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1.9.20 Rick Horrow sits down with President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, Don Waddell


1.9.20 Rick Horrow sits down with President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, Don Waddell

Edited by Tanner Simkins

In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick sits down with President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes.


  • The sports world and beyond remembers David Stern. Former Commissioner David Stern took the NBA into the modern era over the course of his 30 years as Commissioner after he assumed the role in 1984. By the time he left the Commissioner’s office in 2014, a league that had once struggled for a foothold had grown into a more than $5 billion-a-year industry. The NBA's longest-serving commissioner, Stern was credited with transforming the NBA into the global powerhouse it is today, overseeing major uplifts in commercial revenue and media coverage, domestic and international expansion, and a surge in global popularity. Under Stern, the NBA added seven new franchises, including two in Canada, and grew into a commercial behemoth. It also created the WNBA in 1997 and a developmental league, now known as the G League, in 2001. Thanks largely to Stern, the NBA is now revered as a sports industry pioneer and innovator. Rick had the privilege to work with Commissioner Stern on the formation of the Miami Heat and the eventual Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as interviewing him numerous times. He will be greatly missed.


  • Endeavor acquired majority equity ownership stake in experiential hospitality leader On Location Experiences from existing investors. Last week, Beverly-Hills based agency giant Endeavor announced that it had acquired On Location Experiences. The reported $660 million deal will give Endeavor a majority stake in the hospitality and live events company, which works with the NFL, the NCAA, and the PGA Tour, among other entities. The NFL, through its strategic investment arm, 32 Equity, will continue to be a minority shareholder and retain its seat on the Company’s Board of Directors. On Location will seek to enhance its existing sports and entertainment offerings, including its long-term relationship with the NFL, by leveraging Endeavor’s access to content and experiences across entertainment, sports, and fashion. The deal will also help to strengthen Endeavor properties, including the UFC, which it acquired in 2016 for $4 billion. Former Bloomberg, Westwood One, and Time Inc. executive, Paul Caine, will lead the newly integrated entity. The deal is the latest in a flurry of acquisitions by major Hollywood talent agencies as they expand into other entertainment disciplines, particularly music and sports.


  • The LPGA readies for the kickoff of their 2020 season as well. Next week, the LPGA kicks off its 2020 season in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by IOA, a $1.2 million purse event similar to the PGA Tour’s Sentry in that it is only open to 2019 tournament winners. In two weeks, the LPGA and Group1001 kick off regular LPGA Tour action with a new event in Boca Raton, Florida. The inaugural Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio will be held January 20-26 at Boca Rio Golf Club and feature a 108-player field competing for a $2 million purse. As a key part of tournament week, the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio will host the Women’s Leadership Summit presented by Versant Health with top female leaders from a variety of industries, creating a space to empower women, develop and strengthen skills, build networks, and inspire change. The new Boca Raton event is a counterpart of the Group1001-sponsored Indy Women in Tech LPGA tournament, which also features multiple educational events for women.


  • The NBA G League secondary competition has announced the addition of Mexican professional men’s basketball team Capitanes next season, its first franchise-based outside the U.S. and Canada. Established in 2016, the Mexico City outfit will become the NBA G League’s 29th team from the start of the 2020-2021 season and will play their home games at the Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera, based in Mexico’s capital. The announcement was made during a press conference ahead of Dallas Mavericks 122-111 victory over the Detroit Pistons in Mexico City on December 12, the first of two regular-season games played in the Hispanic nation during the ongoing 2019-2020 season. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: “Bringing an NBA G League team to Mexico City is a historic milestone for the NBA which demonstrates our commitment to basketball fans in Mexico and across Latin America.'

Preparation for coronavirus: What the US Olympic and Paralmypic Committee is doing

Preparation for coronavirus: What the US Olympic and Paralmypic Committee is doing

DENVER (AP) -- It's a spreadsheet that covers 52 sports and nearly six dozen venues -- a laundry list of places around the globe where Olympic hopefuls were expected to be competing over the next few months.

With the threat of coronavirus hanging over the Tokyo Olympics, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has been gathering information from the individual sports about their pre-Olympic schedules -- what events have been cancelled, moved or postponed, and what other events could be in the future.

There are no specific backup plans being made, the USOPC officials say, but it's a good list to have, as the Olympic qualifying season gears up and athletes start punching tickets for what they hope will be a trip to Japan. The marathon trials, for instance, are Saturday.

USOPC Chief of Sport Performance Rick Adams says in addition to collecting the logistical information, the federation is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Homeland Security to get every update about coronavirus, how it is spreading and what can be done to avoid it.

Adams and others at the USOPC are keeping tabs on the headlines — IOC president Thomas Bach on Thursday said all plans are currently for the Games to go on as scheduled — but not making knee-jerk reactions to the wild fluctuations of the news cycles.

“At this juncture, it's really about being on top of the information, being fact-based, communicating with athletes, NGBs and staying very focused on the preparations for Tokyo,” Adams said.

The U.S. will bring more than 500 athletes to the 17-day sports festival in Tokyo, many of whom will go to Asia early to train and acclimate. All the potential Olympians are ramping up their travel -- some competing in international events that carry Olympic ramifications, others using overseas competitions as a preseason of sorts in advance of trials that will be held in the U.S. over the summer.

Four years ago, with the Zika scare in full bloom in the run-up to the Rio Games, the USOPC improved upon its protocols in case an illness spread quickly, either before or during the Olympics.

