Donnie Marbut has transitioned from a rising star Division I head baseball coach to the world of leadership as Commissioner of the West Coast League. Marbut discusses how the West Coast League has developed a unique brand against the collegiate summer baseball league marketplace, and how it continues to strive for consistent, solid fan development with an eye on future expansion. Marbut talks about his time leading the Washington State Cougars baseball program, and what sports supervision means to him. @WCLBaseball
In 2012, Bill Yates was a guest on Episode 8 of the podcast. Things sure have changed in terms of the sports business landscape since then, especially when looking back at what was a buyers market for teams up for sale, now becomes a seller's advantage as the national economy has improved. Yates discusses some of the alterations that have taken place, as team evaluations have solidified with variable profit margins, as well as some of the things that still leave room for improvement when it comes to understanding a franchise's worth. Yates talks about some of the issues that leagues and franchises always have, with good as well as bad ownership groups, and some of the red flags that can come up when an audit situation happens. Twitter: @YatesieTweets
The National Pro Grid League has taken the nation's summertime viewing up a notch. In 2014, it was launched as a cable mainstay for NBC Sports, filling out some of the 8600 programming hours that the channel has to allot for. NPGL's Claire and Jim Kean, discuss how they created the game from scratch, designed various teams, took on ownership groups and launched within a 9-month time frame. As NPGL VP of Operations, Claire covers some of the issues that happened during the actual events themselves, and as NPGL CEO, Jim explains what the revenues, finances and pitfalls ended up looking like. The NPGL is set to launch its second season in 2015, and ready for the challenges that lie ahead in both league competition and revenue. Twitter: @TheGridLeague
Bill Stewart pulls no punches when discussing the state of minor league baseball and hockey ownership in today's sports marketplace. An executive who has served as team president of a minor league hockey team for 6 years, Stewart has always owned several minority shares of minor league teams across the country. Stewart shares his insight into what makes a great minor league owner, as well as some of the details of league involvement as well as arena leases that goes into the numbers that make up sports finances. Stewart makes it very clear that being an owner in today's world involves a lot of risk, as well as frequent hard work, in order to develop an entertaining product that fans come back to witness time and again.
One of the premiere journalists covering the world of sports business today is Mike Ozanian, who shares insight into everything from media rights to franchise valuations. Ozanian goes deeper when talking about the impact of fans actually in the building compared to those watching on televisions at home. This includes the largess of media rights deals such as the $8.3 Billion deal between Time Warner Cable and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ozanian also discusses the idea of whether the teams are competing against themselves in terms of attracting fans through the doors while also trying to get them to watch through other media. Ozanian speaks on the athlete as a brand driver of revenue both individually and within a franchise structure. Twitter: @SportsMoneyBlog
Jim Calpin comes on the podcast to talk about the role of franchise ownership, especially when it comes to junior hockey. Calpin discusses some of the problematic issues surrounding ownership, especially when dealing with rookies who don’t seem to understand what they are getting into. Calpin examines team evaluation, including marketing, capitalization and whether certain revenue streams have been watered down by previously bad ownership. Twitter: @JPCalpin
Starting a new baseball league is never easy, but Executive Director Chris Petersen believes he’s found the right mix in the Interstate Baseball League. After a couple of false starts, the league may be starting for an abbreviated inaugural season in August 2013. Petersen talks about the issues dealing with ownership, facility rental, revenue streams such as tickets, corporate sales, and concessions. With so many leagues that have made attempts in the 1990s/2000s which no longer exist, Petersen's goal is to learn from those mistakes in order to present a better, more focused baseball league able to stand the test of time.
Mike Savit has operated several minor league baseball franchises across the country, including the Michigan Battle Cats, Mobile Bay Bears, Modesto Nuts and Augusta Green Jackets, along a team in the Coastal Plain League of the Carolinas. But his heart remains with the NBADL’s Springfield Armor which he founded in New England in 2009. Savit talks about the league’s prospering future, marketing & ticketing concepts, and how to lead employees. Great conversation with Savit as Tao of Sports was his first podcast interview (he was initially pranked into thinking the entire conversation would last 5 hours!).
The Central Hockey League has provided the Midwest with entertainment on the ice since 1992. Helmed by Commissioner Duane Lewis, the league has a strategy of providing fun, exciting games which end in shoot-outs if the games are tied at the end of regulation. Lewis talks about "sticking to their guns" when discussing the shootout policy of settling overtimes, how some markets have been hurt by paper hanger ownership groups desperate for ideas on drawing a crowd, and working with cities to foster the best partnership between a team and arena. Twitter: @CHLProHockey
Gary Gelinas operates several junior hockey league teams and a minor league baseball franchise from his Phoenix desert office - Everett Silvertips, Texas Tornado, Amarillo Bulls, North Iowa Bulls, Peoria Pines. Gelinas has also owned and operated his own franchises in the past: Nanaimo Clippers Jr A hockey franchise, Venom Spring Teams, Vancouver Island Hockey School, and the expansion Nanaimo Timberman Sr A Lacrosse franchise, as well as served as general manager and president of the New Mexico Scorpions of the Central Hockey League. Gelinas knows the sports business intimately, speaking in terms of ticket sales, branding, the infusion of insuring that price points are kept, the viability of ROI with traditional media, branding, and several other key components to building a franchise’s base and successful future.