Springfield Getting NBA D-League Team Next Season

April 8, 2009


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — NBA Development League President Dan Reed announced today at a press conference at the Basketball Hall of Fame that HWS Basketball, LLC will be bringing an NBA D-League team to Springfield, Massachusetts for the 2009-10 season. The team will play at Springfield’s MassMutual Center.

The new team will be owned and operated by Michael Savit who is the managing partner of HWS Basketball, LLC, a group of local investors. Savit brings with him to Springfield and the NBA D-League a wealth of minor league operational and sports business experience, including time as Senior Vice President at the Cleveland-based International Management Group (IMG) and as the managing partner of minor league baseball teams in the South Atlantic League, Midwest League, Southern League, California League, Coastal Plain League and New York-Penn League.

Savit and his group have been awarded the right to relocate the NBA D-League team currently playing in Anaheim, California to Springfield. While the local ownership group will have the option to retain rights to current Anaheim Arsenal players, they will announce a new name, colors, and a mascot for the Springfield team later on this spring.

“As the NBA D-League continues to move east, we’re very excited to bring a team to a place that not only has rich basketball history, but also boasts an impressive ownership group, strong civic leadership and community support,” said Reed. “We’re thrilled to welcome such a well-respected and experienced operator in Mike Savit to our ownership ranks, and look forward to not only bringing our unique brand of affordable, family-friendly, and NBA-caliber basketball to Springfield, but becoming a vital part of the greater Springfield community.”

Today’s announcement featured Reed, Savit, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, James E. Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, University of Massachusetts men’s basketball head coach and Springfield native Derek Kellogg and George Ramirez, the deputy director and general counsel of the Department of Business Development, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. Rooney served as a master of ceremonies for the event.

“Today is an exciting day for Springfield!” said Savit. “I’m thrilled to be a part of the group that brought professional basketball back to the game’s birthplace and I can’t wait to contribute to this city’s great basketball history and become part of the fabric of the community.”

“The National Basketball Association, Springfield and the MassMutual Center are a powerful combination,” said Rooney of the MCCA, which owns the venue. “The entire Pioneer Valley will undoubtedly embrace our new pro team, and we plan to be worthy partners with our top-tier service and state-of-the-art amenities.”
The team in Springfield will be affiliated with two NBA team parent-clubs, which will be able to assign their first and second year players to the club up to three times during a season. Thus far, the 2008-09 NBA D-League season has had 30 NBA players assigned on 39 occasions to NBA D-League affiliates to continue to develop their games. An announcement regarding Springfield’s NBA team affiliations will occur during the offseason.

About the NBA Development League: The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and features 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams. The league has produced 15 percent of the players on 2007-08 end-of-season NBA rosters and continues to develop current NBA coaches and referees. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote youth basketball, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout this season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.


Sports Events Marketing Experience: Day 1

April 8, 2009

Walking into Nationals Park in DC, I was impressed from the start. Who would have thought? A team that was dead last…with a mouth-dropping stadium.

Looking at the agenda, how can you not be impressed? Representatives from the NBA, Octagon, Georgetown University, AOL, CBS, Washington Redskins, Under Armour, USA Today, and of course our host, the Washington Nationals. The opening Keynote Address was given by Major League Soccer President, Mark Abbott.

The event was marketed towards potential players in the sports, events and marketing industries; those being young professionals, motivated students or career changers. There was a mix of each but the audience was primarily made of college level students.

A speaker that took the lead was AOL Vice-President, Jimmy Lynn…

Jimmy Lynn has been a key player in the business for quite some time. At AOL, from 1995-2006, Lynn was as innovative as anyone there. Lynn was responsible for the relationships surrounding the sports content seen on AOL. A few of the partnerships developed under his guidance were with the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, MLB, and HBO. Now, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Lynn graduated from American University with a B.A. in Public Communications and a M.B.A. in Marketing. Lynn is very supportive of young professionals at the collegiate level.

In regards to today’s business leaders and practices – “Go Mobile, Go Global, or Go Green.” – Jimmy Lynn

Another speaker of note was Tim McDermott of the Washington Capitals…

The Capitals’ Chief Marketing Officer gave inspiring words towards the sports industry and what we need to succeed. He spoke of the ENERGY and DRIVE industry professionals can never lose. It is the ENERGY and DRIVE we can never give up. It was stressed that we need to learn everyday on the job. In this industry, the sports industry, we can never be at a stand-still.

“We have to keep our foot on the gas…” – Tim McDermott

Lakewood Blueclaws are making BIG moves…

March 29, 2009

For the past few months all we have heard at work, in the papers, over the blogs, during our meetings, and on TV have been negative results of the economy – loss of jobs, stock market blows, and simply, a depressed state of mind all over the nation.

The Lakewood Blueclaws, a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, have brought a positive light to the picture. Get out of your houses, bring the family out, have a GREAT time – all for a $1…or maybe $4. This is the message the Blueclaws are sending.

The Blueclaws announced last month that kids would be eating FREE all season. Yes, you heard correct, all kids, 12 and under, will be walking in the stadium, and eating free – for all 70 home games. This is quite a statement the Blueclaws are making.

Check out the release… http://www.lakewoodblueclaws.com/lakewood_blueclaws_news_details.asp?id=1448


Most recent, the Blueclaws have launched $1 weekend to start the season. The weekend of April 10th-12th, fans can purchase tickets for $1. With that, I family of four can get in the park and feed the two young ones for a measly four dollars!

Further information – http://blueclaws.com/lakewood_blueclaws_news.asp#1471

Each of these promotions bring on an extreme risk and reward. The response has been fantastic! Keep an eye out on the Blueclaws. Take a peek and follow them on Twitter!

Nets Career Fair – April 1st

March 29, 2009

Looking to work in Sports?

The New Jersey Nets are hosting their 5th Annual Career Fair this upcoming Wednesday. As a former employee of the Nets, I could not recommend at better place to work in the world of sports. Great Atmosphere – Great People!

Check out the link at NJNets.com – http://www.nba.com/media/nets/Sports_Career_Flyer_4_1_09.pdf
Aside from the Nets, among many, the fair will feature:

• New York Islanders
• Philadelphia 76ers
• Lakewood Blueclaws
• Madison Square Garden
• Gazelle Group
• Redbull New York

Check it out!



March 23, 2009

Welcome to I Work Sports! I have been putting this off for sometime now but here we go…

This blog will serve as a hub towards to world of sports business. With so many sports business related blogs, I hope to have the best of best featured within I Work Sports. With that said, content will feature executive level interviews, sports business bloggers, links to the most relevant professional development sites, and of course, the world of social networking.

Please send me comments, questions, and suggestions…feel free to leave me a message to simply introduce yourself!