July 13, 2010


The Top Five Business Achievements of 'The Boss' (Jon Weinbach, 7/13/10, FanHouse)

George Steinbrenner will be remembered for many things -- his imperious leadership style, his commitment to winning, his feuds with Billy Martin, his attempt to extort Dave Winfield, and his stewardship of the Yankees' resurrection over the last 15 years -- but his most lasting achievements were on the business side of sports. Quite simply, Steinbrenner revolutionized the role of the pro sports owner and ushered in an era of explosive and unprecedented growth for the global sports industry. [...]

"The Boss" took several landmark steps to transform the Yankees into an economic juggernaut -- and here's a rundown of his top five most influential business achievements: [...]

2. The formation of the YES Network in 1999

By partnering with Goldman Sachs and the former owners of the New Jersey Nets, Steinbrenner created an instant media behemoth that may ultimately be the most lucrative component of the Yankees empire. After a series of well-publicized fights with New York City-area cable operators over carriage fees for YES, the eight-year-old channel is now the most-watched regional sports network in the country, with a programming slate that includes nearly all the Yankees' and Nets' regular-season games, as well as college sports and original shows. Last Saturday night, YES produced the first 3D baseball telecast, broadcasting the 3D feed on DirecTV. While the Yankees do not own all of the network, Steinbrenner's family owns a sizable stake in the holding company which oversees YES. When the network was rumored to be for sale in 2007, valuations for YES ranged anywhere from $3 to $4 billion.

Winning dominates Steinbrenner's complicated legacy (Scott Miller, 7/13/10, CBSSports.com)
To those baseball fans who hated him, I would only ask this:

If you could, would you trade the owner of your club for an in-his-prime Steinbrenner if the package included Steinbrenner's same zeal to win and gusto to make the hometown fans proud?

Of course you would. No questions asked.

New York was lucky to have him. Much as it might seem difficult to fathom, baseball benefited by his single-minded zeal, because, on the other side of all rabid Yankees fans, everybody else's fans always need someone to hate.

And free agents ... oh, my, the free agents. The gold with which so many have lined their pockets for so long was underwritten by Steinbrenner, either directly when they signed with the Yankees or indirectly when they signed elsewhere for a figure that was a Yankee-inflated price.

Today's Yankees are a monolith, created and designed by Steinbrenner.

Just as the old Yankee Stadium was the House That Ruth Built, the new palace is The House That Steinbrenner Built.

In the end, Ronald Reagan pardoned him, Seinfeld parodied him and New York loved him. I'm sure, in his quiet moments, Steinbrenner considered himself, and not Lou Gehrig, the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

...that is to say, your team is and has been content just to exist, rather than expending any effort to win. Say what we will about The Boss, he'd never have allowed any team he owned to settle for existence.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2010 4:22 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus