Tag: Business of Sports

Jane Wu Brower

Jane Wu Brower, BSBA ’08, launched into entrepreneurship this year.

She left her full-time job as a management consultant and founded Goalposte, a daily newsletter that summarizes major sports stories in a fun and accessible way.

“It targets an audience of casual sports fans who want an easy way to stay up-to-date or novices who want to learn more,” Jane said.  “In particular, its mission is to help level the playing field for young professional women, who may more often feel alienated in sports conversations with coworkers, bosses, interviewers, and clients.”

Jane developed the idea during her time as an attorney. While working on a case defending Major League Baseball, Jane was expected to interact with high-level baseball executives and attend sports business development events. All the while, she was anxious about her lack of sports knowledge relative to her colleagues.

Goalposte logo“A huge part of business is being able to connect with the people you work with on some interpersonal level, and sports is just one of several ways to do that,” Jane said. “Unfortunately, I had never really followed sports growing up, so I was left on the outside looking in during sports conversations.”

From speaking with friends, she discovered that many of them had faced similar situations in client settings, during interviews, or with colleagues and friends. Jane thought that there should be a way to stay up-to-date on sports news in a way that was fun and easily digestible for the casual sports fan or novice.

“I didn’t see a product in the marketplace that satisfied the need of a quick and fun way to learn sports,” she said. “Instead, I only came across resources for avid fans.”

In addition to daily digests, the site provides primers on topics like MLB Opening Day, the Super Bowl, hockey, soccer, and more. Need help choosing your March Madness bracket? Goalposte provides common-sense tips for the sometimes emotionally-invested like, “Be objective,” and “Picking upsets is fun, but don’t go bananas.” Jane’s next goal for Goalposte is to increase its specialization on regions and sports.

Presenting sports news in bite-size, digestible write-ups is “an easy and unintimidating means of navigating the world of sports, where heavy stats and historical comparisons predominate,” Jane said—with, of course, the added bonus of staying on top of the latest watercooler chatter.

Jane Wu Brower, Olin BSBA ’08 and Michigan Law alum, is the CEO and founder of Goalposte

Ken Borkan, BSBA’10, returns to campus this week as the next guest in the Lacob Business of Sports Speaker Series, Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., in Emerson Auditorium, Knight Hall. Borkan is a manager of analytics for the Phoenix Suns. NBA Data Analytics will be the topic. The event is open to all. (more…)

Between football games this weekend, check out the new issue of Haute Living for a great profile on “Joe Lacob: The Charitable Champion.”  Lacob, co-executive chairman, CEO and governor of the Golden State Warriors made a major donation to Olin earlier this year to establish the Joseph S. Lacob Business of Sports Speaker Series and to support the new undergraduate minor in sports business.

Here’s an excerpt from the article by Kelly Carter:

Long before he bought the Warriors, Lacob’s philanthropic interests focused on education, both in the community and with universities. Endowment may not be what he wants for his NBA team’s foundation, but when he started making serious money at Kleiner Perkins, he endowed athletic and academic scholarships at Stanford. Deciding that the Warriors Community Foundation would make education its thrust was a natural progression.

“I’m not a guy who spreads it wide; I go deep whenever I do something,” he asserts.

Last year, he donated $1 million to help fund a new sports management program at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. His son, Kent, was captain of that school’s basketball team; now he works for his dad as Golden State’s coordinator of basketball operations.

“I wanted to do something because of the great job they did with him,” the Warriors managing partner says.

Lacob’s eldest son, Kirk, a Stanford grad, is an assistant general manager for the team. The man in charge, a divorced father of four, also has two daughters— Kelly and Kayci.

It’s a good thing Lacob doesn’t hold grudges. He applied to both Washington University for medical school and Stanford for undergrad. Both rejected him.

Link to arthaute living covericle.

Related blog post.





Lacob Image: WUSTL Photo Services

It’s another far-reaching global sporting scandal: On Nov. 9, the World Anti-Doping Agency recommended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspend Russia from athletics competition in the wake of its findings regarding that country’s ongoing cover-ups of positive performance-enhancing drug tests in its track and field athletes.

