93 episodes

The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast is an “audio biography” series with the leading Entrepreneurs and Movers & Shakers in the business of Sports & Esports of the past 40 years. Marcus drills deep into the career of his guests, what worked and what didn’t, the learning from the good, bad and ugly. Through his wide network, Marcus is able to host top guests from across the industry and from around the world. As a western Sports Entrepreneur operating in Asia for the past 25 years, it has a certain East-West flavour.

The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer Marcus Luer

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast is an “audio biography” series with the leading Entrepreneurs and Movers & Shakers in the business of Sports & Esports of the past 40 years. Marcus drills deep into the career of his guests, what worked and what didn’t, the learning from the good, bad and ugly. Through his wide network, Marcus is able to host top guests from across the industry and from around the world. As a western Sports Entrepreneur operating in Asia for the past 25 years, it has a certain East-West flavour.

    Zack Sugarman, ”AI Powered Lead Generation”

    Zack Sugarman, ”AI Powered Lead Generation”

    Zack Sugarman, deep dive into his 17 years with the Wasserman Group to his current role as Chief Strategy Officer at Demand Sports – an AI powered top-of-funnel lead generation tool for the sports industry.
    If you are in sales you need to listen to this.  
    Key Highlights
    From college to first role at Sportnet (Wasserman Media Group), doing business development – finance of action sports films in 2005 (skateboard.com, etc)
    Deep dive into Wasserman group - from 70 people when he joined to 1,700 by the time he left recently (15 offices around the world)
    Global Sports Marketing & Entertainment company
    Helping client spend their marketing dollars wisely, negotiate, execute
    Maximizing revenue for teams/leagues (properties)
    Talent manage side – Jerry Maguire style (NFL to action sports)

    Growth by acquisition – music talent, celebrity influencers, creating IP & content (UK based CSM, etc)
    Acquisition of Brillstein – coming full circle (family history, Lew Wasserman)
    Casey Wasserman – a bit about the man himself – Chairman of LA 2028 Olympics – his leadership style
    His roles over the 17 years (2005-2022)
    Start of digital and social media era and developing a digital division to help monetize content
    Early days of live streaming – World Surf League – live webcast
    Properties – teams, leagues, federations, conferences, Esports teams,
    Develop products to offer these property owners – pre-sale and post-sale services
    NBA Jersey Patch, later NHL, MLB – one of the big projects – discussing deal sizes  

    Demand Sports – his role as Chief Strategy Officer
    How it works, background,
    Helping property rights holders – top-of-funnel lead generation, using AI to verify contacts, personalized emails
    Coordinate follow up and meeting times for the Property owner (all the upfront work to create warm leads)
    Demand Inc – tech companies, B2B business – Lasso tool tweaked to use for sports
    Bounce test to check emails are correct – in real time, etc
    Using AI to personalize emails, search web to create subject lines and hocks for a personalized touch to email
    Tool operates globally – language specific outreach examples
    40 clients around in the US and around the world
    Fee structure and flexible model for Property owners
    Contact:  zack@demandsports.co  - www.demandsports.co

    US market – huge events coming the next few years from FIFA World Cup 2026 to Olympics 2028 and more… opportunities for brands and property owners
    Final message on Artificial Intelligence (AI) – be curious
    Zack has a proven sports executive with over ~20 years of experience in commercial strategy and revenue creation – focusing on business development, partnership creation, digital strategy, new tech integration, valuation, packaging, and execution of award winning campaigns and initiatives. Sugarman’s skills include business development (identifying, negotiating, securing new clients), strategy and analytics (fan insights, commercial valuation and packaging, opportunity targeting, partnership creation, and measurement), and relationships (understand the value of connections and have enjoyed consistent networking and having multiple long-term and repeat clients). Zack likes to connect the dots between partners and bring new perspectives together in an effort to generate new value, drive innovation and facilitate new connections across the sports and entertainment business.
    Before joining Demand Sports, Sugarman spent 16 years in agency leadership positions at Wasserman, most notably leading the Global Properties division worldwide to help venues/teams/leagues maximize commercial revenue. At Wasserman, Sugarman helped drive millions of dollars in commercial revenue for clients including NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, FIFA, USGA, UFC, NASCAR, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, LAFC, New York Islanders, Vegas Golden Knights, CrossFit, Drone Racing League and Salesforce.  Sugarman was also

    • 56 min
    Jason Masherah, ”Trading Cards & Beyond”