It has access to a state-of-the-art testing system that can identify infectious diseases and possibly prevent their spread. That system, however, is not designed to detect coronavirus.

The USOPC also has extensive quarantine protocols that include sealed-off spaces both inside and outside of the Olympic Village where many of the athletes stay.

The federation's infectious disease advisory group -- filled with medical experts from around the country -- has been meeting to gather updates about coronavirus.

“They're advising us about new technology, treatments. best-care practices for patients, and helping us create strategies for containment,” said Bahati Van Pelt, the USOPC chief of athlete services.

Van Pelt says updates go to athletes via the Athletes' Advisory Council on a weekly basis, or whenever major updates become available.

All the information is designed to help the USOPC react to any changes in plans this summer, though Adams said the main plan is getting ready for whatever is in store in Tokyo this summer.

“It's situational, on a daily basis, and there's frequent communication," Adams said.

Among those the USOPC consults with: other national Olympic committees, Tokyo organizers, the IOC and global and domestic health organizations.

“We're aggregating and communicating frequently to make sure we can get the information out on a fact basis,” Adams said.

2.28.20 Rick Horrow sits down with MiLB owner Josh Solomon


2.28.20 Rick Horrow sits down with MiLB owner Josh Solomon

Edited by Tanner Simkins

In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick Horrow sits down with MiLB owner Josh Solomon and takes you through the top sports business stories of the past week.


As the NFL Combine gets underway, the NFL Playoffs might get wilder. The NFL and NFLPA are working on an agreement to add one regular game to the NFL season and restructure the postseason to add a seventh team from each conference for a total of 14, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. If finalized as part of the NFL's new CBA, this format change, which would also eliminate one preseason game, would mark the first playoff expansion since 1990, when the league went from 10 teams to 12. The proposal would eliminate the first-round bye for the No. 2 seeds, so the playoff structure would look like this: six wild-card games (up from four), four divisional-round games, two conference championships, and the Super Bowl. Six wild-card games would see the NFL dominating an entire weekend as college basketball does during March Madness, and college football and the NFL combine to do throughout the fall. Last Friday, NFL player reps chose not to vote on a new labor deal approved by the owners. The current CBA expires after the 2020 season, which officially begins March 18. Objections to an expanded regular season are considered the main stumbling block for player approval.

HSBC World Rugby Sevens LA leads off with SportBusiness 50 symposium and luncheon. This weekend, the HSBC Rugby Sevens World Championships return to Los Angeles and Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson. But before the action on the pitch kicks off in earnest, World Rugby and local Southern California sports business dignitaries will come together for SportBusiness 50 Los Angeles: Lessons and Leadership from Legends of the Game. Los Angeles is the epicenter of sports innovation, technology, and globalization, providing the newest in entertainment via the $6 billion SoFi Stadium; mega-events like Super Bowl, Final Four, college football National Championship, mega-regional and amateur events, and 2028 Olympics. Accordingly, joining moderator Rick Horrow at the Friday lunchtime event are FOX Sports RSN General Manager and LA84 board member Lindsay Amstutz, Olympic gold medal rugby coach Ben Ryan, Irish national rugby team captain Bryan Driscoll, and SoFi Stadium lead architect Mark Williams of HKS. You might know Dignity Health Sports Park as the home of the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy and the temporary home of the Los Angeles Chargers. After this weekend, with over 40 international games providing more than eight hours of play each day, along with global entertainment and cultural programming, you’ll know it for rugby.


World TeamTennis locked in sponsorship agreements for its inaugural All-Star Weekend February 29-March 1. Deals include a presenting sponsorship from Barefoot Hard Seltzer, the official hard seltzer of WTT. Additional sponsors include official jewelry partner John Hardy, along with partnership agreements with Tennis Clash, Har-Tru Sports Coatings, and PIVOT tennis. “It is a testament to the continued growth of World TeamTennis and the high-level of players committed to compete in our inaugural All-Star match on CBS, that we’ve been able to accrue such a terrific lineup on sponsors, including presenting sponsor Barefoot Hard Seltzer, for this sold-out event,” said WTT CEO and President Carlos Silva. Held at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA, the summer home of the WTT San Diego Aviators, the World Team Tennis All-Star Weekend includes a Saturday night players party and Sunday morning clinics with the pros. Sunday afternoon matches showcase WTA and ATP stars such as the Bryan Brothers, Madison Keys, Sam Querrey, CoCo Vandeweghe, Ryan Harrison, Taylor Townsend, Taylor Fritz, and tennis legend Rod Laver.

Honda Classic kicks off with a huge party, celebrating philanthropy and PGA stars. The biggest golf party of the year in South Florida kicked off last Thursday night with an actual big party. We are just days away from the Honda Classic, with the biggest names in golf teeing off at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. "Florida's always been in my mind the kick-off to golf," Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly told WPEC CBS 12. "And to lead the Florida swing like we do, it's terrific." With the Honda Classic being awarded the PGA’s Fan First award this past offseason, it’s fitting that the community surrounding PGA National gathered for a pre-party, celebrating the great golf community, and the millions of dollars Honda Classic Cares has raised for South Florida children's charities. "It's all about giving back," said Kennerly. "And we take care of 150 children's charities each and every year. For us, it's a special time of the year. But what's more important to us is how this community rallies around us each and every year."