Synopses & Reviews
Praise For Espn The Company
"Any sports fanatic can appreciate what ESPN has done for sports viewing. ESPN: The Company provides keen insights into the business plan, leadership, and passion that dramatically changed the scope of sports television."
—T. Boone Pickens, legendary entrepreneur and 2008 National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award winner
"The enormous success of ESPN did not happen by chance. The story and lessons of the powerful vision, decision-making, leadership, and corporate culture are all captured in Dr. Smith's very compelling book. Truly a must-read!"
—Mike Krzyzewski, "Coach K," head basketball coach, Duke University and Gold Medal Winning United States Olympic Team, 2008, author of several bestselling books, including The Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team
"ESPN The Company is a winner! It's a wildly entertaining book that teaches the fundamentals of the game better than any business book on the market. If you want to know how to build a successful franchise and how to keep loyal fans coming back day after day, you have to read this book."
—Jim Kouzes, award-winning coauthor of the bestselling book, The Leadership Challenge, The Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership, Santa Clara University
"This book is for anyone who ever wondered how ESPN created, nurtured, battled, and branded what has become the worldwide leader in sports. Dr. Smith, a leading expert himself, shares the secrets of ESPN's success and presents the game plan for how, as he says, 'to think like an incumbent, act like a challenger.' "
—Lesley Visser, award-winning sportscaster and the first and only woman enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
"When Michael Eisner presciently called ESPN 'the crown jewel of ABC,' he may just as well have been referring to Dr. Anthony F. Smith. Amidst the multitudes of management consultants out there, Tony is one of the precious few able to cut through the clutter and platitudes to deliver smart, strategic, and practical advice about leadership and organizational performance."
—James M. Citrin, Senior Director, Spencer Stuart, author of several bestselling books, including The Dynamic Path
So, how did the ESPN we know today succeed? Thirty years ago, ESPN may have been the biggest sports story not to make the front page, but the even bigger story, a story that remains untold, is how ESPN managed to sustain its growth, innovation, and brand in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving marketplace.
The best organizations invest in their people. They train them. They believe that if you spend the time and resources turning talented performers into leaders, you're going to get better organizational performance and engender higher levels of commitment and sweat. Sweat isn't just on the screen at ESPN, it's a part of the everyday hard work at the company.
Readers will learn about: The engaging beginning of ESPN- from underated startup to major industry player The strength of the sports-fanatic corporate culture at ESPN. Innovative leadership that blurs the lines between work and play. Expansion of the brand Insider stories
This book explores the dedication to excellence, and most importantly sports, that makes ESPN a success.
A fascinating look at ESPN and its success as a brand
ESPN The Company reveals the inside scoop on the biggest business story in sports, detailing the creative and innovative spirit and practices that drove the programming, products, and services of the most powerful and prominent name in sports media. The authors provide a behind-the-scenes perspective on how ESPN dealt with their many partners and how they handled mistakes and missteps along the way-from the humble beginnings of ESPN as an underrated startup to the pinnacle of their success as a major industry player.
ESPN and other great organizations invest in their people. They train them. They believe that if you spend the time and resources turning talented performers into leaders, you're going to get better organizational performance and engender higher levels of commitment and sweat. ESPN The Company
- Explores the dedication to excellence that makes ESPN the "Worldwide Leader in Sports"
- Reveals how the steps ESPN has taken to excel can be applied to whatever type of business you're in
- Shares the lessons learned at ESPN about launching and growing a wildly successful enterprise
Engaging and informative, this entertaining guide reveals how any company can benefit by embracing the best practices of ESPN.
Thirty years ago, TV sports coverage was produced as a sidebar unworthy of serious news time. Game highlights, such as they were, usually consisted of scores and brief recaps crammed into a few minutes between news and weather on your local television channel. That all changed when Bill Rasmussen, an unemployed sports announcer in 1979, and a group of committed sports junkies in Bristol, Connecticut, decided to lease unwanted satellite time to broadcast some local college sports and minor league hockey games. They called their organization the Entertainment & Sports Programming Network which we know today as ESPN, the most powerful and prominent name in sports media, with twenty-seven satellite dishes feeding more than 97 million subscribers. How did Connecticut become the center of the sports universe?
ESPN The Company tells the fascinating story of how ESPN managed to sustain its growth, innovation, and brand in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving marketplace. Based on over twenty years of consulting inside ESPN, Smith provides the reader with firsthand observations, experiences, and research, which reveals for the first time an inside look and feel for the type of organizational psychology and culture that exists at all levels of ESPN. The authors detail four distinct stages in the company's development that the company has gone through illuminating how ESPN's business decisions and accomplishments can be understood in the context of the company's evolution. We ultimately learn that at the heart of ESPN's success is one astoundingly simple principle: serve fans.
After each chapter, the authors share the lessons learned at ESPN about launching and growing a wildly successful enterpriseall the while enhancing economic and human value. The lessons are rich and applicable anywhere, and if you're a fan of business, competition, or sports, you'll enjoy reading and learning from this book.
About the Author
Anthony F. Smith
is cofounder and the Managing Director of Leadership Research Institute, recognized as one of the leading management consulting firms in the world. He has been an active consultant for over twenty years in the areas of organizational change and assessment, team building, executive coaching and development, and leadership training and design. Smith has served clients in a variety of fields, including American Express, the National Football League, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, the National Geographic Society, The Walt Disney Company, Deutsche Bank, and ESPN. His writing has appeared in several publications, including BusinessWeek, the Economist
, and Investor's Business Daily
, and he is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Taboos of Leadership.
Keith Hollihan is a writer who has collaborated with Smith and many other top business and leadership experts on books and articles covering a wide range of issues that leaders face today. He is the coauthor of the bestseller Everybody Wins and The End of Energy Obesity, both published by Wiley.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Biggest Business Story in Sports.
Chapter 1 Turning Fanatics into Fans.
Chapter 2 Think Like an Incumbent, Act Like a Challenger.
Chapter 3 The Right Leader at the Right Time.
Chapter 4 Create Your Own Game.
Chapter 5 Expand the Brand.
Chapter 6 Playing Well With Others.
Chapter 7 Blow the Whistle, Spot the Ball
Chapter 8 Are You Having Fun?
About the Author.