website statistics Every Town Is a Sports Town: Business Leadership at ESPN, from the Mailroom to the Boardroom - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Every Town Is a Sports Town: Business Leadership at ESPN, from the Mailroom to the Boardroom

Availability: Ready to download

ESPN's rise is one of the most remarkable stories about business and sports in our time, and nobody can tell it better than George Bodenheimer. It may be hard to believe, but not long ago, getting sports updates was difficult and frustrating. ESPN changed everything. George Bodenheimer knows. Initially hired to work in the mailroom, one of Bodenheimer's first jobs was to p ESPN's rise is one of the most remarkable stories about business and sports in our time, and nobody can tell it better than George Bodenheimer. It may be hard to believe, but not long ago, getting sports updates was difficult and frustrating. ESPN changed everything. George Bodenheimer knows. Initially hired to work in the mailroom, one of Bodenheimer's first jobs was to pick up sportscaster Dick Vitale at the Hartford airport and drive him to ESPN's main campus--a couple of trailers in a dirt parking lot. But as ESPN grew, so did George's status in the company. In fact, Bodenheimer played a major part in making ESPN a daily presence not just here, but all over the world. In this business leadership memoir--written with bestselling author Donald T. Phillips--Bodenheimer lays out ESPN's meteoric rise. This is a book for business readers and sports fans alike.


Compare

ESPN's rise is one of the most remarkable stories about business and sports in our time, and nobody can tell it better than George Bodenheimer. It may be hard to believe, but not long ago, getting sports updates was difficult and frustrating. ESPN changed everything. George Bodenheimer knows. Initially hired to work in the mailroom, one of Bodenheimer's first jobs was to p ESPN's rise is one of the most remarkable stories about business and sports in our time, and nobody can tell it better than George Bodenheimer. It may be hard to believe, but not long ago, getting sports updates was difficult and frustrating. ESPN changed everything. George Bodenheimer knows. Initially hired to work in the mailroom, one of Bodenheimer's first jobs was to pick up sportscaster Dick Vitale at the Hartford airport and drive him to ESPN's main campus--a couple of trailers in a dirt parking lot. But as ESPN grew, so did George's status in the company. In fact, Bodenheimer played a major part in making ESPN a daily presence not just here, but all over the world. In this business leadership memoir--written with bestselling author Donald T. Phillips--Bodenheimer lays out ESPN's meteoric rise. This is a book for business readers and sports fans alike.

30 review for Every Town Is a Sports Town: Business Leadership at ESPN, from the Mailroom to the Boardroom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Budd Bailey

    "Every Town is a Sports Town" is billed as appealing to sports fans, business readers, and corporate executives alike. That's a rather diverse group, even for allowing for the fact that the business types have been known to read the sports page first at times. So let's take a look at what we've got here, and see where it fits. George Bodenheimer wasn't an original at ESPN, but he could more or less see or at least learn about the creation first-hand. He joined the company in 1981, less than two y "Every Town is a Sports Town" is billed as appealing to sports fans, business readers, and corporate executives alike. That's a rather diverse group, even for allowing for the fact that the business types have been known to read the sports page first at times. So let's take a look at what we've got here, and see where it fits. George Bodenheimer wasn't an original at ESPN, but he could more or less see or at least learn about the creation first-hand. He joined the company in 1981, less than two years after it had started. Bodenheimer was employee no. 150, for the record. ESPN had grown a bit from the first days when no one was too sure what they were doing and where they were going. They were the first to start a 24-hour cable channel dedicated to sports, offering a modest challenge to the status quo in broadcasting. The big three networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, were still in charge, but this at least was an interesting gamble. Bodenheimer arrived on the scene, doing whatever his boss at the moment thought necessary. One of his first responsibilities was to drive from Bristol, Conn., the corporate headquarters, to the Hartford/Springfield airport to pick up Dick Vitale. You might think that driving Vitale somewhere would be an exercise in silence in the car for everyone but Vitale, but they actually struck up a good relationship in those drives. Eventually, Bodenheimer moved up from driver to a variety of positions of the business world. The company was small enough at the beginning so that young talent was rewarded pretty quickly, and new ideas were accepted readily. After all, on some level they were making it up as they went along. After some time out in the field, working with affiliates, etc., Bodenheimer eventually came back to Bristol. It turns out he had a pretty good seat for the development of the company there. The author goes through the highlights, including such events as the addition of Sunday (and later Monday) Night Football, ESPN2, College GameDay, the X Games, the merger with Disney, SportsCentury, 30 for 30, and so on. Viewers - come to think of it, maybe customers would be a better word with all the platforms ESPN uses these days - will remember those developments. Eventually, Bodenheimer became the president of ESPN. He certainly comes across here as a good boss, taking pride in a personal relationship with all employees and accepting ideas no matter what the source. It's probably not a coincidence that ESPN had a long run of success under his tenure. And when things went a little bad, he rolled up his sleeves and figured out a way to fix them. Now to the difficult part - what sort of book is it? I'm not so sure sports fans will love this effort. Many of the developments in ESPN mentioned above have been covered in other places, so there's not much new in that sense. Besides, Bodenheimer doesn't have that many stories about the on-air personalities that can draw a sports fan in. Business types might be able to take a bit more out of this. This is a success story, after all, and it's instructive to see how ESPN reacted to situations over the years. Business books sometimes can get bogged down in anagrams and four-point plans for success. Luckily, Bodenheimer avoids that for the most part. Yes, there are sections devoted to how ESPN came up with a mission statement - my eyes gloss over when I see such things - but mostly it's how he dealt with real-world situations. It's fair to say this is a mostly positive look at the ride at the network. Even the failures seem to be handled properly. The people Bodenheimer encountered along the way come off well here. "Every Town is a Sports Town," then will work for those seeking the details of an impressive business achievement - how ESPN conquered the sports world. If you are in that narrow classification, you'll enjoy it and maybe get a few good tips along the way.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Devyn Duffy

