Show cover of Navigating Sports Business

Navigating Sports Business

Gain exclusive insight into the professional and personal worlds of high-level executives in sports and entertainment as we host top decision-makers in the industry to discuss emerging topics, their business, careers, and personal life stories.   From collegiate conference commissioners to professional sports team executives and owners, to CMOs and leading marketers at global brands, Maestas takes listeners inside the lives of key people making a major impact on the sports and entertainment industry.

Tracks

56. Patti Phillips - Women Leaders in College Sports
Patti Phillips - CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports - shares some interesting statistics on diversity in college sports, and what she and her organization are doing to improve those numbers.   She and AJ discuss the factors that lead to hiring decisions at the Athletic Director level, and the cultural biases that tend to impact those decisions.   Details 2:10 - Reasons for the lack of diversity in college athletics 16:05 - The hiring funnel 35:25 - Zone of Possibility, Patti’s TED Talk 39:35 - Rapid Fire Questions   Books: Mindset by Carol Dweck Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl Cues by Vanessa Van Edwards Impact Player by Liz Wiseman High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy   Studies: Orchestrating Impartiality: the Impact of “Blind” Auditions on Female Musicians Can Blind Hiring Improve Workplace Diversity?   Other Suggested Content: Patti's TEDx Talk: The Zone of Possibility Oprah's Super Soul Sunday   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
45:58 10/05/2022
55. Tom Stultz - JMI Sports
Tom Stultz - Special Advisor to the CEO and former President at JMI Sports - breaks down the current MMR marketplace and how it will be impacted by changes to the structure of college sports, such as NIL and conference realignment.   He and AJ also discuss JMI's status as a privately held company, and why that's unique among their competitors.   Details: 7:30 - The future of JMI 20:30 - Tom’s background 31:30 - Changes to college athletics 33:55 - Rapid Fire Questions   Book Recommendations: The New York City Noon Prayer Meeting Burl The Church of Baseball Dreamland Dopesick     For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
44:56 09/28/2022
Highlight: Tim Leiweke - Oak View Group
If the NBA decides to expand, Oak View Group will be ready with state of the art arenas in Seattle and Las Vegas. However, Tim Leiweke - Chairman & CEO of OVG - breaks down why the business plan in those cities doesn't rely on the NBA.   Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle is already home to the NHL's Kraken, and the WNBA's Storm. The new development in Las Vegas is designed to be the city's first true point of destination built around live entertainment, and will be profitable through concerts, UFC fights, and other events, whether or not it lands a full-time NBA tenant.   Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=9e7c1d2eaa20d5a4a8ad004e6839afa8   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
06:29 09/21/2022
54. Catie Griggs - Seattle Mariners
Catie Griggs - President of Business Operations for the Seattle Mariners - joins the show for an insightful conversation about increasing the popularity of baseball among young fans. She and AJ discuss her time at Atlanta United, the exciting Mariners stars including Julio Rodriguez, and what the MLB All-Star game will mean for the city of Seattle in 2023.   Catie also shares how she went to T-Mobile Park incognito to observe the fan experience when she first joined the organization. AJ points out that Adrian Hanauer, Majority Owner of the Seattle Sounders, takes the same approach to undercover data-gathering, so it's a proven strategy in the Seattle sports market.    Details 1:40 - Catie’s Time at Atlanta United 3:35 - Going undercover at Mariners games 12:10 - The next generation of Baseball fans 14:10 - Catie’s background 17:55 - MLB All-Star Game coming to Seattle 23:15 - Future of the Mariners 27:35 - Rapid Fire Questions   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
32:33 09/14/2022
Highlight: David Cutcliffe - SEC
David Cutcliffe - Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Football Relations at the Southeastern Conference and college football veteran - shares his advice for aspiring athletic directors and the importance of the company you keep.   Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=026a19eb25ca6ea439a75e9009579b21   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
03:12 09/07/2022
53. Mike Leach - Mississippi State
