Michael Kennedy, Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.

Sports Scores Big for Business

from Michael Kennedy

MichaelKennedyHere in Arizona, we have the year-round privilege of being able to root for our home-town team, as Metro Phoenix is host to professional teams for baseball, football, basketball and hockey. Not to mention such major events as Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Super Bowl, MLB All-Star Game and NASCAR. But sports has value far beyond entertainment. As an industry, the business of sports impacts our economy off the field, court or ice, more than on it.

Hopefully, many of you remember and directly benefited from our hosting Super Bowl XLII in 2008 and its $501-million economic impact, as calculated by ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. We are planning to exceed that half-billion dollars in 2015 with recently awarded Super Bowl XLIX. And perhaps in March you were on an airplane to Sky Harbor and noticed the number of passengers sporting their favorite MLB team hat, preparing for a few days of Spring Training and Arizona Hospitality — to the tune of a $422-billion economic impact. Not to be overlooked are the economic impact, global exposure and annual $7-million contribution to Arizona charities by the venerable Thunderbirds as host of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Arizona is truly at the epicenter of professional sports and sporting events!

In his cover story that takes a behind-the-scenes look at some of our biggest sporting events, J. Rentilly delves into the development, the employment and the process of growing the sports businesses here. Members of the Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority, food and beverage vendors, building contractors and members of the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission are among the many players who help him scout out the value and reach of sports as business.

Even in today’s Knowledge Age, much commerce relies on trucking to transport materials and merchandise, and Don Rodriguez explores the business sector of trucking in Arizona for this issue of In Business Magazine. Bill Lee examines the crucial business practice of using customer referrals as a growth strategy as he discusses “Why Customer Reference Programs Fail.” Providing insight on another function at the core of business, Andrew Sobel offers suggestions to strengthen B2B connections in “Check the Vital Signs of Client Relationships.” And in this installment of the Education Series on legal issues of business, Lewis and Roca attorney Flavia Campbell provides insight into protecting a business’s intellectual property.

This issue debuts a special twice-yearly feature — a travel guide to selected destinations, with articles that give a broad view of the experience to be enjoyed there plus specific suggestions for attractions and activities, dining and accommodations.

There is so much more in this issue of In Business Magazine. I know you’ll get something from it as we who are invested in this community continue to work hard on building our individual companies and thereby strengthening our economy.

Sincerely,
Michael Kennedy
Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee
Shareholder, Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A.

Michael Kennedy is a founding partner of Gallagher & Kennedy. He served as chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee from 2005-2012 and as chairman of the 1994 Phoenix Open. He has been president of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and chairman of the Thunderbird International Junior golf tournament since their inception.

Kennedy practices in the area of commercial litigation, was an inaugural member of the Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame, and has been consistently recognized during the past decade by Best Lawyers, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers and Lawdragon as a leading lawyer in America.


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