|USOC CEO Scott Blackmun took home the Sports Business
Journal's"Sports Executive of the Year" award on May 22, 2013
in New York City.
The sixth annual Sports Business Awards had a decided Olympic feel to them, as the USOC was named Sports League of the Year, beating the NFL, NBA, MLB and PGA Tour, while USOC CEO Scott Blackmun took home the award for Sports Exec of the Year. The recognition was the culmination of a remarkable turnaround that began after the USOC hired Blackmun in '10 and began rebuilding an image badly damaged by Chicago's failed bid to host the '16 Games and a revolt among NGB leaders. In '12, the organization added a host of new sponsors, negotiated a landmark revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC and fielded a U.S. Olympic team that won the Gold Medal count at the London Games.
Blackmun said, “I'm shocked. It all stems from the fact that we're rowing in the same direction. (USOC CMO) Lisa Baird's job on rebranding was nothing short of phenomenal. (USOC Chief of Sports Performance) Alan (Ashley's) job in gaining credibility with the NGBs has been amazing. He's making tough decisions about funding for them and they trust him to do what's best for the USOC.”
Blackmun bested a field of nominees for the individual award that included Time Warner Cable Exec VP and Chief Video & Content Officer Melinda Witmer, NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus, ESPN President John Skipper and Dodgers Chair Mark Walter. Blackmun negotiated the organization's long-term revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC, a deal that ended a decades-long dispute, and he developed the first joint sales effort with NBC, which resulted in new sponsorships with Citi and TD Ameritrade.
Blackmun did not prepare a speech, saying, “I think everyone in this room understands the power of sport. At the (USOC), we try to use sport to make the world a better place. Sport has had a huge influence on my family and has a huge influence on how we connect with each other. We're grateful you recognize and support our U.S. Olympic athletes. It's the real America's team, with all due respect to the Cowboys, and I really appreciate it.”
Sports Executive of the Year: USOC CEO Scott Blackmun
Sports League of the Year: USOC
Best in Sports Media: NBC Sports Group
Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services: Legends
Sponsor of the Year: Anheuser-Busch
Sports Team of the Year: Oklahoma City Thunder
Best in Sports Television: ESPN
Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Service: Octagon
Athletic Director of the Year: Alabama's Mal Moore (posthumous)
Sports Event of the Year: '12 U.S. Grand Prix
Best in Digital Sports Media: ESPN Digital Media
Sports Facility of the Year: Barclays Center
Best in Talent Representation and Management: CAA Sports
Best in Sports Technology: MLB Advanced Media
Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing: Momentum Worldwide