Mike Leach - Head Football Coach at Mississippi State - caught up with AJ Maestas while on a bike ride around the Florida Keys. Coach Leach was previously at Texas Tech and Washington State and is known for his animated interviews and his pioneering of the air raid offense. He gives his take on the state of Division I athletics and breaks down his plan for a 64-team College Football Playoff.    He also shares a novel idea for a two-tiered system that would allow football recruits to chose between becoming traditional student athletes, or professionals that can be signed, traded, and cut by coaches.    Details 5:00 - Mike’s idea for a new college football system 11:50 - Relating to college players  16:10 - Rapid Fire Questions   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
23:10 08/31/2022
52. Kevin Warren - Big Ten
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren joins the show with AJ Maestas to discuss the rapidly evolving collegiate landscape. He also shares lessons he's learned over the course of a 30-year career across law, professional sports, and now college athletics. Details 3:45 - The state of college athletics 6:10 - The Big Life Series 11:10 - Changes to college athletics 20:00 - Kevin’s reputation in the press 22:30 - The professionalization of collegiate athletes 27:05 - Rapid Fire Questions For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/. AJ's conversation with the late Roger Valdiserri: https://nvgt.com/podcast/?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=1b442ef51a297a93127e7ad32dba776a
39:58 08/24/2022
Highlight: Nina King - Duke
Nina King - Vice President / Director of Athletics at Duke University - on the need for NIL regulation and what the future holds for college athletics.    Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=4361a573b41e714c7af1fc46ad073408   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
05:26 08/17/2022
51. Tim Leiweke - Oak View Group
Tim Leiweke - Chairman & CEO of Oak View Group - details some of his team's most exciting projects in the works. He and AJ discuss the new arena and entertainment district in Las Vegas, Moody Center in Austin, and plans for a dozen new arenas around the world.    Tim also shares the process that went into building Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, and the challenge of turning a historic landmark into a state of the art, carbon neutral arena.    Details: 3:30 - Tim’s brother, Tod Leiweke 6:30 - Building Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena) 13:00 - Climate Pledge Arena 30:10 - New OVG Projects (including Las Vegas) 51:40 - Dan Griffis and OVG Global Partnerships 58:15 - The entertainment industry’s impact on the climate 1:08:20 - Rapid Fire Questions   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.   You can find AJ's interview with Tim's brother, Tod Leiweke here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=59f0ef14b6b667427c867918556676b7
72:45 08/10/2022
Highlight: Sarah Hirshland - USOPC
Sarah Hirshland - CEO of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee - breaks down how new sports and events are chosen by the IOC Olympic Programme Commission.   Driven by the ultimate goal of creating the best value for the games, the potential additions are evaluated on factors like popularity, participation rates, universality, and gender equality.   Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=5f0408bba0cd6dfb12c6327825d3178b For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
05:32 08/03/2022
50. David Cutcliffe - SEC
David Cutcliffe - Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Football Relations at the SEC, and former Duke Head Football Coach - sat down with Jeff Nelson on this week's episode. He shares his experience under former Duke AD Kevin White, reminisces on the challenges he faced trying to lead the team to success, and shares his experience with Peyton, Eli, and the whole Manning family.    Details: 2:15 - The special assistant to the commissioner role 10:40 - David’s background 23:45 - the Manning family 29:40 - Leaving Ole Miss & Advice for working in college sports 36:05 - The challenges of succeeding at basketball school like Duke 46:50 - Rapid Fire Questions   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
49:48 07/27/2022
Highlight: Chris Marinak - MLB
In recognition of last night's MLB All-Star Game, we're showcasing this highlight from MLB Chief Strategy & Operations Officer, Chris Marinak, on how Gen Z is redefining sports fandom, particularly when it comes to baseball.    He mentions the league's Play Ball campaign, which brought the Capital One PLAY BALL PARK to LA for All-Star Week, and is aimed at increasing youth baseball participation of all kinds.    Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast/?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=2851a5f7dea5f6aea766ed8b766e71fd   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
05:22 07/20/2022
49. Nina King - Duke
