Exclusive: Excerpts from the Ownership Game panel from the CNBC x Boardroom Game Plan Summit in Los Angeles Today, Tuesday, July 25

July 25, 2023


WHEN: Today, Tuesday, July 25

WHERE: CNBC x Boardroom Game Plan Summit

Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of the Ownership Game panel that took place today, Tuesday, July 25th, live during the CNBC x Boardroom Game Plan Summit in Los Angeles. The panel featured speakers including: David Blitzer, Blackstone Global Head of Tactical Opportunities and NJ Devils and Philadelphia 76ers Co-owner; Lexie Brown, LA Sparks WNBA Player, Athletes Unlimited Founding Member; Paul Rabil, Premier Lacrosse League Co-Founder and President; and Clara Wu Tsai, BSE Global Vice Chair, New York Liberty Governor and Brooklyn Nets Co-Owner

Video can be found on CNBC.com

Mandatory credit: CNBC x Boardroom Game Plan Summit.

DAVID BLITZER ON LIVE SPORTS VALUE

We all know that live sports is the best content around. You can’t save it, you can’t watch it later. So the value of content is going to continue to grow in my opinion above inflation.

DAVID BLITZER ON INSTITUTIONAL CAPITAL IN SPORTS

It’s incredible what’s also getting created, and that would kind of be point one. Point 2 is scarcity value. They don’t make more of these, I’m like a pretty simple supply & demand person, and anytime you have a  situation where you’re not making anymore, and the demand is clearly going up. It’s not just going up from the standpoint of high net worth individuals, or X or Y—you’re seeing institutional capital come into sort of the sports space, and it’s coming fast.

PAUL RABIL ON SMALLER SPORTS SUCCESS RATE

I would say that well, let me start by saying since 1991, non core for sports that have been 200 weeks or teams that have started with a 1% success rate that’s measured on their ability to sustain for more than three years. I think in sports much like entertainment, we have to roll the red carpet out to build FOMO such that people are going to want to pay for a ticket pay for parking, paper concessions. And we think about how difficult that ask is. It’s hard for me at least to have a holiday party where I offer all booze and food for free for my friends. I’m still nervous about whether or not they’re going to show up. So when you’re running an expensive sports experience, you have to have an incredible product because you’d be it’d be fan obsessed, and the player in product obsessed and if that’s great, then what we think about is on the scrappy side. How do we extend our core fans? How do we build a bigger relationship bigger and better and more prosperous relationship with them? That’s a different strategy than unlocking new fans.

DAVID BLITZER ON SPORTS TEAMS VALUATIONS

I still remember it wasn’t that long ago. It was in 2014 or 15 when Steve Ballmer paid $200 billion dollars for the Los Angeles Clippers and people said oh my god and the last team that traded was I don’t know 650 Something to that effect. And what’s going on here? And you know, you hear a similar dynamic with the Broncos and then and then the commanders etc. Look, you know at the end of the day come back to they’re not making any more of them. And they are growing. They’re not just growing on their existing fan base. They’re creating new fans for creating new revenue streams. You know, the international markets. You know, from an NFL perspective, there is so much growth to go there. And by the way, the NFL is one of the best business models I’ve ever seen in my life, just pure business models. So those teams all generate significant free cash flow. So the numbers are getting big as it relates to just coming up with the amount of capital and that’s where I come back to. And the NFL is the only major league that has yet to allow institutional capital and I have no idea what will happen into the future. But if you think about the other leagues and you think about institutional capital, minority interest, institutional capital being able to come in, that helps a lot in the equation in terms of being able to aggregate to levels to just come up with enough capital.

PAUL RABIL ON SPORTS ENTERPRISE VALUE

When I zoom out and think about the enterprise value of sports that everyone in this room discussed is, is it’s a live IP business. And that is really exciting and different than what we get with any other entertainment property where at some point someone knows what’s going to happen in sports we don’t. The storyline continues from the beginning of the regular season through playoffs all the way to the end. Underneath it is a media business, corporate partnership, business, ticketing business, merchandise business, a Youth Business, and what we’ve seen the NFL lead MLS is doing now. Been in the NBA for a while is also real estate businesses. So then come in Live Nation and figuring out how to book off season nights to generate more revenue. So they’re there they’re flush with different businesses and industries to capitalize and grow.

LEXI BROWN ON WOMEN ATHLETES COMPETING

I think as women athletes we constantly just have to prove ourselves, you know, I think it was a perfect moment for Sabrina to perform that way. You know, it took her beating every NBA and WNBA player that has ever tried that people and caused it to occur annihilating those records for people like oh, okay, she’s kind of good. Like, she might be kind of good. And, you know, I think that’s something that just motivates us as females in any avenue, you know, we just have to be that much better than everybody else. And I think that’s one of the best things about being in this space is knowing that you’re surrounded by women who feel that way and you know that they’re gonna have your back and they’re gonna put forth their best selves.

CLARA WU TSAI ON WNBA GROWTH

it’s interesting that a WNBA team actually has not been sold in a healthy market situation they’ve already always been just stress. So I think you know, expansion I’m I think it’s great just because we’ll get more viewership, right? If you have another team in another city, you’re gonna get more fans. We’ll get more viewership. It’ll make our media rights more valuable. All of that is very important, but it’s also very important because it helps owners understand what is the true value of the business that they have.

CLARA WU TSAI ON SPORTS BETTING

I think it’s really important because it engages fans. We know that fans who are betting engage more often and longer with our content. So anything that engages fans, and I’m talking about the NBA for sure. The WNBA too. I actually saw a statistic that said actually, the fastest growing segment of sports betting enthusiast are actually women. So I think I’m very interested but you know this it’s definitely a state by state situation.


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