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"Are you leaving so quickly?" I asked as he was walking towards the lower level concourse at the Office Depot Center as the 2003 NHL All-Star Game had just concluded.
"My 9-year-old has been begging me to be home tonight to tuck her into bed," he replied. "I promised her I'd be there."
Jerry Cifarelli, President of ANC Sports, leaned toward me and whispered, "Scott Carmichael - they don't come any better!"
We all want to make a difference.
My mind drifted back. The packed church and receiving line that snaked through that same church for hours for my father's funeral taught me how people make a difference. My father was never a CEO. My father never invented anything. He never earned a big salary. And there wasn't a pictured story in the "Chicago Tribune" after his death.
"Scottie - he's a good man," added Michael Yormark, CMO of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Scott Carmichael has and continues to make a difference, in more ways than he imagines. He smiles, encourages, cajole, sympathizes and knows when to take things seriously, and when not to. Scott is a consensus builder; he is a friend-builder. He straddles a home-life with four wonderful children and the marketing interests of 30 high profile Chief Marketing Officers with NHL Clubs. No one could imagine, this Communication Arts graduate from Loyola Marymount University would make an art of communicating a message of hope, balance, and humor in our industry. He developed his craft first as the head of public relations for the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club, followed by a short stint with the Clippers in the same role, served as the head of marketing and public relations for the L.A. Coliseum and Sports Arena and ascended to the role of Vice President of Broadcasting & Communications once again with the Los Angeles Kings. Because of his team experience, if not for the overriding fondness of his colleagues in the teams, the National Hockey League snared him to become the league's first club marketing executive in 1995.
During an era when NHL Marketing executives are fighting to maintain their revenue generating reputations while their teams struggle to cover the rising fixed cost of player salaries, Scott keeps these CMO's together, focused and energized. His frequent trips to their markets, highly informative annual club marketing meetings, and his personal friendship help the executives stay current and together in their efforts. This is major reason Commissioner Gary Bettman can boast NHL team revenues have continued to rise in the last few years.
As he puts his arm around Scott at a recent sports conference, Steve Violetta, former head of business for the Ottawa Senators, proudly states, "I leave the NHL to head business operations for the San Diego Padres, and I still want to be part of the NHL Club Marketing meetings because of this man."
Do we live to work? Or do we work to live? The line has blurred for Scott Carmichael. When corporate profits and bottom-lines seem to dominate the news, have we really forgotten why we are here?
So says Edward Everett Hale, "The making of friends, who are real friends, is the best token we have of a man's success in life."
Scott now works as Executive VP, Marketing Development, ANC Sports.
Buffy G. Filippell founded TeamWork Consulting, Inc., an executive search firm for the sports and event management industry in September of 1987. The firm's more than 120 clients have included: NASCAR, PGA TOUR, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, International Speedway Corporation, Major League Soccer, Olympic Governing Bodies, corporate sponsors, and sports marketing agencies. Learn more at http://www.teamworkonline.com.
All TeamWork Online content copyright © 2008 Buffy Filippell, President, TeamWork Online LLC.
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