I always plan to do this this was like my life goal I play baseball basketball football hockey soccer everything I literally every morning I ate sports for breakfast I wanted to be a professional athlete and then of course I cap down at five nine hundred fifty pounds and I realized that career was going to end pretty quick there was a boys club and I went down the very first time I went there there was a hardwood floor there basketball court indoor basketball court I'd never actually played on one that just started to shoot baskets whenever I went in I saw that hardwood floor and I don't know what it is to this day I can envision it as though it's right in front of me it was actually after watching the movie Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise where I realized wow there's this whole other side of the business sports was a huge part of my life growing up my family I saw what it meant to go to a sporting event and how the experience of sharing the game together with other people could bring you together even across socio-economic lines and I really love that kind of fell in love with that fandom I didn't know where to start and at the time a lot of my friends and classmates were interviewing for these Wall Street jobs and so I went on one of the interviews and was very quickly romanced by this whole notion of being on Wall Street and doing deals but it was during that time that I had a childhood friend who was killed in a car accident and if he were here now I think he would say I did I did what I wanted to do I figured out who I was and I pursued those things at that moment I kind of made a very about-face shift in the way that I approached my career and I guess myself you have to do something you care about something you have passion for it's like yeah I didn't wake up one day and say oh I really want to be an investment banker or something like that it's like hey follow your dreams every day Showtime and It's Showtime for the players when they look at you in the locker room when they look at you in the canteen It's Showtime when you're on camera and sometimes you have to in some sense fake a little bit of Showtime displaying weakness is not a good thing it's so even if you're not confident act confident I was confident I was very confident that we could do it that we could turn it around that we could win a championship and that we could be successful in every way you got to keep the whole team motivated you got to keep the whole team feeling like we're gonna get this done we're gonna accomplish this building a stadium in California is a difficult exercise even though there was one of those fifty or a hundred times where I was worried are we gonna be able to get this done are we gonna overcome this hurdle I had to be positive and I had to always exude complete confidence that we were going to get it done because if people didn't see it me then how they can be confident in themselves and what they're doing it's absolutely paramount I'm passionate about it because I want to win and winning means a lot of different things to me perhaps but for those underneath you that you've got to keep that passion although to be honest with you if you're gonna come work for us it's 365 24/7 I mean it's all the time because that's who we are that's what we are and we're all in we are out there on the streets meaning people knowing their names showing them that we know who they are by name and that we really appreciate their support we serve them we have a duty to them Oh them big for me that's what I love you know I love being out there being that person who's you know kind of the Pied Piper making everyone you know excited about what we're doing in advancing the business and really making it a success what success means and how important different things are completely different for every single stakeholder in the in the ecosystem the one thing that actually coach Walsh used to say and many years ago but it's stuck with me every time is that when things are good and they're praising you you're never as good as they say you are and when things are bad and they're criticizing you you're never as bad as they say you are this is an industry sort of like the entertainment industry but even more than the entertainment industry you're making decisions in a fishbowl and everybody's got an opinion whether it's with facts or without facts and they will state that opinion in sometimes a measured way sometimes in an obnoxious way if you can't take the heat go find another industry can't take stuff personally and you got to make decisions quickly but like the personal thing is a big deal because you're having these interactions and if you just get bogged down and like oh my god I can't believe that person said that or whatever and you get kind of retaliatory it's totally ineffective how do you make tough decisions that the public doesn't necessarily understand or agree with and I think that's what leadership is they don't have all the facts we're supposed to have all the facts right and we're supposed to be able to analyze them correctly that is what we are supposed to do you will be praised sometimes and you will be booed sometimes and it's really how you handle the situation that is distinctive about leadership and also about how the fans are gonna view you Monta Ellis who's our most popular player this is really only a year and a half into our ownership and he was our best player our most popular player in fact honestly I was close to him and his wife and I really loved how hard he played having said that we had a plan it involved a style of play and organizing architecting a team work they structured for our team which we thought would lead to success in the NBA and that had to do with defense first prototypical size at every position and it had to do with a fast-paced style of play so akin to the Celtics of the 60s where I grew up is where it comes from defensive orientation led by Bill Russell the 80s Showtime Lakers I lived in LA during that period so the two greatest influences for me in basketball and so I didn't think we could survive we didn't think we could survive with two small guards even no matter