Nina King - Vice President and Director of Athletics at Duke University - joins AJ Maestas to discuss finding a successor to the legendary Coach K in her first year as AD. She explains why Jon Scheyer was the best choice, and how Duke basketball is poised for continued success with him coaching the men's team, and Kara Lawson coaching the women's team. She also highlights the importance of Title IX, along with her thoughts on the future of college athletics.   Details: 1:35 - Title IX and diversity in college athletics 9:55 - Coach K 21:20 - The future of college athletics 33:05 - Sports Betting 36:40 - Rapid Fire Questions For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
42:10 07/13/2022
Highlight: Christy Hedgpeth & Michael Schreiber – Playfly Sports
Christy Hedgpeth – President of Playfly Sports Properties – and Michael Schreiber – Founder & CEO of Playfly - discuss the opportunities they can create for partners, as the largest independent national sales organization in sports.    Michael highlights their deal with Take 5 that encompassed 11 unique sports markets across MLB, the NBA, the NFL, and college sports, all in a single transaction.   Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=75d40cc2a6596091177ebc3da0c9f441   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
04:47 07/06/2022
48. Sarah Hirshland - USOPC
Sarah Hirshland - CEO of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee -  joins AJ Maestas to discuss the three main priorities of the USOPC.  Supporting their elite athletes holistically. Improving and growing inclusive sports culture. Growing the Olympics with a new generation of fans.  Sarah also serves on the IOC Olympic Programme Commission helping decide which sports and events are held in the Olympic Games. Details: 2:00 - The role of the USOPC 13:20 - Doping in the Olympics 17:40 - Sports doc series 20:50 - LA28 27:30 - The top 3 priorities for the USOPC 28:50 - Gender equity in sports 32:35 - Rapid Fire Questions   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
38:47 06/29/2022
Highlight: Abe Madkour - Sports Business Journal
Abe Madkour - Publisher & Executive Editor at Sports Business Journal - shares 3 trends he's following in the sports industry. 1) The growth and excitement behind women's sports 2) The prominence of VC and private equity investment throughout the industry 3) Emerging sports such as Pickleball, Lacrosse, Volleyball, Softball, and others Paul Rabil & the PLL Athlete's Unlimited   Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=e730a2ffff039537974accf4b7e4bf32   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
04:25 06/22/2022
47. Christy Hedgpeth & Michael Schreiber - Playfly Sports
  Christy Hedgpeth - President of Playfly Sports Properties - and Michael Schreiber - Founder & CEO of Playfly - are the guests for our first ever double interview.   They discuss Playfly's role in the marketplace, and its position among the competition. Michael explains how their goal is to provide a national sales network, as well as best-in-class technology and innovation, to teams and clubs at the local level.    Christy provides further detail on how Playfly Sports Properties is advancing the MMR space for collegiate and high school clients.    For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.   Details 1:35 - Breaking down Playfly Sports 18:00 - Christy’s background as a national champion 23:25 - Mike’s background at Hulu and beyond 30:00 - Differentiating Playfly from the competition 35:45 - What’s next 46:15 - Rapid Fire Questions
50:20 06/15/2022
Highlight: A Tribute to Roger Valdiserri
Our dear friend Roger Valdiserri passed away last week at the age of 95. Roger was a legend in our industry, serving as the Sports Information Director at Notre Dame for 3 decades. Throughout his career, he worked 22 men's basketball Final Fours, 2 Olympic Games, and even a World Cup. He was a part of 2 national championships in football under head coach Ara Parseghian.  We published a podcast with Roger back in January of 2021, and selected some of our favorite moments to include here in honor of such a renowned figure in the world of sports.  Our condolences are with the entire Valdiserri family at this time.    Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=1b442ef51a297a93127e7ad32dba776ahttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/roger-valdiserri-notre-dame/id1544529117?i=1000504498184 For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
03:52 06/08/2022
Highlight: Lorien Parry Luehrs - HomeTown Ticketing
Lorien Parry Luehrs - President & COO of HomeTown Ticketing - on the impact that digital ticketing can have on K-12 sports and events, beyond just the bottom line.    She talks about how Athletic Directors have so many objectives to tend to, and profit is rarely one of them. Therefore, making the transition to digital isn't about increasing revenue, but is about ease of access, improved data capabilities, security, and marketing.    Listen to the full episode here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lorien-parry-luehrs-hometown-ticketing/id1544529117?i=1000560476378   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
