By Evan Planchon
With a net worth of $2.7 billion, Mark Cuban has become a role model and icon for entrepreneurs in the world of business. His relentless desire to win has driven him to the peak of the mountain after he sold his online broadcasting corporation to Yahoo for $6 billion in 1999.
Unlike many billionaires, Mark Cuban did not stop there; he went on to add professional sports team owner on to his resume after taking control of NBA franchise the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million in 2000.
“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.”
– Mark Cuban
Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or business student, I highly recommend that you read Cuban’s latest book How To Win At The Business Of Sport. Learning from his personal experiences and struggles has revolutionized my approach toward reaching objectives and overcoming barriers. He is my biggest influence in the world of business today for what he has achieved and given back to the community.
Why the Sports Industry?
Today, the world of sport is a multi-billion dollar industry; a rapidly-evolving and lucrative field that many benefit from. Thus, it is logical for business individuals to invest in the industry.
Mark Cuban has always been an avid basketball fan and has been loyal to the Dallas Mavericks as a season ticket holder. After successive poor performances, the franchise was on sale and Cuban rushed to the occasion and wrote a $285 million check.
Mark Cuban revolutionized the franchise, changing it from a failing organization to a leading team over only a few years. He changed the entire management of the franchise, from the coaching team to the players. After rebuilding the team around the leadership of German superstar Dirk Nowitzki, Cuban started to see the return on his investment as the Dallas Mavericks qualified for the playoffs in 2001, set a franchise record for wins (57 wins in a season) the following year and made it to the NBA Finals in 2006 before losing to the Miami Heat.
Cuban also understood the importance and need for new talent in his team and decided to empty his filled pockets to recruit players such as Vince Carter, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.
After acquiring talented, experienced and success-hungry players, Cuban formed a powerful Dallas Maverick team in 2011. The Mavericks went on to dominate the NBA regular season and secured a playoff spot in their journey to the NBA Finals. The Mavericks stood strong and dominated powerful teams such as Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers and secured their ticket to the 2011 NBA Finals – once again facing the Miami Heat. Mark Cuban’s presence on and off the court during the 2011 season was remarkable and he ensured that his players remembered their heart-breaking loss in 2006. The Mavericks united as a team and went on to defeat the Miami Heat to win their first NBA Championship in the franchise’s history.
The Winning Character
For Mark Cuban, being an NBA team owner does not mean sitting in a large office and manage coaching staff, players and team brand from the backstage of the administration; it is the same as being a player on the court.
Cuban received over $2 million in fines allocated by the NBA for controversial comments concerning referees and competitors, and portraying his emotions on the court. Despite his status as the owner, he blends in perfectly with Maverick fans and does not hold back at trash-talking other players and unfavorable referees. His dedication and passion for the game and the franchise have substantially increased his fan base on a personality level, as well as the Maverick’s popularity within the league.
The Dallas Mavericks Today
Mark Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million in 2000. The team value today is estimated at $1.2 billion, with net annual revenue of over $168 million. With a player expense of $82 million, Mark Cuban portrayed the importance of acquiring, and most importantly keeping, talented and experienced players. The Maverick’s owner was on every media spotlight a few months ago after battling against Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach, Doc Rivers, to recruit NBA superstar DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan expressed his desire to leave the Clippers and gave Cuban a verbal promise to sign a long-term contract with the Mavericks. However, the basketball league was left speechless after Jordan disappeared from radars and did not fly to Dallas to sign his lucrative new contract. Cuban flew to Los Angeles immediately to solve the situation, only to learn that Jordan had changed his mind. Cuban tried everything in his power, including showing up to Jordan’s house, to convince him but it wasn’t enough. Players, coaches, and fans were entertained by the story, but what is worth remembering is Cuban’s relentlessness and desire to win.
“I love to compete. To me, business is the ultimate sport. It’s always on. There is always someone trying to beat me.”
– Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban is a role model for many, including me, for his dedication to success and his never-give-up spirit that makes him so dominant not only in the world of business but also in the world of sport. Cuban completely reinvented the Dallas Mavericks, lifting it from a failing organization to a Championship-winning NBA team. The Mavericks are currently fighting for a second NBA Championship and Cuban will not rest until he achieves that goal.