how good they were we banked on Steph Curry as the cornerstone of our franchise he is now of the 12 15 players on a roster the only remaining player from that original team five years ago so that trade for Andrew Bogut a center the only way you're going to get a big great Center like that for a small guy is if he's injured or something like that so we took that risk people didn't understand that at the time I knew they wouldn't I didn't think I'd get booed I did by 20,000 people and we could talk about that the effects of that as well but to go from good to great is not an easy thing to do and if it was easy anyone could do it so you have to make some tough decisions and we made a tough decision to go out and get the coach the last piece if you will adding to the roster that we had assembled which was Steve Kerr who we thought could finally put together not the roster and have it play fully fully in the type of style of type of play that we wanted to play going forward that could win a championship I think when general a cub got booed in the retiring the jersey the immediate reaction was very negative but he really handled that brilliantly in terms of the next day he was on the radio talkback radio responding to press and it turned out that the train actually was a very good trait that actually was a hallmark of his management talents you know the great thing about being booed or something like that something something really bad happened to you is that if you then succeed you look really good I think failure is really important you need to fail at some point you need to know what it feels like how horrible it feels to fail to not succeed to be criticized and then you know you were able to take it the next time I had a very good idea when we bought a team how we were gonna run the team what the kind of players that culture how we're gonna design ourselves of the vision for the basketball part for the business part and I've been an owner the Celtics for six years I've seen how the NBA runs I thought about it for a long long time so and I was a fan by the way every fan thinks they know how to do it better I thought I could do it better too and in this case fortunately I was able to do it better it's a challenging time for the 49ers given that we were coming off a lot of success we opened a building and Levi's Stadium and the team is from wins and losses standpoint takes a dip a lot of people would just tell you may be that there is some antidote out there that they say now you gotta have a thick shell and that it never bothers them I can't make that statement I was very much a minority I didn't play college or NFL football so I was viewed skeptically publicly and inside the building and so when the team did poorly then of course I was criticized just the experience of having gone through it sort of hardens you a little bit more to it and to the point where you just sort of get used to it I guess but I'll tell you it comes down to the challenge the thing that motivates me it inspires me is trying to accomplish a new challenge to see you I was not going to be a long term owner understands that his job is episodic there will be episodes at which he may be in a role as a CEO there may be episodes in which he's been a role in business development given the long time periods often to get stadiums up you have to have a perception of confidence maybe audacity to sort of say this challenge is in fact doable and people have to ask me of what percent chance do you think this thing's gonna work is it like 10 percent I always said it's 100 percent it's a 100 percent going to work because you have to almost convince yourself and rationalize that hey this is such a complicated and difficult thing but we need to find a way to power through to motivate your team we wanted to build one of the best stadiums in all Major League Soccer or the world wanted to build it here in Silicon Valley with an innovative great fan experience and we wanted to put a team in there that was gonna compete for championships with the earthquakes when we were building the stadium and we had to delay it another year because we found issues with the site itself because this was an old tank factory so there was bunkers and underground vaults and then the community group had opposed it here in San Jose so we had to go through to Pele and the community here is like are you ever gonna build the stadium and I'm the kind of a front person of this entire thing and so that was really hard to manage there was hard to convince my staff to follow me through that really difficult time but I think at the end of the day we had a clear vision of what we wanted to do when we were at Candlestick Park we just weren't able to compete economically with some of the teams that had newer stadiums the effort to build Stadium that was a six eight ten year effort of finding the right place to do it working with the municipality financing marketing selling designing the stadium all of that and it was a 1.3 billion dollar stadium what we call the in stadium experience is something that is is going under a lot of transformation how does the in stadium environment compete with the couch it's really great to watch the NFL from your couch the picture is great it's easy to follow the game the concessions are a lot cheaper the bathroom is a lot cleaner it's easier to get to and it takes three and a half hours instead of five and a half hours hockey more than any other major sport there is no question about it the live experience is paramount the home experience the TV experience cannot compete with the live experience and so as things become more accessible on-demand that live experience creates even more of a premium it used to be one end of the spectrum was the at-home experience the other end of the spectrum was the add stadium experience and what we're seeing now is the morphing of the two so what goes on in the stadium is attempting to address what are some of the benefits at home whether it's quick delivery of foods no lines for the bathroom availability of replace so all the stadiums are try to design themselves so that they're a lot more flexible for the entertainment