    Jason Masherah, ”Trading Cards & Beyond”

    Jason Masherah, President of The Upper Deck Company, living his childhood dream, from a young boy trading cards at school to running one of the biggest Trading cards, Memorabilia and Collectibles company in the world – enjoy our deep dive into the world of The Upper Deck Company, the industry and where the business is going.
    Key Highlights
    How it all started, selling trading cards in middle school and attending card shows at the age of 13/14, working in trading card shop
    Starting his first shop at the age of 16 before going back to school
    From Electric Supply company coming back into sports, getting an MBA to get back into sports
    Via short stops at the Arena Football League (Chicago Rush) to Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Bengals, finally landing at The Upper Deck company as Brand Manager for MLB & NBA
    Overview of the Trading Card industry, from the first cards in the 1800 as promotion for cigarettes and chewing gums, sold as Wax packs.
    In 1987/88 The Upper Deck Company was founded to create a different and much better product – big growth to mid 90s when strikes in sports Leagues created issues
    Tough period in early 2000 to 2015 before growth came back, with Hockey, Baseball and Football
    Primary market, big players Upper Deck, Topps and Panini and secondary trading market
    Different business models by Sports Leagues in the US vs European Football leagues
    Global growth vs the traditional core US sports, Europe and Asia
    Business model with Rights holders and bidding processes
    Sports trading cards, Entertainment trading cards and Trading card games and the differences
    Three parts of the business for Upper Deck, Trading Cards, Games (Board games and trading card games) and authenticated Memorabilia
    Premium product focus, big names from Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky
    Digital products and the evolution of it – in 2011 first tokenization of cards, Upper Deck e-pack – digital to physical hybrid
    NFTs, blockchain – Upper Deck’s Evolution platform – trading digital with physical products  
    Issues and challenges for primary market manufacturer playing in the secondary market (especially in NFTs)
    Most NFT releases were never done with collectors in mind, it mostly was a quick money grab
    Moving images, videos and animations open up a new opportunity to own a piece of history
    Upper Deck’s Collect Forever – authentic third party collectibles, from Comics to Toys
    Upper Deck’s Premise to provide the best and widest services for collectors globally
    Fanatics purchase of Topps – changing the game
    Jason’s own career path in Upper Deck over the past 17 years  

    Mr. Masherah oversees all day-to-day operations as President of Upper Deck, the premier worldwide sports, gaming and entertainment company. As part of his day to day duties, he is personally responsible for exclusive agreements with Upper Deck’s lineup of corporate partners, licensors and superstar athletes, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Wayne Gretzky, Marvel, Tim Hortons, CIBC, NHL, NHL Players’ Association and more. Mr. Masherah is also responsible for revitalizing Upper Deck’s memorabilia division, as well as Upper Deck’s gaming division and the launch of Legendary, the award-winning deck building game.
    Prior to his appointment as President in 2013, Mr. Masherah served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Upper Deck. Mr. Masherah has been personally credited for several core programs at Upper Deck, ranging from the Yankee Stadium Legacy program in 2008 to the Evolution video cards in 2011 to, most recently, the Upper Deck e-Pack platform in 2016, which plays a significant role in the launch of Upper Deck’s Grandeur Hockey Collector Coins.
    Before his involvement with Upper Deck, Mr. Masherah worked for professional sports teams in various roles, including the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Braves. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Kelley School of Business

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Andrew Ryan, ”FIBA Media - FIBA World Cup 2023”

    Andrew Ryan, ”FIBA Media - FIBA World Cup 2023”

    Andrew Ryan, corporate lawyer turned sports executive, currently Managing Director of FIBA Media, from a small town in Australia to the big wide world of sports including Perform, IOC to FIBA.  We are taking a close look into Andrew’s career and the ongoing FIBA World Cup 2023 in Asia.
    Key Highlights
    Growing up in a small town near Brisbane, with lots of access to sports in his youth and Brisbane clubs making their mark. Impact of Sydney Olympics in 2000 on him
    Corporate law taking him to London and New York in 2006, after Lehmann collapse joined a radio station (Absolute Radio), sports commentary, unlikely and unexpected forays into sports broadcasting with the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and BBC Sport for the 2005 Ashes series.  First contact with Perform.
    Group Head of Legal at Perform for four years – buying media rights, WTA deal and the growth of the business from his view
    Betting rights key to Perform’s competing with traditional agencies in the content distribution business
    Getting DAZN off the ground and the work behind the scene and spinning off Perform
    Next stop Head of Media - Legal and Business Affairs, IOC TV and Marketing services – business strategy and more commercial role
    Media rights, tender processes, Olympic channel, sponsorship deals, etc
    Olympic Channel, what happened to it?

