We cheer the star athletes, support (or critique) the head coaches, and discuss the next great prospect as though our favorite team’s fortunes were solely dependent on him (or her). But the fortunes of our favorite teams and events are actually in the hands of decision-makers with the bottom line on their mind as much as the final score. The POWER PLAYERS in Sports Business give their attention to the financial bottom line as much as they do the scoreboard, leaderboard, or win-loss column. After all, a winning team can go only so far if its jerseys are stained with red ink.
President, Business Operations, Memphis Grizzlies. B.A., Commerce, with a specialization in Sports Adminstration, Laurentian University. Oversees arena operations at FedExForum, corporate sponsorships, and community investment. Has been with Grizzlies six years. Board member, Greater Memphis Chamber and Mid-South Food Bank. Spent four years as Grizzlies’ Vice President of Finance. Background includes stints in NBA, NHL and Arena Football League, and Canadian Football League teams.
Tour Director, FedEx St. Jude Classic. Annual PGA golf event held in Memphis since 1958. Tournament has raised more than $25 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 1970. Tournament has $35 million annual impact on local economy. Recipient of Charles Thornton Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003, University of Memphis. Board Member, PGA TOUR Tournaments Association. Has been with local event for more than 40 years. Former Chairman, Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce.
Executive Director, AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic. B.A., Colorado College; J.D., University of Colorado. Seventh-oldest bowl game in country. Event includes golf tournament, parade, professional rodeo, and coaches award luncheon. President, Sports Consultants, Inc., since 1994. Former President/GM, Memphis Showboats football team. Former President, Colorado Rockies baseball team. Recipient of All-American Football Foundation Bowl Executive Award in 2000.
Athletic Director, University of Memphis. B.A., Sociology, University of Iowa; Master’s, Physical Education, University of Northern Iowa. Has obeen in position since 1995 and has overseen construction of new facilities for softball and golf, turf football practice field, and renovation of baseball stadium (FedEx Park). Has seen growth in Ambassador’s Club (donors of $500,000) from two members in 1997 to 38 currently. Negotiated five-year, $11.3 million partnership with Nike. Serves on NCAA Leadership Council.
President, Summit Management Corporation, an entertainment consulting firm. Graduate of University of Memphis. Founder, Southern Heritage Classic, annual football game between Tennessee State and Jackson State, played at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium since 1990. Owner and limited partner with Memphis Grizzlies. Has worked with music legends Isaac Hayes, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and LL Cool J. Recipient of 2010 Arthur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Memphis.
Tournament Director, Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Cellular South Cup. B.B.A., Management, University of Memphis. Tennis Director for last 10 years, The Racquet Club of Memphis. Coordinates ATP and WTA events simultaneously each February. USTA Tennessee Professional of the Year (1992 and 2004). Moved to Memphis from Perth, Australia, in 1983 to play tennis at University of Memphis. USPTA Level 1 Certified Instructor. Chairman, Tennessee Junior Competition Committee.
DAVE “AB” MATTICE
General Manager and Governor, Mississippi RiverKings hockey team. First recruited to team as Director of Business Operations. RiverKings have been honored as Most Improved Franchise by the CHL, and given the league’s Community Development Award. Team’s Assists for Autism program raises money for cause with every assist team gets. Former tourism director for outfitting company in Canada. The native of Canada met wife in Southaven (home of the RiverKings), where they now reside with their two daughters.
President, Athletic Resource Management. Graduate of University of Tennessee. Heads sports management and marketing agency that handles the contract negotiations, endorsements, and day-to-day management for nearly 100 professional athletes and coaches. Youngest person licensed by NBA and NFL to represent athletes in contract negotiations. Past and current clients include Reggie White, Scottie Pippen, Isaac Bruce, Tim Tebow, Matt Cain, Bill Parcells, Nick Saban, and Mike Anderson.
BENJAMIN J. WEISS
General Manager, Memphis Redbirds and AutoZone Park. B.S., Marketing, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Responsible for overall business operations of the team’s front office and facility. “Top 30 Under 30,” Billboard Magazine, 2007. Former Event Manager, Global Spectrum facility Sun Nation Bank Center, Trenton, New Jersey. Former Adjunct faculty member, UMass Sports Management Department. Member, International Association of Venue Managers. Former Board Member, Mercer County Sports and Entertainment Commission.