experience that's another customer ittsan or what it means to be a fan what does a fan really want is a fan want Wi-Fi or does they want an actual app that enables you to get in the stadium quicker and find out where the restrooms are where the food is who wants the app isn't care what the Wi-Fi so I think a lot of times stadiums are built there just checking all these boxes in terms of like oh it has the fastest Wi-Fi or it has you know the nicest of the seats what people really want is the experiences that's why they pay top dollar for these things and so when I really look at what we do with the stadium is we were very experiential driven it's a very big business and you know these teams have really started to proliferate in terms of asset value as you've seen certainly in the last five or six years and that's because you're seeing these teams being run like efficient businesses much more so than you did a decade ago don't mistake that these are real businesses that require hard skills and to the extent that you can demonstrate that you have those hard skills I think you can really differentiate yourself you can't just find their way through because you love Michael Jordan it's just not enough a lot of times when people talk about analytics they're really only talking about on the field on the court on the ice but there's also the business side of analytics that is has also taken off in sports you know traditional industries have been doing it for a hundred years and Sports really has only been focused on it over the last decade or so and I'm talking about measuring the lifetime value of a customer understanding how to market to your fans understand how to price your building understanding new opportunities to what businesses you might enter how you do your merchandising all of those things Hawking lagged behind the other leagues in this idea of numbers driven analytics driven decision making there was kind of a lot of white space to play of course there's risk there too it's easier to go into an environment where there's other people like you it's harder to be on the on the leading edge but I I was excited by that that white space I would say most people probably looked at me and said he's a little bit of a gut shooter maybe not as analytical I think that's actually totally not true I think the truth is that I'm very analytical I believe very much in the data get the data analyze the data work speedily it's an entrepreneurial kind of attitude about our organization the way we run our business we encourage very strong debate but then it's my job make the decision I certainly listen most of the time to what the group decides and then we just do it and we go so I do think that is what's different that's what separates that's the Silicon Valley way the entrepreneur way that is not the big company way and I think that I have gotten from being in the valley for 30-some odd years I have an entrepreneurial background for me that's weak you know as exciting the challenge the fact that we are a challenger that it's hard for me soccer is kind of a perfect sport because it's not figured out yet the United States we're kind of the young Hiep energized or that's connected to the Millenial and the generation see the younger folks and I think as the country continues to change and kind of there's almost a new America that's coming with you know people who are more international and global in their focus this can be the sport for them for the broader community of a sports world people kind of know that and they sense it's coming and so they want to be a part of the growth and the excitement of what that means it is absolutely in every sense of the word a startup and we've had all the same ups and downs roller coasters that's what the last year-and-a-half starting this has been like we sold out our opening night game turns out it was the hottest day in San Diego like ever the building is really hot around game time you start to see the kind of ice start melting fog starts rising by the middle of the first period we were actually stopping the game intermittently to let the fog rise so that the players could see just never in a million years do we plan for fog I think this is just a good kind of archetype of the way we try to operate as a start-up with each success or with with each failure I'm energized by the opportunity to grow and do better I only have two jobs so I like to say one is to create a vision for the organization and two is hire the very best people you could possibly hire have them hire the best people they can hire under them that's you know management 101 and let them do their jobs having great guys great women great character out there matters when the chips are down and things aren't going well you want someone who's out there who's smart who's a good teammate all those things matter if it's not there the other sense it and it's not gonna go well there isn't one person on our team that I wouldn't want to go to dinner with or have my kids hang out with and you know what here's another thing from a business perspective if you're a fan who do you want to go pay to see play it's not just the players that are really good at what they do but people you can believe in Steph Curry of course is the ultimate in this regard and the culture we created ear and the head coach we have in Dominic Kinnear it is focused on the team as opposed to just individual players and I think that culture is attractive to a lot of fans that's the type of the ethos we want team first do it means something there's integrity there's values associated with it in this day and age in sports a lot of that's been lost the really good managers make the time and make the effort to really understand how the pieces come together and it's manageable but a lot of people don't do it because they think it's beneath them there is this misguided in my opinion idea and this drives me crazy oh well that owner should stay out of the way he should not meddle but this idea of meddling is is just wrong what they should be saying is micromanagement is a bad thing let people do their jobs stay out of the way but meddling implies that you're trying to get