    FIBA Media – what it is and how it works – JV with DAZN (compared to FIBA Marketing, JV with Infront)
    FIBA Asia (ABC) my experience in Basketball in mid 90s
    FIBA’s direct to consumer approach vs traditional broadcast rights sales globally
    FIBA Courtside 1891 platform www.courside1891.basketball - Courtside 1891 is a live and highlights platform for FIBA games and a lot of other leagues around the world
    FIBA’s unique global set up – managing regional events and rights from HQ
    FIBA Eurobasket 2022, etc
    FIBA Club competitions

    FIBA World Cup 2023 – across Philippines, Indonesia and Japan
    What to expect from production and new innovations for the event
    FIBA and NBA relationship and players at the World Cup

    FIBA Women’s World Cup – importance and looking back at last year’s event in Australia
    As Managing Director of FIBA Media, Andrew leads the 17-year joint venture between FIBA and DAZN which encompasses all production and rights commercialisation (broadcast, OTT D2C and data) for FIBA’s premium events. This includes FIBA’s World Cups and Continental championships (and their qualifiers), global junior events and the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. FIBA Media has around 25 dedicated staff but collaborates extensively with sales and production teams within DAZN and scales up for events, managing 800+ personnel at the FIBA World Cup 2019. In addition to its core production and commercial activity, FIBA Media houses its own third party marketing division and established the Courtside 1891 digital brand and joint venture with Two Circles.
    Andrew was previously the Head of Media Legal and Business Affairs for the International Olympic Committee TMS and was part of the Leaders Under 40 Class of 2020.
    Follow us on our social sites for the latest updatesInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/sportsentrepreneurs/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcusluerpodcastLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sports-entrepreneursWebsite: https://marcusluer.comPodcast: https://marcusluer.com/podcast
    To get in touch, please email us at podcast@marcusluer.com
    Feel Good by MusicbyAden https://soundcloud.com/musicbyadenCreative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/_feel-goodMusic promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/bvgIqqRStcQ

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Guy-Laurent Epstein, ”Deep Dive Into UEFA”

    Guy-Laurent Epstein, ”Deep Dive Into UEFA”

    Guy-Laurent Epstein a Football Association veteran and senior UEFA Executive for the past 20 years, shaping European football, the commercial side and beyond.  Deep dive into  UEFA’s world from Club Football, new National Team competitions, to the growth of the Women’s game and much more.  Highly educational and lots of great details you don’t want to miss.   
    Key Highlights
    How it started, from a passion for mathematics, to Arthur Andersen auditing to Sony Music
    Commercialising the licensing rights for the FIFA World Cup in 1998 for Sony Music
    ISL Marketing days – joining ISL in Luzern during an interesting time for the agency
    Spending time in Asia, around the 2002 FIFA  World Cup Korea/Japan
    ISL collapse in 2001 just before the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001, FIFA creating FIFA Marketing to take over agency role
    Joining UEFA shortly after the 2002 FIFA World Cup  – comparing notes on the event
    The start of a two decade adventure with UEFA in Nyon
    No Marketing department within UEFA yet when he first joined,  developing new projects and showing value to the administrators of European Football
    The “old” way of doing things in European National and Club competitions at the time, early 2000
    Change of guards, EBU, mostly state controlled broadcasters vs more commercially driven free to air channels
    Non-linear channels emerge -  Pay TV – now digitization, Amazon relationship, DAZN, Apple testing
    US Market importance for both European Club and National team football
    UEFA.TV -  create new content from archive, exploring new ways to invest in brand – home of Youth and Women’s football
    Relationship between UEFA and their agencies (Team Marketing – Club competitions & CAA Eleven – National Team competitions)
    Big changes and success stories from the CAA Eleven deal
    UEFA Nations League – the creation and where it is now and some of the challenges
    New UEFA Champions League format from next season explained
    Next steps in the governance of club competitions and relationship with the European Club Association (ECA)
    Covid impact on UEFA competitions – looking back, moving EURO 2020, etc
    Success of Women’s EURO 2022 in England and the growth and unbundling of UEFA Women’s Football – www.weplaystrong.com
    EURO 2024 in Germany – high hopes for another big Football Summer Festival
    Guy-Laurent Epstein graduated from Paris IX Dauphine University with a Master in Applied Mathematics & Social Sciences in 1990, and completed his studies with a MBA at ESSEC Business School in Paris, which he obtained 2 years later.
    After four years working as a financial consultant for Arthur Andersen, he decided to shift his career towards sports marketing and worked for the 1998 World Cup in France. After that, he joined ISL Marketing where he was in charge of the licensing and merchandising programme for the 2002 World Cup. In 2001, Guy-Laurent joined FIFA Marketing, where he continued to oversee the good development and implementation of the Licensing programme.
    He started in October 2002 at UEFA as TV& Sponsorship Manager and became Head of Marketing Activities in December 2004. In June 2005, he created the Media Rights unit which is responsible of the overall sales of the UEFA competitions TV and other media rights, which he managed till March 2010, when UEFA decided to set up a new company – UEFA Events SA - to handle all UEFA’s commercial and event operations. Consequently, Guy-Laurent was appointed Marketing Director of UEFA Events SA and as such, he is responsible for the ongoing development of the marketing and commercial activities, including media and sponsorship, across all competitions of UEFA.
    Follow us on our social sites for the latest updatesInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/sportsentrepreneurs/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcusluerpodcastLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sports-entrepreneursWebsite: https://marcusluer.comPodcast: 

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Paul McVeigh, ”Premier League Psychologist”

    Paul McVeigh, ”Premier League Psychologist”

    Paul McVeigh, from playing professional football in the Premier League to becoming a trained psychologist, and now advising C-suites and top corporate executives. Tons of great stories and lessons from his career as a professional player and how a Tony Robbins book put him on the path to studying psychology and becoming a keynote speaker.
    Key Highlights
    Growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in a rough neighborhood in the 80s – what it was like playing football with tanks driving around the streets
    A journey from Belfast to London, getting offered a contract with Tottenham Hotspur in mid 90s and meeting football legend Jurgen Klinsmann
    His beliefs at the time about himself and what then happened in order to make his Premier League debut
    His football journey from Tottenham Hotspur to Norwich City, Burnley,  Luton Town and why the key was to constantly adapt his style to fit various roles for each team 
    How to deal with winning/losing, the psychology and mindset behind it for a professional player, being relegated and achieving promotion again
    Who is truly responsible when a team wins or loses?  Coach versus players?
    “Awaken The Giant Within” by Tony Robbins – our stories and the impact this book had on us and how this led to a degree in Sports Science and Psychology and a career in public speaking
    Next stops, working as pundit at Sky Sports, BBC, and giving key note speeches and running corporate leadership programs
    His book “The Stupid Footballer Is Dead: Insights Into The Mind Of A Professional Footballer” and an understanding of the mind of an elite sportsperson
    Concept of accountability – a pre-season story and his learning being exposed to world-class players
    Making conscious choices
    His current project: bringing in first-class athletes, world champions and securing them as keynote speakers to corporations, including top military, doctors, etc
    His contacts. Website: https://paulmcveigh.com  LinkedIn:  (5) Paul McVeigh, M.Sc. | LinkedIn  Email: paul@paulmcveigh.com
    Paul McVeigh is a Premier League football player and Performance Psychologist. Paul's credibility comes from the unique combination of reaching the pinnacle of elite sport as well as being the first Premier League footballer to qualify with a Master's Degree in Psychology. Paul specialises in implementing the psychology required to elevate the performance of leaders and teams from the financial services' industry. He has recently worked with PWC, Grant Thornton, Aviva, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Nat West, Cisco, Microsoft and many more. These lessons are even more applicable today in our remote and virtual workplaces in order to empower individuals to understand that our thinking unlocks the required behaviours that are necessary for elite performance.Paul shares his psychological framework from growing up in war torn Belfast, Ireland alongside the strategies he implemented performing under the intense scrutiny of 75,000 fans across the world. He is also an established broadcaster on TV and radio with BBC, Sky Sports, BT Sport and is also a published author of the ironically entitled book ‘The Stupid Footballer is Dead’.The insights Paul shared as a Sport Psychologist for 2 Premier League clubs have helped many players compete in, what is considered, the most prestigious and ruthless sports league in the world.
    Follow us on our social sites for the latest updatesInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/sportsentrepreneurs/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcusluerpodcastLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sports-entrepreneursWebsite: https://marcusluer.comPodcast: https://marcusluer.com/podcast
    To get in touch, please email us at podcast@marcusluer.com
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    • 1 hr 13 min
    Jerome Valcke, ”Back Alive”

