Listen: Hockeyhockey And Lebron discussed on Golden Edge - Vegas Golden Knights Hockey
"S._d._n. Sports mobile from station casinos but with that out of the way. Let's get to our conversation with golden president gary boobs then day. We're happy to be here and <hes> <hes> ready to talk some hockey so it's easy to get us here. We're gonna talk hockey so we're looking forward to it. Yeah awesome well first of all pretty easy question but how's your off season and so far it's been fantastic obviously <hes> it ended quicker than we had hoped in terms of the the season itself and so it feels like it's been forever but it's it's been great great. The business has been fantastic. <hes> everything's coming together and we can't wait to get to september so we can get training camp opened up. Get that first preseason game under our belt on september number fifteen th and then get ready to <hes> take on those santa's san jose sharks on october second so everybody's fired up so i kind of always think of you as it's like the george mcphee off the ice. I don't know if that's an accurate description that that's kind of how i think of you so maybe for a lot of the fans that are listening. That don't really know what you do. How would you oh. I guess describe your role with the organization other than george and i are probably two totally opposite personalities. He's a former player. He's very competitive. He's probably a lot smarter than and i am <hes> but i i really i focus on the business side of what we do. We talk a lot about with our group but our our job is real simple. <hes> it's to drive the revenues that are necessary. Sorry to support what we wanna do. From a hockey perspective it's to make sure that we have the best fan experience and home-ice advantage in hockey so again so our players can do what they do at the highest level and make sure that we give back and serve our community <hes> the golden knights wouldn't be go nights if it wasn't for the the entire valley alley <hes> the city of las vegas city henderson the way they support this team is amazing and <hes> we never lose sight of it so i said our business team. It's real simple. That's what we're here to do you and if we do that at a high level then we're doing everything we can to make sure that the guys on the ice have the best opportunity to be successful and that's what we're focused on every single day before you got to the knights organization you work for the hurricanes. You worked for a group that worked with the dell stars. Were you always a hockey fan. I was a hockey fan from the earliest earliest period of time as much as you can be growing up in oklahoma <hes>. We had a central hockey league team so i was fortunate. My dad allowed me to tag along many times. He'd take guests customers things like that to the games <hes> but i don't know that i really knew that i was that much of a hockey fan played baseball as a kid <hes> growing up and and so that was really kinda my first sport <hes> but i had a real unique opportunity to work for the international hockey league in cleveland ohio and i think at that point that's really where i truly fell in love with the game and really started to understand what the game was about. <hes> the players the athleticism the skill the physicality a hand eye coordination guy who played baseball <hes> i'm amazed at what these guys do and <hes> and so that's really where i truly kind of fell in love with the game of hockey and to be able to match it up with the sports side. <hes> for me is the perfect trick fit. <hes> had a great opportunity in cleveland with the cavaliers but <hes> the people that really knew me. Well knew that if the n._h._l. Ever came knocking that i probably wouldn't be there much longer and so nobody was surprised when i told him i was leaving to go work in the national hockey league so you mentioned the cows. I wanna actually ask about that just because you know for hockey and n._b._a. A obviously you know the commissioner has across but there's usually not a lot of crossover with the two leagues. I guess you know my question. First off is just kind of what you took from the n._b._a. Kind of coming into this you know <hes> maybe like game presentation things like that. <hes> you know anything else. You know obviously the financial side of things but just what it what were you able to kind of take from from the success of the n._b._a. and bring to the n._h._l. I guess when you came here. Yeah i think first and foremost if you were to look at the four or five five major professional sports leagues that are out there the two that are the most similar <hes> are the n._b._a. In the national hockey league <hes> the time of year the number of games that are played <hes> <hes> the way local revenues really drive the business and how it connects to <hes> to things like the salary cap as an example and and how these businesses run from a financial perspective respective <hes> but i really believe the n._b._a. Is one of the best run sports leagues in the world. <hes> i really learned a lot <hes> the way they take <hes> the best practices in every discipline of the business <hes> it's it's done in a very very high level and how they share that information <hes> really makes <hes> really makes for a great opportunity from a business perspective even so being able to work in that league <hes> see excellence at every level and be able to bring that to our organization <hes>. I tell people all the time look i'm. I'm not an expert in in many things <hes> but i have seen excellence in every aspect of the business in terms of what it takes to be successful on the business side and so oh to be able to apply that to the golden knights organization it served me well and it's something that <hes> you know we take a lot of pride in because i really believe it's not just what happens on the ice that makes makes for a successful organization. I think it it starts both on the ice and off the ice and that's why i think it's important for the business side to understand how they connect <hes> because the players they they wanna win. They want great cultures. They want fun experience. <hes> they wanna home ice advantage those things are important and so when we talk about <hes> what the golden knights are and we start to think about our story as we look forward <hes> you know there's six seven hundred other players out there that are future potential golden knights and so what are we doing on the business side to help add to that story so when george and kelly macrame in in our bill foley when they're out talking to these players they're talking more than just about the things that would be <hes> <hes> just specific to the hockey side of our business and again proud of that that we're able to contribute in a small way so dan gilbert's over its famous for his comic sans memos and i do not do my memos in comic sans but i did learn a lot from dan about culture <hes> about <hes> establishing establishing what your d._n._a. is as business and how you communicate that d._n._a. <hes> we have our own thing here called the knight's code and a lot of what we wanted to do was just make sure that our business business team understood <hes> again how we want to treat our customers our stakeholders <hes> members of the media <hes> how we want to treat each other internally and <hes> really just providing kind of a road map <hes> but also utilizing some of the terminology hockey so we have our own nights code and it's something that <hes> i really learned from dan gilbert <hes> <hes> he <hes> he was really the master at <hes> taking culture and what was important to him and then translating it to and we had close to thirty thousand employees within within all of the dan gilbert family of companies when i left back in two thousand sixteen and so is fortunate to see <hes> to see culture are really high level now. I believe you were with cleveland thirteen years. Do you have any good lebron stories in that time. Do i have any good lebron stories. You know there's probably a lot of them that <hes> that we probably wouldn't be comfortable talking about the one i like to share his early on when you think about young people <hes> and and it and it and it doesn't necessarily <hes> at one point in time when he came to our organization he was eighteen years old and so you kind of get that in your mind and so he's an eighteen year old kid who obviously had a slightly different <hes> experience in ninth and tenth eleventh and twelfth grade than most kids <hes> because he <hes> has many people thought you know he was. Maybe the greatest greatest <hes> <hes> generational type player coming into the n._b._a. Since since probably magic johnson and larry bird <hes> because if you think about michael jordan he was a third round pick so <hes> from early on people knew that he was going to be a special player but <hes> we were there was one point in time we were probably three or four months into the season and and <hes> someone within our finance group. It said you know <hes> we've paid out a certain amount of money to lebron but none of the checks have been cashed and we're like well okay. That's kind of weird. Maybe we should go. Ask him and <hes> turns out. He's still had all the checks just in his you know at this time. There weren't direct deposits like today. It wasn't that long ago but these were actual checks. He didn't even think to go. Take him to the bank. He just put them in his glove box and so there were three or four months of n._b._a. The h. x. sitting in his glove box and we're like lebron you you have to put those in the bank. You can't just put them in your <hes> and he's it's like yeah okay yeah i just didn't even cross his mind and but that's an eighteen year old kid right and that just wasn't as priority and maybe maybe at the end of the day it served him well <hes> because one thing that i do give lebron a lot of credit for as he always used to talk about. I want to keep the main thing the main thing and for him the main thing was basketball all and i think if you look at his career whether you like lebron or not whether you respect his game or not <hes> what you can't argue is the consistency that he's had throughout the fifteen plus years he's been in the n._b._a. And i believe there's really very few players that can match his resume for consistency and and i think that's what makes him one of the all time greats. Also you guys have a number of new initiatives that have happened or you're going through so i just wanted to kind of run through a few of them. <hes> first first of all you guys have updated city national arena. A little bit got a new look some fresh paint <hes>. How do you make it's looking right now well. We're we're proud of it. I you know the honest. The answer is <hes> when we first moved in august of twenty seventeen. We had about a nine month window to get the facility complete. Our first priority was to make sure the building was complete that the n._h._l. Facilities were ready for our players to come in and september of that year and so <hes> what i would call the brand component <hes> it was not a part part of the mix it was basically like buying spec home with basic khaki white khaki pain or white paint on the walls and so it didn't to me feel like an n._h._l. Facility ability a lot of the players play areas didn't feel like an n._h._l. Player area it was nice. It was fine. The carpet was clean all that <hes> but it really didn't have the look can feel that we wanted and so after we got through that first season <hes> we had a big vision for what we wanted it to be. We just didn't have the time to do it and so immediately actually even during in the playoffs that first season <hes> we started with the player areas down in the locker rooms down in the training areas and we started to put up a lot of the graphic vision that we had and then and after we got through that <hes> that season in the off season we started into the ranks and so painting the walls black and the gold and <hes> putting up the the imagery the logos <hes> the castle concept that we built with the video board on the n._h._l. Rank hanging banners <hes> a lot of that investment really came in the second can season and honestly it's still ongoing today <hes> as we're continuing with work with inside the venue who still got some more work on the non n._h._l. Rink <hes> that that we're completing here in the near term and it's just kind of an ongoing thing to integrate the brand and the experience that we've been able to create at the fortress at t. mobile arena <hes> and bring it to city national arena so i'm henderson resonance all ask about that rink and just maybe the progress with that and maybe more so as just kind of the vision vision with that in in what what you kind of see that bringing you know to that area obviously for the organization for the city and beyond yeah we're. We're very excited about henderson. Listen <hes> first and foremost <hes>. If you were to step back three or four years ago even before the franchise was granted billfold. We talked a lot about building the game of hockey rocky in the market and so."