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The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High-Performance Industry Hardcover – September 15, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199343837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199343836
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Whether you are a current or aspiring leader in the sports industry, you will benefit from the innovative concepts in The Sports Strategist." --George Bodenheimer, former Executive Chairman and President of ESPN


"This book is a terrific read. It gets to the heart of sports as a business and the challenges of running a franchise to profitability while sustaining fan support." --Rocky Wirtz, Chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks


"The Sports Strategist brilliantly articulates how the future of sports, just like entertainment, relies on storytelling, star power, and technology." --Garry Marshall, director of Pretty Woman and Valentine's Day, actor, producer, and writer


"There are many ways for teams to be financially successful even when they are not winning--and Irving Rein, Ben Shields, and Adam Grossman show the path." --Andrew Zimbalist, Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics, Smith College, sports industry consultant/media commentator


"The Sports Strategist uses good case examples and is written by a strong team that understands the importance of taking a strategic view of an industry that, almost by necessity, can be very tactical." --Paul Swangard, Managing Director at Warsaw Sports Marketing


"At Monumental Sports, we are always exploring how new marketing opportunities impact the Washington Capitals, Wizards and Mystics brands and affect our bottom line. The Sports Strategist provides readers with the tools to evaluate different choices in a variety of marketing channels and select the best options for their organizations." --Joe Dupriest, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Monumental Sports & Entertainment


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Griswold VINE VOICE on July 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High Performance Industry takes the reader into the quickly growing and evolving sports world. Now more than ever, the sporting landscape is crowded with competition for the increasingly precious sports fans dollar. This challenge has been increased by the fact that technology is increasingly making it easier for fans not to come to games. The Sports Strategist is all about dealing with the challenges that this new world of sports defined by increased technology and competition.

This book reads like the fairly well known business book Good to Great by Jim Collins for the sports world. The authors are very clear on needing to have vision for your sports organization, no matter the sport and evaluating potential decision on the basis of that vision. There is also a chapter on the danger of technology—both hastily adopting the newest latest and greatest technology when it really does not fit with your organizations needs and the clumsy use of platforms like Twitter by athletes.

Yet, this book is also different because it contains several chapters on challenges unique to the sports industry. These include: conflict management for when your athletes misstep, ethics in sports, and perhaps most importantly the chapter on sports landscaping which discusses ways that sports teams can better include the public and local community in its efforts to achieve things such as new stadiums so that new projects actually help the community as promised, rather than just becoming a costly multi-million dollar tax payer funded expense that benefits the team alone. This multi-million dollar expense is unacceptable in these times.

A fascinating look at a developing industry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By javajunki TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Unlike most reviewers, I'm probably in the minority in that I do not care on iota about sports. I don't watch sports, I don't participate in team sports (only personal fitness) and in general sports bore me to tears. So, why would I review this book much less give it 5 stars? Simple. I love business books and sports, whether I personally like it or not, is big business. It's also a field in the midst of dramatic transition and volatility due to changing demographics, economic and political turmoil as well as technology. In short, to be at the "top of your game" (pun intended) in sports strategy requires top notch biz savvy and that is where this book thrives.
Excellent book, superb insight and make no mistake about it...solid business savvy.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book resides at the nexus of sport and business in the professional sports industry. It is both entertaining and informative. I learned a lot from it, and recommend it especially if you are looking to work on the business side of a professional sport franchise or team.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Whether your team is winning the games or losing the games, you have to always be making money because sports is a business. As the author points out, many highly profitable sports team actually lose more than they win, but have a loyal fan base who doesn't care. In some of those cases, winning games can work against profitability for the team. Making money in sports requires constantly adapting to changes in the fan base and making business success independent of that season's success on the field. The sports marketer can't make the plays himself, but he must find a way to keep the business of sports alive.

As a frequent reader of business books, you will find many themes here common to almost any industry. For instance, you might think that the Orioles compete with the Yankees, but the truth is that the Orioles compete with Netflix. Fans have different ways of consuming entertainment, and a sports team that can't adapt won't thrive financially no matter how many games they win. A brief side-note - I was walking with a crowd to a Ravens game when we got stuck behind lines of people waiting to go into a Japanese Anime convention at the Baltimore Convention Center. It occurred to me that fandom is fandom - the tickets, the lines, dressing up in costume. Die-hard football fans wouldn't want to admit it, but they have more in common with those Anime fans than they think. They are both businesses seeking fans to spend their money to be a part of an experience.

As a result, while this book is unique to the sports industry, you can apply much of its teachings to any business. Everything from conflict management to community involvement to incorporating new technologies into your user experience. As a person who isn't into team sports, but is into business and marketing, I found the book fascinating and instructive. It's a recommended read.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I chose this book because I like sports and I'm fascinated by the tension between the business side and the playing side. Sometimes management has to make a tough decision, such as firing a popular coach or trading a player who's popular with the fans and the other players.

The Sports Strategist argues for a wholistic perspective. For instance, the authors suggest that two sides of the industry should communicate, rather than continue the current silo effect; a player wouldn't be asked to comment on a marketing policy and an admin person wouldn't advise on player personnel. Mostly, the authors emphasize, the success of a team isn't about winning. It's about building relationships with fans and ultimately becoming profitable.

The book is enjoyable and easy to read, particularly because the authors present case studies on almost every page. Sometimes it was hard to see how the story matched the point; for instance, how does the Celtics' new coach, Brad Stevens, preserve the team's identity by combining a love of tradition with analytics?

The section on narratives was fascinating, although the definition of narrative seems to shift. The opening vignette seems to focus on the way fans and consumers construct narratives from a player who's unexpectedly seen in a bad light. Later narrative seems to be used as synonymous with "spin" and creating narratives as implementing strategy. What the authors call an "improvisational narrative" some would call an outright fabrication: a Notre Dame linebacker's imaginary girlfriend was blamed on an Internet hoax. I'm not sure the new story made the player more sympathetic.

The chapter on crisis was also fascinating and also included the potential for controversy.
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