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.'