What began as an exploratory phone call with Stanford University Press in 2007 became one of the most rewarding projects I have ever been associated with, one that substantially contributed to my understanding of the industry I have been involved in for more than twenty years. A dynamic and rapidly changing sports industry made analyzing the convergence of sports and entertainment a daunting task, especially given how our team decided to approach this firstof-its kind research. As indicated below, the enormous breadth and depth of support from those integral to the book’s publication three years later served as great validation of our topic and approach to comprehensively covering it. It also served as a constant reminder of the responsibility we had taken on behalf of the sports business industry.
The Sports Business Institute was fortunate to have this endeavor quickly and consistently supported by student researchers. The three-year research process was shepherded by project leads Courtney Brunious, Todd Jacobs, and Phil Wallace, each of whom worked tirelessly to ensure the project was on time and maintained relevancy. I strongly believe they pushed me more than I motivated them. Supporting this group was a battery of students who served as project contributors, researching and analyzing myriad elements of the project, specifically Antranig Balian, Raul Campos, Arturo Castro, Grant Geisen, Dan Graham, Anne Meurs, Ari Shandling, Jonathan Waxman, and Shane Wilson.
It would not have been possible to deploy these students and provide them with the resources required to complete this research absent our funding partners, each of which contributed in ways beyond simply underwriting the project. Instrumental in making this book a reality were Gary Cypres, the founder