“I don’t claim to be an expert in the various advances in testing methods and procedures. But when you consider the Ben Johnsons and the Marion Joneses of the world, you realize that doping scandals have been part of the recent past with respect to track and field,” said Patrick Rishe, PhD and director of the Olin Business of Sports Program.

The findings were presented in Geneva, Switzerland. For an international sporting scene still reeling from FIFA fallout this summer, it’s another embarrassment that could have ramifications of Olympic proportions: the ruling could keep Russian athletes out of Rio de Janeiro next year.

“What this shows is that when you have these organizations, individuals, or processes which receive little external checks-and-balances, opportunities arise for corruption,” Rishe said. “FIFA has proved this to be true. The world of cycling has suffered from this stigma mightily. So too again will track and field.

“Over the long run, one wonders how this will impact ratings and sponsorship of Olympic Games. Because if the public’s confidence in the legitimacy of the outcomes is frayed, their interest will wane … and with fewer eyeballs, corporations will be less bullish on sponsorship investments,” Rishe said.

By Erika Ebsworth-Goold, WUSTL Newsroom

The inaugural Olin Sports Business Summit takes place Friday, Sept. 25. The free daylong event, held at Emerson Auditorium on the Danforth Campus, features an all-star group of speakers from across the sports business industry, locally and nationally.

Among the top local figures are:

  • Kevin Demoff, chief operating officer, St. Louis Rams;
  • Bill DeWitt III, president, St. Louis Cardinals; and
  • Tom Stillman, owner of the St. Louis Blues.

Among the national executives are:

  • John Abbamondi, vice president, team marketing & business operations for the National Basketball League; and
  • Dan Flynn, chief executive officer, U.S. Soccer.

The event is designed to give Washington University students a chance to network with sports insiders on local, regional and national levels.

“Given that one of our primary goals is to help our students find internships and develop relationships with industry practitioners, planning a Sports Business Summit was absolutely necessary,” said Patrick Rishe, PhD, director of the Sports Business Program at Olin.

Panelists will touch upon topics including facility financing, athlete endorsements, corporate sponsorships, ticketing and business strategies, leadership and player personnel decision-making, and recent business developments in collegiate athletics.

“In one day, our students will hear from over two dozen sports business professionals whose combined expertise eclipses 100 years of experience in the industry,” Rishe said.

“By conducting the event so early in the fall, this allows time for the students and our leadership to cultivate relationships ahead of the 2016 internship and job placement cycle. We are most grateful to all those who have contributed to the program to date, and most notably to Joe Lacob for his generous financial support which has enabled us to produce events of this stature for our students.”

For more information on the summit, click here​.

Undergraduate students interested in professional sports careers are getting new fields to play on at Washington University in St. Louis, thanks to a new minor offered by Olin Business School and a major boost from Warriors Co-Executive Chairman and CEO Joe Lacob.

Excerpted from a story posted on the Golden State Warriors’ website.

With a gift of $1 million from Lacob, the Olin Business School launched the new BSBA minor in the Business of Sports this fall. The Warriors, under Lacob’s guidance, were named “Sports Team of the Year” by the Sports Business Journal/Daily in May at the seventh annual Sports Business Awards.

Lacob and Bears basketball team

Chancellor Wrighton, Joe Lacob, pose with the WU Bears Basketball team.

To launch the program, Lacob visited the Washington University campus on Monday, Oct. 13 and delivered the inaugural address for the Joseph S. Lacob Business of Sports Speaker Series. The event was held in Olin’s Frick Forum, located in Knight Hall.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be associated with a unique program at WU that I hope will have a lasting impact and, most importantly, contribute to our next generation of great sports executives,” said Lacob. “The business of sports is an incredibly exciting field and one that offers a wide and ever-growing variety of career options. I’m elated that I might be able to play a small role in the education and development of current and future students at WU as they potentially pursue a life in this fascinating industry.”

Olin Business School began offering a minor in the business of sports this fall. Under the direction of Todd Milbourn, PhD, senior associate dean of faculty and research, and the Hubert C. & Dorothy R. Moog Professor of Finance, it is open to all students at the university and formalizes a popular mini-course in sports management Milbourn began six years ago.