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Old 05-04-2003, 08:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
best owner?

Who is your vote for the best owner of the major 4 sports?

You can define "best" however you like: builds winners, build competitors, organization is fun for the fans, handles personel moves well, etc.
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Old 05-04-2003, 09:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
WoW or Class...
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Location: UWW
The only publicly owned professional franchise, the Green Bay Packers, because it's so unique.

But as for one single person, Mark Cuban. He loves the game, he tries to make it better, he doesn't take everything so seriously so he can have fun with his job (IE: Dairy Queen incident), he is extremely available to his fans and tries to create the best experience for them as possible, and he doesn't care how much he gets fined for critizing people, hell, he matches whatever he's fined so charities end up getting double whatever Cuban is ever fined.
One day an Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman walked into a pub together. They each bought a pint of Guinness. Just as they were about to enjoy their creamy beverage, three flies landed in each of their pints. The Englishman pushed his beer away in disgust. The Scotsman fished the fly out of his beer and continued drinking it, as if nothing had happened. The Irishman, too, picked the fly out of his drink but then held it out over the beer and yelled "SPIT IT OUT, SPIT IT OUT, YOU BASTARD!"
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Old 05-04-2003, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
Please touch this.
Halx's Avatar
Location: Manhattan
Mark Cuban is THE MAN!

That dude knows how to run an operation. All of his employees are happy and they do a good job. I would love to work for that guy if I ever had the chance.


How to win fans and influence people

By Mark Cuban
Special to SportsNation

Editor's note: In the Ultimate Standings, the Dallas Mavericks rank 5th among all major sports franchises, and rank 1st in the category of "Fan Relations." We asked Mark Cuban to tell us how he turned a moribund franchise into one of the most successful in sports.

When I bought the Dallas Mavericks three years ago, it was a beaten organization. There was a culture of survival, but not a lot of hope or expectation for success.

The sales office had a great manager in George Killebrew, but he had virtually no staff. The marketing was terrible. So I did a few things. I put my desk in the middle of the sales bullpen, tripled the size of the sales staff, and brought in a new ticket sales director, George Prokos, and a new marketing manager, Matt Fitzgerald.

I explained to them that we no longer sold basketball. We sold fun, sore throats and sore hands from yelling and clapping. I told them if anyone even mentioned our win-loss record (we were 9-23 at the time), they were fired on the spot. Every sales rep was required to make 100 cold calls per day until we started selling out games and they couldn't give away tickets unless I approved.

Mark Cuban: "I spend every day thinking about the Mavericks. That includes time dreaming about the Mavs while sleeping."
We had people who bought in and others who realized they would have to start working and they left or were let go. I sat next to them and made calls myself. I sold tickets, went on sales calls and I made it clear that the new mantra was, "Every minute of every day, it's selling time."

From a player perspective, no one was very happy before I came. Everything was nickel-and-dimed -- from the hotels to the food we ate, you name it. The players didn't feel like anyone really cared. The fans saw that in the players, in the game presentation and in the culture of the organization. I came in and made sure that everyone realized that if you did your job and worked hard to be the best at what you do, whether you are a player, a sales rep or customer service rep, I would do mine to give you the support and resources you needed to be successful. That in turn changed the culture of the team, the image of the brand and the expectations of our customers.

The craziest thing is that it started happening immediately. And now we have taken huge steps and have completely turned around the culture and brand equity.

We've become very good at providing a great in-arena experience because we work so hard at it. We don't allow any excuses for our game presentation not improving every single day. This ranges from finding new ways to entertain our fans -- for example, the Mavs ManiAAC's (men between the ages of 21-50 who had their dancing debut at the first playoff game in 2001), the Mavs Man and the Mavs Dancers -- to the type of merchandise we sell, to the music and videos we play, to the painted fans who get in free for every game and provide our own little version of Duke's Cameron Crazies.

Everybody knows that the ultimate responsibility for customer satisfaction falls into my hands. We have amazing customer service people and a basketball staff, from our CEO Terdema Ussery to the Nelsons to our assistant general manager Keith Grant, who are uncompromising in our goal to make sure everyone is happy. We aren't 100 percent successful, but we try to solve every customer service problem.

I make it a point of being very easy to contact, either in the arena or via e-mail. Since I became owner, I have answered thousands upon thousands of e-mails. When I get an e-mail from a fan with a problem, it gets forwarded to people who respond to customers immediately and make sure the issue gets resolved to the best of our ability. We cover everything from broken cup holders or chewing gum on seats to a light on an aisle being out. We even handle complaints from people not getting their Taco Bell Chalupa coupons -- which we give out if the team scores more than 100 points -- or from those who feel there isn't enough cheese being put on the nachos. My feeling is that everyone has thousands of entertainment choices and we don't want to create any excuses for them to go and spend their money somewhere else.

This is the same way I have run all my businesses. No detail is too small when it comes to taking care of customers. We have an understanding with every customer: If you give me your money and passion for the Mavs, everyone in this company will do everything I can think of to make sure you will get more than your money's worth. It helps that I spend every day thinking about the Mavericks. That includes time dreaming about the Mavs while sleeping, often waking up in the middle of the night multiple times to e-mail someone about a problem I solved with my eyes closed.

Many people are surprised at the way I treat my players. The reason I go out of my way to have the best facilities for them is because I hate contracts. I would rather be in a position where I have to earn someone's commitment to stay and work for me rather than thinking I have them locked up contractually.

I try to put everyone in a position to succeed, knowing that the better they do, and the happier they are at doing it, the better we will be as a company. In that regard I still haven't lived up to the success of my first company, MicroSolutions. We only had 85 employees, but over the course of seven years, we only had four employees leave. And all of them came back to work for us at some point.

