Are the returns more financial or emotional?
I love the challenge of running the Mavs as an operating company, and in providing the best possible entertainment to our fans, but the greatest reward is emotional.
You've had a knack for business success from your teenage years on, including making money off a chain letter you started. How did these early ventures influence your success later?
I learned that customers and sales were the key to the success of any business. There were no shortcuts to making your customers happy. I also learned that business is the most competitive sport on the planet.
There is always someone out there trying to beat you, and if you don't outwork them and love what you do, they will beat you.
You were credited with bringing a "party atmosphere" back to the team when you took over. Would you agree?
Yes. Before I got to the NBA, teams sold basketball as their product.
I recognized that most people came not for the basketball but to get out of the house and have fun with their friends, families, significant others. ... I wanted to offer the best possible experience, and we as an organization have worked hard to do so.
You are well connected to fans through your email and blog. Has this interaction changed how you manage the team?
Yes, I have a continuous focus group that provides me with great ideas and feedback. It makes my job much easier.
What are your future plans for the Mavericks?
To work to improve the fan experience every day and hopefully win some championships. And one more point -- I think the NBA has a bad rap that ticket prices are not affordable for some fans.
To this end, we introduced $2 tickets for 10 games this year and will expand it hopefully to all games next year. We also have $5 single tickets and $10 tickets available to every game. One of my challenges is to change the perception to one of Mavs games being inexpensive.