    Note: I read the hardcover edition. (As of the date of this review, the hardcover edition is not listed on Goodreads, and Goodreads wouldn't allow me to add it.) Every Town is a Sports Town is partly a history of ESPN, partly a memoir of Bodenheimer's long career with the network, and partly a set of tips for running a successful business. While fans of ESPN may have learned much of the company's history elsewhere, Bodenheimer recounts stories I had not seen anywhere else, especially on the busin Note: I read the hardcover edition. (As of the date of this review, the hardcover edition is not listed on Goodreads, and Goodreads wouldn't allow me to add it.) Every Town is a Sports Town is partly a history of ESPN, partly a memoir of Bodenheimer's long career with the network, and partly a set of tips for running a successful business. While fans of ESPN may have learned much of the company's history elsewhere, Bodenheimer recounts stories I had not seen anywhere else, especially on the business side. (The book's title, for example, is taken from the success that Bodenheimer had in selling ESPN to local cable operators in the network's early days.) At just under 300 pages, the book is too short to go into much detail about on-air personalities, but you've probably seen those stories elsewhere, and Bodenheimer does include a few anecdotes to give the flavor of what ESPN's stars were like in the network's early days. Instead, readers learn business-side stories like how Bodenheimer helped to negotiate important contracts with major sports leagues--and then helped to figure out how ESPN was going to pay for them. (Until I read this book, it had never occurred to me that sports leagues might negotiate contracts without verifying that the networks could actually pay the agreed-upon fees.) And as Bodenheimer works his way up from driver/mailroom to network president, he reveals more and more about what it takes behind the scenes to keep ESPN running. On the business tip side, Bodenheimer uses specific examples from his career to illustrate general principles, which mostly boil down to recognizing that a company's employees are a part of the company and not an expense. Bodenheimer believes in identifying talented and passionate people, putting them in positions where they can succeed, involving them in decision-making, and then creating a shared culture in which everyone contributes to the company's growth. Especially interesting is the idea of negotiating company-wide priorities for each year, then printing them on cards for everyone to use to focus their efforts. This would be a terrible idea if, like most companies these days, the priorities were set at the "top" and then handed down to employees who have no input, but could be a great idea when everyone in the company has a voice in deciding what is most important. This book isn't enough to know how well Bodenheimer performed at his job, but the fact that he rose to president of ESPN at a time of substantial network growth suggests that he probably did his job pretty well. Most impressive is how many of his stories suggest that he has an unusually open mind. ESPN creations like the X Games, the V Foundation, international editions of SportsCenter, volunteer projects, programs to honor veterans, 30 for 30, and more are all examples of how ESPN became a bigger and better place because someone had a promising idea and was encouraged to run with it. Of course, not everything at ESPN has been successful, and not everything successful has been good, but Bodenheimer is clearly and justly proud that ESPN's willingness to experiment has meant that the good has far outweighed the rest.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matt Craighead

    Amazing stories of the starting days of ESPN and many behind the scenes play by play of countless moments in sports and ESPN history. Great read!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul Carr

    Easy-reading memoir of George Bodenheimer's rise from working in the mailroom to becoming the president of ESPN. His career arc doubles as a history of the company, and while there isn't much revelatory content, Bodenheimer's viewpoint and stories freshen up familiar landmarks in ESPN's tale. Worth a read for those interested in sports media or corporate business. Easy-reading memoir of George Bodenheimer's rise from working in the mailroom to becoming the president of ESPN. His career arc doubles as a history of the company, and while there isn't much revelatory content, Bodenheimer's viewpoint and stories freshen up familiar landmarks in ESPN's tale. Worth a read for those interested in sports media or corporate business.

  5. 5 out of 5

    J

    Easy read, a bit too "how to succeed in business" vs business memoir. Plus, a lot about espn's successes and almost nothing about the underside, notably ESPN exploiting the CATV regulatory monopoly model to massively drive up the amount of money in sports while socializing the cost. Easy read, a bit too "how to succeed in business" vs business memoir. Plus, a lot about espn's successes and almost nothing about the underside, notably ESPN exploiting the CATV regulatory monopoly model to massively drive up the amount of money in sports while socializing the cost.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  7. 4 out of 5

    Grace

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Coletti

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brian P Doyle

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Watkins

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diego Barriga

  15. 4 out of 5

    David W Sewart

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth Andreassen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jon Provus

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dalal Mohammed

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael Miller

  22. 4 out of 5

    Warren

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Bedosky

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Archer

  26. 4 out of 5

    Allen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Rudisill

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob Hartnett

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Eucker

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...