07:10 06/01/2022
46. Abe Madkour - Sports Business Journal
Abe Madkour - Publisher & Executive Editor at Sports Business Journal - joins the Navigating Sports Business podcast to discuss the state of the sports industry and his transition from journalist to editor.    He and AJ also highlight their favorite SBJ events throughout the year, and sports business trends they are keeping an eye on.    Details: 3:20 - Abe’s background 9:55 - The transition from journalist to publisher 12:05 - Competition in the sports business news world 16:35 - Balancing objectivity 22:30 - Sports Business Trends 35:30 -  Abe picks some of the best organizations in sports 40:45 Rapid Fire Questions   The Charlotte FC crowd singing the National Anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S09-E-OwxtI  AJ's 2019 article on downward attendance in college athletics: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/11/06/maestas-college-football-attendance-is-down-but-why-we-have-the-data-and-ideas-for-getting-fans-back-to-the-stadiums/   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
45:23 05/25/2022
Highlight: Earl Santee - Populous
Earl Santee - Senior Principal & Global Chair at Populous - on the evolution of sports venues from a seated experience to more of a personalized entertainment experience, and a community meeting place.    He and AJ also cover the importance of easy transit as a common friction point among fans, and as a key way that live sports needs to improve in order to compete with the ease of at-home entertainment.    Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=76aabd97d697699a6c7d7ac9e2e47eef   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
07:25 05/18/2022
45. Lorien Parry Luehrs - HomeTown Ticketing
Lorien Parry Luehrs - President & COO of HomeTown Ticketing - joins the show to discuss how digital ticketing is changing the game for high school sports and other community events. With 865M tickets sold each year, K-12 events (including sports and other events) account for 60% of ticket sales in the U.S. - pro sports sell about 200M for comparison.   HomeTown Ticketing is the market leader in digital ticketing for K-12 schools and colleges, and offers benefits beyond ticketing such as improved security, push notification marketing, and access to important game day data.    Together they dive into the digital ticketing space, and highlight the growth and impact HomeTown Ticketing is making in the space.      Details:  11:00 - COVID as an accelerant  12:55 - Lorien’s background 28:00 - HomeTown Ticketing 42:15 - The impact of technology on high school events 45:20 - Rapid Fire Questions   Books and TED Talks Mentioned: The Hard Things About Hard Things The Obstacle is the Way Brené Brown - The Power of Vulnerability   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
55:25 05/11/2022
Highlight: Keia Clarke - New York Liberty
With the WNBA tipping off this week, we're showcasing a highlight from our interview with current client Keia Clarke, CEO of the New York Liberty. She breaks down how her team is working to share the unique story of each of their players, not just the stars.    She also talks about the team's talent and how they'll be able to capitalize on basketball success when it comes to the business side.   Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=74f86ab7111e99260206d7f845a8c9cb   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
04:12 05/04/2022
44. Earl Santee - Populous
Earl Santee - Senior Principal & Global Chairman at Populous - is one of the most most well-known and respected stadium designers in the world. As a founder of Populous, he and his team pioneered practices that we take for granted today, like the "skybox" that led directly to the prevalence of luxury suites in modern stadiums.  He and AJ explore some of his favorite projects he's worked on, and discuss what rapidly-evolving technology means for the future of entertainment gathering spaces likes arenas and ballparks.  Details: 9:40 - Looking back 13:15 - The future of stadiums 24:55 - Food & beverage 31:20 - Collegiate Athletics 36:10 - Rapid Fire Questions   Books mentioned in the show: Future Shock, by Alvin Toffler The Algorithmic Leader by Mike Walsh Age Power by Ken Dychtwald   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page and learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/ 
47:10 04/27/2022
Highlight: Gretchen Sheirr - Houston Rockets
Gretchen Sheirr - President of Business Operations for the Houston Rockets - explains the evolution of digital ticketing best practices since she joined the organization two decades ago, and how her team was on the cutting edge.  Listen to the full episode here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=2ff005acc36817567fec4d871854d24d For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/.
