and growing pains experienced by entrepreneurs as they navigate their business's life cycle while protecting the organization's fledgling brand name at every turn. This chapter also includes a discussion of leadership, overcoming shareholder concerns, litigation, and personnel and management issues.

Chapter 2: Reaching Customers

Chapter 2 looks at how companies, including MasterCard, Coca-Cola, and Miller Brewing, use sports to reach intended target markets. It contains a framework for how best to segment markets and conduct target marketing, and incorporates a discussion of MLB, the Olympics, and soccer's World Cup.

This chapter answers the following questions: How do companies know they're reaching the intended audiences? How does the company measure the return on investment related to marketing initiatives?

Chapter 3: Customer Service

This chapter considers the increasingly important role of customer service. By reviewing the eight principles of customer service, it examines how small businesses have mastered--and botched--the art of customer service.

Minor League Baseball, as well as amateur sports leagues, has thrived because it has not lost touch with families and the affordable, nostalgic entertainment they seek. With a focus and dedication to making their organizations important community assets, hands-on local team owners and universities have customized the game-day experience. Paying keen attention to the likes and dislikes of fans has allowed amateur athletics to become among sports' most appreciated and sought after properties.

Not surprisingly, this commitment to customer service easily translates to other businesses, providing businesspeople with the insight necessary to provide great customer service.

Chapter 4: Personal Branding

Chapter 4 considers issues of how athletes, including Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, and Anna Kournikova, like other sports properties, seek to make money from their brands. Today, corporations and charities have become risk averse when selecting sports personalities to endorse or promote products and services. Some corporations now purchase image insurance to protect against the foibles of the modern-day athlete.

This chapter discusses what it takes to profit from a personal brand whether you are an athlete or a corporate executive. It includes the decision-making process of companies considering the use of athletes and focuses on such criteria as the ability to convey a message, charisma, and believability, the same issues that contribute to success in the traditional workplace.

Chapter 5: Employee Relations

This chapter analyzes employee relations in sports and reveals what other companies can learn from these relationships. Most major sports leagues and properties have created significant ill will by failing to adequately, and in a timely fashion, determine how best to divvy up the billions of dollars flowing into their industry.

It examines how labor strife has tarnished sports marketing and branding initiatives and discusses what lessons have been learned by big-time sports as they continue to alienate fan bases and jeopardize their relationships with the next generation of customers. Specifically, what measures have they taken to build a reservoir of goodwill? How do these experiences translate to other businesses and industries?

Chapter 6: Building Alliances

Chapter 6 reveals the tenets required to establish profitable strategic alliances. Included is a discussion of the elements needed to build both horizontal and vertical alliances.

Incorporated in this chapter are examples of NBC's strategic alliance with the ill-fated XFL, as well as Nike Golf's alliance with Bridgestone.

As On the Ball chronicles, such alliances provide great insight to any organization that is considering entering into a strategic alliance.

Chapter 7: Crisis Management

This chapter analyzes the decision-making processes of those involved in high-profile sports crises, specifically the fallout from the Salt Lake City Olympics bribery scandal, the handling of the death of NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt, and the sports world's reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

From natural disasters like the earthquake that rocked the 1989 World Series to Magic Johnson's 1992 HIV disclosure, sports has always had to rapidly--and in a highly public fashion--respond to issues threatening its viability and cash flow. The 10 steps to handling a business crisis frame this chapter's discussion.

Chapter 8: Penetrating New Markets

Chapter 8 reveals the process by which organizations penetrate new markets, whether they are international or merely a neighboring town or county. Specifically addressed in this chapter are issues dealing with cultural and political nuances, as well as distribution and marketing challenges.

An examination of how Nike has continually tapped into America's consciousness by attaching its brand to world-class athletes that have dynamic personalities and the talent to match is undertaken. Athletes such as Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan have been among Nike's biggest stars, allowing Nike the foot in the door necessary to enter and successfully compete in foreign markets. Today, Nike is utilizing its extensive endorsement deal with Tiger Woods to not only increase revenue from an expanding golf market, but also to leverage Woods' global appeal to enhance the company's brand.

This chapter uncovers what initiatives companies must undertake if they hope to penetrate and eventually dominate new markets.

Chapter 9: Building a Brand

This chapter examines how organizations position themselves as global brands. In doing so, it highlights the six stages of branding and reveals how sports entities, such as the NBA, have successfully branded themselves both at home and abroad by integrating their assets. The NBA, as an example, has masterfully extended its brand by controlling all aspects of its content, from what happens on and around the court on game days to the customization of its international marketing efforts.

Chapter 9 examines the seamless cross-promotion and branding opportunities required if a company is to emerge as a stellar, well-regarded brand.

Chapter 10: Turning Around a Struggling Business

Chapter 10 analyzes the steps necessary to resurrect a struggling business and how best to reposition one in the eyes of disenfranchised customers. This chapter takes into account the important role played by senior management and marketing executives as they navigate tough times.

Because Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones took over a 1-15 team (a dormant brand) and turned it into one of sport's top brands--one worth more than $700 million--this chapter examines, among other examples, how Jones has increased his franchise's value by leveraging his clout and maverick business style to excel at sports marketing.

Taking a page or two out of Jones' playbook provides guidance to those organizations that face the daunting task of turning their business around. It also demonstrates why turning a business around once isn't enough to stay on top.

Chapter 11: Leadership

The final chapter provides readers with the important lessons to be taken away from the book, and does so by blending them with an examination of 10 important leadership attributes. How sports business leaders have leveraged their passion, integrity, and intuition, among other traits, to lead their organizations is chronicled.

The role leadership plays in establishing and managing personal and corporate brands, addressing strategic developments both at home and abroad, dealing with crises, and rebuilding faltering businesses are all examined.

It must be noted that the intent of On the Ball is to provide a fresh perspective to readers with key elements of important business tenets and to explore these tenets using representative, rather than exhaustive, examples along the way.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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