    Jerome Valcke, ”Back Alive”

    Jerome Valcke, a true legend and also tragic figure in our industry. We are going back to his early days at Canal+/Sport+ to his amazing time as Secretary General of FIFA.  30+ years in the industry, his ups and downs and the challenges at the end of his FIFA reign and his comeback plans.    
    Key Highlights
    Early days of Canal+, first Pay TV operator in France - as news presenter and magazine producer (from wars to news)
    1991 -  getting involved in acquisition of sports rights for Canal +, dealing with Don King to David Stern
    Forming Sport+ (internal agency of Canal+) to buy sports media rights for Canal + and sell across the world, working with other agencies around the world
    Don King story and doing business with him (negotiation is same as war)
    French Football League (Ligue One) and the new Pay TV money coming in to change the game forever – new production values
    Canal+, turning channel into a 24 hrs Olympic channel for the entire two weeks of the Barcelona Olympics 92’ and Atlanta 96’
    Merger between three agencies, JC Darmon, UFA Sport and Sport+ -  Bertelsmann (UFA), Jean-Claude Darmon and Canal+ (Sport+) merged in 2001 creating SportFive – and the rest is history with decades of changes for the agency
    Joining FIFA in 2003 as Director of Marketing – FIFA Marketing AG – in-house agency created after the collapse of ISL Marketing (initially focused on sponsorship only -  Media rights still with Robert Louis Dreyfus (owner of Adidas, Olympique Marseille).  Jerome lobbying to bring media rights in-house too.
    Agency offering large guarantee to FIFA – (Swiss) 1.8 billion per World Cup -  Joseph Blatter (President at the time) putting his trust in Jerome and he delivered in 2010 – close to 4 billion 
    Changing what FIFA was delivering to broadcasters, going beyond previous offerings
    Infront & Dentsu controlled certain territory rights in Asia, and other agencies around the world – top countries controlled by FIFA directly, FIFA signing all contracts
    Secretary General of FIFA -  the link between the political side of the Federation with the commercial and operating side
    Dealing with Governments and Head of States to deliver the FIFA World Cup – need to deal with politics
    Blatter stories – his rise within FIFA, from a low level marketing role to President -  “I am FIFA, FIFA is me” 
    Bidding process for World Cups – 2018 & 2022 – huge significance for the winners
    World Cup Legacy – South Africa 2010 stories – falling in love with the country and more…
    Brazil World Cup 2014 – it was complicated …….. being banned for a period of time from entering the country…..
    Could World Cup ever be moved if the event is at risk? Legal position vs actuality/reality
    2018 & 2022 host country choices and his view on it
    The different parts of FIFA, from Committees and other parts of the organization
    Women’s Football at FIFA level – Women’s World Cup wasn’t yet able to make enough money on its own – role of FIFA to support and develop Football for everyone
    Mastercard vs VISA and what happened on Sept 2015……. his side of the story
    Moral vs criminal accusations –  rules of engagement – code of conduct in business
    To reach Jerome Valcke - Jerome.valcke@gmx.es  (+34607937298)
    Jérôme Valcke, born 6/10/1960 in ParisFrench and South African citizenshipsLiving in Carrer Catalunya 17, 08960 Sant Just Desvern, SpainE-mail: jerome.valcke@gmx.esMobile number: +34 607 937 298
    1983 RMC Journalist
    1984 to 1988 CANAL+ News Presenter
    1988 to 1991 CANAL+ Deputy Editor in Chief Newsroom
    1992 to 1997 CANAL+ Deputy Director Sports Division. Responsible for all international sport rights acquisitions
    1997 to 2001 CEO Sport+, Media Group CANAL+. Sport+ was a subsidiary of the Group CANAL+ for Media and Marketing rights. Sport+ acquired the international of all major football European leagues.
    2002 COO Sportfive. Sportfive was created by Group CANAL+, UFA- Bertelsmann and Group Jean-C

    • 1 hr 42 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Jsj11 ,


Been in the sports industry for a long time and this is a superb podcast that I have been waiting for. Very insightful and fascinating to hear the stories and advice from industry legends. Great work, Marcus.

RobinHoward09 ,

Very good

Very inspiring! Thank you

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