03:48 04/20/2022
43. Keia Clarke - New York Liberty
Keia Clarke - CEO of the New York Liberty - joins the show to discuss the bright future of the Liberty and the WNBA as a whole.   She shares with AJ Maestas her career path and how she made the transition from marketing to operations, and now to the role of CEO. They also touch on the Liberty's investment in custom market research and the work they're doing with Navigate.   Details: 2:15 - The $75M investment in the WNBA 4:50 - The Tsai Family 9:05 - Following in Keia’s footsteps 14:15 - DEI in Sports 17:45 - YES deal and the Liberty’s star power 28:10 - Rapid Fire Questions   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page and learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/ 
34:04 04/13/2022
Highlight: Dr. Robert Cialdini – Influence at Work
Bob Cialdini, the best-selling author of Influence shares the importance of using his Seven Principles of Persuasion ethically and authentically.    He also gives tips for negotiations, and explores the authority principle as it applies to pricing, and why you should never round your prices.    Listen to the full interview here: https://nvgt.com/podcast?ppplayer=98f56b6dd6dca41729f186d12a4d1251&ppepisode=f25c6273083e5871d732a8ac155034dc    Find Bob's books here: https://www.influenceatwork.com/   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page or learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/
07:21 04/06/2022
42. Pat Kilkenny - Former Oregon AD
Former Oregon AD - Pat Kilkenny- is a close friend and advisor to many leaders in college sports, including Phil Knight, Bob Bowlsby, and Larry Scott. He shares the lessons he learned as an entrepreneur and how he applied them at Oregon.    He and AJ Maestas discuss his transition to the world of college sports, and why he ultimately left Oregon. They also discuss Pat's relationship to Phil Knight, and the role that Nike and other large brands might play as NIL continues to evolve.      Details:    2:10 - Pat’s path the Oregon AD job 9:30 - NIL 15:40 - The Pac-12 22:40 - Nike and Apple’s role in college athletics 24:25 - Pat’s business background 27:15 - the Lucky Duck Foundation 33:10 - Pat’s childhood on a farm in Oregon 34:50 - Rapid Fire Questions   Learn more about the Lucky Duck Foundation at https://www.luckyduckfoundation.org/   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page and learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/ 
39:41 03/30/2022
41. Gretchen Sheirr - Houston Rockets
Gretchen Sheirr - President of Business Operations for the Houston Rockets - spent 20 seasons with the team before ascending to her current role in 2021.    Over that stretch, she pioneered new ticketing practices, and became one of our industry's leading experts on digital ticketing. She join AJ Maestas to discuss the lessons she's learned over the course of her career, some best practices for ticketing and venue management, and how we as an industry can improve when it comes to DE&I practices.    Details 1:30 - Gretchen’s career path/staying with the same organization 7:27 - Ticketing 11:40 - Rockets Owner, Tilman Fertitta 14:00 - Lessons from the COVID-19 experience 20:05 - DE&I in sports 24:05 - Rapid Fire Questions   For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page and learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/ 
27:58 03/23/2022
40. Dr. Robert Cialdini - Influence at Work
Dr. Robert Cialdini is is the author of the best-selling book, Influence, and is an expert on psychology and human behavior. His research spans sports fandom, business, and beyond. He and AJ Maestas discuss the 7 principles of persuasion: Reciprocity Scarcity Authority Consistency Liking Social Proof Unity   Bob shares how to use these principles to ethically inform and influence people in a business setting, including best practices for negotiation, price setting, and messaging.    Details 2:55 - What the sports industry can learn from experts like Bob 10:50 - The 7 Principles of Persuasion 21:05 - Using Bob’s work in Sports 28:05 - Bob’s research on sports fandom   Find Bob's books and his new course (coming Autumn 2022) here: https://www.influenceatwork.com/ Link to the research Bob mentioned: https://hbr.org/2021/12/need-a-favor-research-suggests-its-best-to-ask-in-person?ab=hero-subleft-3 Link to Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari: https://www.ynharari.com/book/sapiens-2/ For more insights, visit our LinkedIn page and learn more about Navigate at https://nvgt.com/ 
48:55 03/16/2022