Executive Spotlight: Greg Jamison
President/CEO, Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment
I recently heard that four young executives in a ticketing
department followed their head of ticket sales to his new job.
Two other ticket sales people followed their boss to his new
job at a minor league team. Is there something special about
these people that others will follow, or have we not grown up
from our childish game of "follow the leader?"
"Greg is a special human being. We work very well together,"
recounted Malcolm Bordelon, the Executive Vice President of
the San Jose Sharks who has twice followed Greg Jamison to
new teams - first with the Indiana Pacers, then to the San
"I was working at an ad agency in Dallas when Greg and I
first met. He was with the Dallas Mavericks. Then I ran a
small billboard company, and I had the Mavericks as a client.
I mentioned to Greg one day that I might like to do something
else and asked if he wouldn't mind serving as a reference. He
agreed and wrote me a terrific letter of recommendation. When
he subsequently told me he was leaving for the Indiana Pacers
and asked if I might be interested in joining him, I handed
him back the letter and said, 'You can only hire someone for
whom you've given a great recommendation!' And I have been
with him ever since."
And together they have accomplished great things in the
At the Pacers, they changed the way sponsorships were
done in Indianapolis, a heavily discounted marketplace,
and sold out all the sponsorship inventory. This has
helped raise the sponsorship deals for the market that in
turn allowed Conseco Fieldhouse to be successfully
At the Sharks, they established Silicon Valley Sports
& Entertainment as a way to increase alternative
revenue by capitalizing on the talent they have with the
hockey team. SVS&E markets the MLS's San Jose
Earthquakes; they bought out and market the Sybase Open
Tennis event as well as the Siebel Classic Senior PGA
Tournament; and bought out a publishing company that in
addition to publishing their own products, the company
produces the Oakland Raider's media guide and the San
Francisco 49ers Game Day Magazine. SVS&E also owns
the Cleveland Barons and manages the Logitech Ice
facility, as well as the Compaq Center.
Started the Shark's Foundation in 1994 to provide
resources and financial support to nonprofit
organizations, especially those that enhance the lives of
local youth. The Foundation raised $300,000 in 1997-1998
for the local charities.
"I consider myself incredibly lucky to work with Greg.
I know I work well with him because I agree with and
have adopted his general philosophies and reinforce his
management style and approach to our business. One of
the best compliments I ever received was 'you are a
Greg clone'. I only hope to live up to that standard.
I've worked for Greg for nearly 14 years and I still
learn from him and appreciate the numerous
opportunities and experiences he has provided me in my
sports business career. It's a true privilege to work
with and for Greg and a real complement to be closely
associated with him."
In this whacky world where everyone seems expendable,
it is good to see this "coupling" of executives. It's
not unusual. Duos like Michael Eisner and Frank Wells
built Disney. Andy Dolich, President of the Memphis
Grizzlies, hooked up with a former colleague from
Oakland, Mike Golub, to relaunch the Grizzlies' NBA
team. And even last week's executive profiled, Brenda
Tinnen, rejoined John Thomas, former business head of
the Houston Rockets; Shawn Hunter, head of the Phoenix
Coyotes; and most recently Tim Leiweke, President of
Anschutz Entertainment, when they moved on to their
next jobs. Cases of "follow the leader"? Or does the
game give us a guide for life?
As the popular song goes, "I will follow him...follow
him wherever he may go...there isn't an ocean too
deep...a mountain so high it can keep...keep me
Buffy G. Filippell founded TeamWork Consulting, Inc., an executive search firm for the sports and event management industry in September of 1987. The firm's more than 120 clients have included: NASCAR, PGA TOUR, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, International Speedway Corporation, Major League Soccer, Olympic Governing Bodies, corporate sponsors, and sports marketing agencies. Learn more at http://www.teamworkonline.com.
All TeamWork Online content copyright © 2008 Buffy Filippell, President, TeamWork Online LLC.
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