Keynote speaker Peter Guber opened Variety’s Sports Entertainment Summit with a discussion of relationships.
Specifically, the ones he knew in the movie business between ticket-buyer and film , brief, fleeting, somewhat disposable , with the ones in sports.
He’s a longtime sports fan, now owner of the Golden State Warriors, and he emphasized how important it is to keep a one-on-one marriage with a team and a fan, and make it last.
Service is the key, he underlined. Give that fan excellence at every turn , from the parking attendant to the hot dog guy to the point guard or first baseman, and you’ll maintain that bond for years.
Guber mentioned Frank McCourt in this breath. McCourt, he said, did some good things at first, turning around a team owned by Fox that operated at a loss and building it back up to be profitable again. But he lost his way somewhere along the line, as Dodger fans are only too painfully aware.
Guber advised those in the sports business to aim for the heart, not the wallet. The thinking is, if you grab their hearts, they’ll open their wallets.