Making sure the Mavs name is out on display in public is very important to me. When we redesigned the Mavs uniforms last year, one of the goals was to make them more wearable for kids going to school. The reality is that you can't wear sleeveless basketball jerseys year round and girls had a hard time wearing them at all. The Mavs football jerseys are one of my ideas for which I am very proud. They allowed fans to represent their Mavs in any season, in any situation, and they are fashionable and comfortable.

We think we can sell several million dollars worth of them in the next year, and we are actively working with other teams to sell them versions for their teams to offer to their fans. Now if I could convince the NBA to sell them nationally, I might be able to pay my luxury tax with them!

Mark Cuban, who is ranked No. 327 on Forbes list of the world's richest people, bought the Mavericks for $280 million. When he is not managing the Mavericks, he is working on his high-definition television company, HDNet. He can be reached at Mark.Cuban@dallasmavs.com.
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Old 05-05-2003, 05:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
Originally posted by Halx
Mark Cuban is THE MAN!
I have to agree. He's a fan first, business owner second. Too bad more sports owners aren't like him.
"Fuck these chains
No goddamn slave
I will be different"
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Old 05-05-2003, 07:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Midwest
Maybe Cuban in a few years (decades).

Love him or hate him, Big George Steinbrenner is the answer. Heres the original guy, who said "My organization is gonna be better than yours." The New York Yankees have the best front office, scouts, business talent, etc. Its how they win.

Let's not forget that he bought the team for nothing (after the NFL denied him the right to buy a franchise). They stunk. All the Yankee mystique was gone. He rebuilt the mystique. Currently, the Yankees have fans all over the world (including millions from Japan).

And Big George, for all his faults, is good for the game. He has a reverence for his team's history, has the pockets to make things happen, etc.
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Old 05-05-2003, 07:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
I like Mark Cuban, he is really the one bright spot in basketball owners. What other owner actually sits with the fans and watches the games instead of sitting in a box in the upper level?
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
Location: Stockton ca
Mark Cuban or the maloofs "owners of the kings " both of them are great owners and will front the money to keep there teams together
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god
than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible
gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours
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Old 05-05-2003, 03:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
Location: Rupp Arena
Mark Cuban (duh)
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Old 05-05-2003, 04:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
Location: Steel City ( the 'Burgh)
I'll go with the crowd and say Cuban. Why? Beacause when i was a kid the Mavs sucked and they had no people going to their games. along comes a young owner named Mark Cuban and look at the Mavs now: Sellout every game, got amazing players and they are liked world wide because of Nash and Nowitzki, and what other team can pull off having thier two best players being German, Canadian and White?
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Old 05-05-2003, 09:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
Location: In beautiful (YOUR AREA)
I would like to say Mike Ilitch, But the Tigers make all the Detroit teams look bad, and with the wings going in the first round..Aww hell, forget i even mentioned his name.
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
a toss-up between Steinbrenner and Dr Jerry Buss.

I don't like the Yankees or the Lakers but both owners do what it
takes to deliver winners to the fans every season.
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
Location: I live where all the morons live
Cuban is the best in terms of public relation but illitch is a great owner of the Red Wings.

He will spend some money on the tigers. I think he Tramm has him excited and next off season you will the tigers make a run at a couple of big named players. He did try to land Juan Gonz for 135 million a few years ago and see where that got him?

Anyone remember the red wings when he bought them. They were horrible. He built up their minor league organization and once that started to pay off....he went out and got some of the better talent out there to take his team over the hump. This worked for the Red Wings and it will for the Tigers.

George would be a top owner if he was not such a asshat.

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Old 05-06-2003, 06:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
Location: I live where all the morons live
Bill Davidson from the Pistons also is an excellent owner. He passed over Isiah and went with Joe and look at it paying off now.

The Pistons have memphis 1st round pick this year unless it is #1 and they could do very frigging well for themselves.

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Old 05-06-2003, 02:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: USS George Washington
The Boss. He runs the Yanks with an iron fist, demands the best from his players, and expects nothing less than championship after championship. The revenue sharing that was part of the strike-ending collective bargaining agreement was designed for one reason and one reason only: to handicap Steinbrenner and the Yankees, and penalize him for having a high payroll, and encourage him to lower it. The Yankees (and all other teams with payrolls above a certain figure) are now required to pay cash money to help pay the salaries of the lowest payroll teams in the league. George responded by making the required payments, and then RAISING the Yankees payroll, as if to say, here's your chump change, now beat me if you can. The Yankees will be one of the most dominant teams in sports as long as he owns the team. Say what you want about his personality, I agree he's a rat bastard. But he commands my unswerving loyalty as a fan because I know he will make my team win, whatever it takes.

I also like Mark Cuban and his very different attitude. It is refreshing and time will tell if he too can build a dynasty with it. I don't follow basketball as much, but I remember that in the early 90's, when you played NBA Jam, they were the first team you had to play on your way to beating all the NBA teams, ending with the Bulls. That he has COMPLETELY turned that franchise around is a testament to his passion and skill. I respect him.


Last edited by MikeyChalupa; 05-06-2003 at 05:44 PM..
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
bundy's Avatar
Location: Tokyo
again with the American MAJOR sports!

since these MAJOR sports are not played (and rarely screened) over here, i'll go with Australia's MAJOR sports.

I like George Piggins (in George we trust) from South Sydney, even though he recently stood down.

I like John Elliott even though he's no longer in charge of Carlton, because he's such a bloody pig.

and i have to admit, i kinda like Eddie Maguire's incredible ability to promote himself and Collingwood.
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Maryland,USA
My fav..... Al Davis , because he absolutely refuses to go with the flow.
We all have wings, some of us just don't know why.
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Old 05-07-2003, 03:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
Location: Florida
Any owner who doesn't take the chance to screw over the fans the first chance they get...which rules out just about every owner.
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