Monday, February 13, 2012

Andy Dolich...and the Business of Sports

As some of you know, I was not the greatest student in college. I would have rather done just about anything than go to class and study.

But then a funny thing happened after a few years out of school…all I wanted to do was be in school and learn!
I started by taking writing classes in Chicago—everything from short stories to plays. And, then I took art history and classical music classes at the University of Chicago’s continuing education program. At UCLA I took a writing class. And, since I’ve been in Northern California, I’ve taken at least one class a year at Stanford’s continuing education program—from modern history of China and great cities throughout history to philosophy.

Last spring was the best class of all—Biz Ball, sports as a business, taught by Andy Dolich.
Andy is an inspiring teacher--bringing invaluable insights and a perspective that only someone with 40+ years in the business can share. While he currently has his own consulting firm, Andy has spent time in the front office of many professional sports teams including the Oakland A’s, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Capitals, and SF 49ers.

Not only did Andy share his views on hot topics in the news, he brought in speakers each week from different aspects of the business, including sponsorships, ticket sales, operations, and marketing. And, to a speaker, they gave us a glimpse of life working inside the world of sports.
To top this off, our class project/competition was moving the New Orleans Hornets basketball team to Pittsburgh. Each team was charged with coming up with the actual game plan…uniforms, team name, sponsors, media rights, marketing, personnel, etc.

And, besides the fact that my team ended up the proud owners of the Pittsburgh Swarm, it was an amazing experience!
This spring, Andy is teaching another course at Stanford—Current Business Issues in Sports.

This course is slightly different as it will feature weekly roundtable discussions with leading sports decision-makers on the major issues facing the sports industry. Some of the topics Andy plans to discuss include labor issues in sports; the economics of new sports venue construction; sports technology; the impact of sports on popular culture; pro sports star athletes (are they role models?); the big business of college sports; sports talk radio; the future of women’s pro sports; sports and gambling; and sports as a cross-cultural vehicle. And, the agenda is flexible to include hot topics in the news that unfold during the course.
The guest speakers include Ted Robinson, 49ers radio voice; Michael Lynch, head of Global Sponsorship Management at Visa; Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle columnist; Pat Gallagher, former San Francisco Giants executive; Jamie Zaninovich, Commissioner of the West Coast Conference; Tracy Hughes, Cisco Sports and Entertainment; and Dwight Clark, former San Francisco 49er.

The class is on Tuesdays from 7:00pm to 8:50pm and runs for 10 weeks, starting April 3. Registration begins February 27, and I’d sign up quickly for this one. With this lineup, it’s going to be a sellout.
I’ll see you in class, and I’ll save you a seat…up front!