information or be involved in all the different areas of the business and that's not a good thing I believe exactly the opposite any small business and this is really small business this is not you know mega corporation the leader the owner they should be involved in everything they should know what's going on they're gonna do a better job they should know their fan base they should know all the numbers they should know all the people that work there they should know the players they should understand the implications of a trade of assets I've had a very open and transparent management style with everyone associated with the club fans players front office employees ownership anyone and one way that's really manifested itself is that every Tuesday from 3 to 5 I've office hours and people anyone can come in off the street and talk to me about any concerns they have I've met with people who you know want me to buy insurance I've had with people who want a job I met with folks who just want to talk about how their father loved the earthquakes back in 1976 and so it's a wide variety of interactions and it keeps me connected with the pulse of the team when you're building culture you have to have actual things people can point to like almost like a lighthouse like my office hours have become a lighthouse for people to understand what our culture is it's like if Dave cattle the president of the earth base will meet with anyone at any time if I'm in fan relations and I tell a person who I'm selling tickets to no I'm not gonna meet with you doesn't jive up I try to spend time working with people at every level in turn straight team mascot all the way up to the senior leaders of our organization I work hand in hand with them at their job whenever I can I'll count merchandise I'll balance the cash register I'm up there with our play-by-play guy I will spend time on the headset kind of calling the game I answer every email that I get and so there is nothing that I would ask someone to do on our team that I wouldn't do myself and they know that not because I say it but because I do it you got to be all in there is no way to kind of have one foot in the canoe you're always kind of connected to what's happening in your role as the president of the earthquakes it's just part of who you are it's very connected to your identity and that's just the only way to do it and be successful because like I said if you're really trying to kind of have one foot in the canoe it's very hard to find success and I think that the strain that creates is just not something that's healthy for me I think the change sort of came when when my wife and I found out we were pregnant my career and my job for at that point 14 years or 15 years and at the 49ers it defined who I was like I was my job and you know I lived it in the same way I ate sports for breakfast when I was a kid like that's just what I did it was it was who I was and then certainly when juniper was born I realized that the job is just what I do and who I am is is a father and a husband and being at home it really sort of hit me like an epiphany I had combined those two for so long and now there's a clear separation that hasn't changed my passionate work but it certainly changed me they want to see passion they want to see energy but they don't want to see obsession because obsession can become too narrow in the sense of when you lose which every team does that everybody gets devastated the idea is to make the Loews less and keep some of the 404 the high I think that's the real art of Management in the spring when you're riding so high the biggest dangerous complacency that you accept the fact that you are number one and believe that there's not much to stop you from being number one that's not true I mean horse racing thought that boxing thought that look where they are now so I think you have to be forever vigilant and also seek new mountains each experience fills me with this desire to do it again do it differently repeat our success I never sit back at the end of the night and say well we won two to nothing and we did XYZ in attendance and I feel great frankly I wish I could do that a little bit more but I just I recognize things and see opportunities and there's so much left to do there's so much of the story yet to be written you'll have a nice run of success and you'll have your droughts and you just have to continue to plant the seeds during the drought hoping that when they do blossom again that they blossom for a long time I feel a great sense of pride and what we build here because it was something that when I came here in 2010 this wasn't necessarily just going to happen and so when I look at the stadium behind me and I think about the team we've created that brings a smile to my face thinking about it because it was really hard and we did find success now we can focus on a lot of these second-order issues like getting great young talent and developing American players and winning another MLS championship over the last five years we just had to pull ourselves up to that point so we can even have this conversation but for us we're super excited to be able to take that next step maybe some people would be satisfied they won the championship they're done move on to the next thing the thing is I think the great task for me right now and for us is sustainability can we do it again and maybe even again and again can we be continually great can we be good for a long time that's the real test can you be good for a long time I think we can ah victorious victorious Victoria's sorry Anisa comes out family be creative town the waste of my time on crazy letting write your opinion destroy you while just embracing that what a worldly sunrise your daylight savings go nuts when the head to glaze bet my cell in this reason else that we dream it must be way back up in there guess who my cousin is record God's Way become a denominator solo try to work or a whore so me cuz I got no competition looking at all your a formality engine trouble look arrival Oh eyes on me cuz I got no competition I know your to be want to be and to be arias yes

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