Owning A Sports Team Is Unlike Any Other Business

When you own a professional sports team, it doesn’t take long to realise that owning a team is unlike owning any other business.

On one hand, the competitive side of ownership is a driving force. I want to win championships. I want to win every game. Not just for me, but for the entire organisation and all of North Texas and for Mavs fans everywhere. Thirteen years into owning the Mavs and it still hurts every time we lose. I still have a hard time sleeping after any game we lose.

On the other side, the Mavs are a business. I want to make a profit. But unlike every other business, making the most money possible is not a driving motivation. I try to recognise that Mav’s fans aren’t only about wins and losses. I have to realise that many, if not most Mavs fans, don’t call talk radio shows. They don’t tweet about what went right or wrong during each game. In fact, while they want the Mavs to win, they are Mavs fans, win or lose. In fact, I was one of those fans before I bought the Mavs. We had a horrible team the entire run of my owning season tickets. It didn’t matter. I was a fan first.

But to some Mavs fans, the Mavs are more than just a game. They are a release. They are a connection to other family members. They are an escape from the realities of a very difficult life. There are fans who love the Mavs because it makes their lives better.

There are not many businesses that can begin to have that kind of impact on their customers/fans.

It is this connection that also drives me to make sure that every Mavs game is about far more than basketball. I want to make sure that every time any fan walks into the American Airlines centre they know that they will feel special. They will have a special experience. They will have an emotional connection. They will feel an energy and excitement they can not get anywhere else. They will be able to see a look of joy in their family members. They will know that we respect the financial, emotional and time investment they have made in our Mavs. In a years time they won’t remember the score, or even a single play from the game, but they will remember who they were with and how they felt during the game.

It is a special trust that is incumbent on me and all Mavs employees to live up to. It is expensive to deliver on this goal. But it is worth every penny. No matter what it costs. I’m proud of the fact that the Mavs spend, by all accounts, more than any other team in any sport around the world on in game entertainment and experience. While other teams worry about wi-fi and apps, we worry about creating an experience that is unique to Mavs games.

I wanted to share a very small sampling of emails that have come in over the last few weeks. There were many more. A special thanks to all Mavs employees who know just how important what we do is to our community.

Dear Mark,
A friend of mine gave me your email. I have a friend who has a 15 year old boy with an inoperable brain tumour. He left MD Anderson today after the doctors telling him there was nothing else they could do for him. We are from OK and they are on their way home tonight. They are attending the game tonight. I called the head office and was able to get him in the “high five line”! He’s making his bucket list on the drive home and the first item on the list is meeting ****** Is there anyway you could make this kid have a great evening after this horrible day? He’s a great kid with a very positive attitude and has just been handed his death sentence. Thank you so much for your time in reading this!!

I received an invitation to select someone to present a game ball at one of the Mavericks home games. I can’t tell you how thrilled and what a blessing it has been to extend this opportunity to patients. I wanted to share one of my experiences.

There is a patient that is a single mother of 2 young children that does not have a good prognosis. We thought this would be an exciting opportunity for her and her kids. When I sat down to talk with her about, the look of joy that came over her face, as she was sitting in our infusion room receiving her chemotherapy treatment, cannot be described. I want to thank you for giving us this opportunity. The generosity of the Mavericks organisation is second to none. The generosity spills over and blesses others, like me, who got to see the joy as I talked to her about what she would be doing.

Thank you so much to the Mavericks organisation for not just providing us with entertainment and team to route for, but for making a difference in our community.

Mr. Cuban,
I would like to commend your staff at the Mavs. My coworker Robin was hesitant to even contact your staff. She wanted to something special for her brother. Besides her brother being special needs he has been diagnosed with cancer. He is not a child physically but he just does not understand what is happening to him but he loves Basketball. So as a Mavs fan myself I would like to bring to your attention the special thing your staff is doing to make a light at the end of the tunnel for this special man. It is a great thing to witness that the Mavs go above and beyond as small as it may seem to the Mavs it is huge to this gentleman.

Hello Mark,
Just wanted to THANK YOU for an awesome overall experience we had at the MAVS game Friday night. I was lucky enough to receive two tickets from a friend who had to go out of town at the last minutes, and was able to take my 12 year old daughter to her first MAVS game. I watch every MAVS game on TV, and she’ll watch about half of them, but 12 year olds have a lot more distractions to deal with. The entire vibe of the building was just electric, and you don’t get that feel on TV. When I asked her what the favourite part of the night was, she listed the MAVS dancers, the Maniac dancers cracked her up, the drum line, and of course the game itself! You are a guy who puts is information out there, and I’m sure you get more complaints and questions, but I just wanted to make sure to let you know what a great time we had! Her one time being there has her looking at the schedule for all the next games on TV!! She is now an MFFL!!!

Hi Mr. Cuban. I am *****s mum. She is one of the Maverick’s ballkids. This is her second year in the program. I just wanted to say thank you for creating this wonderful environment for my child to learn and grow. The program has given her SO much confidence. She has loved the Mavericks for as long as I can remember. You may be the only one more passionate about the team than her, seriously. We make her watch the games in her own area of the house if she isn’t at the game. You have made the NBA exciting and you have created the Mavs to be a beloved team. The excitement and love you show for this team teaches everyone what true passion can create. Those are the things that my daughter learns from you.

The picture I’ve sent you is of my 13 year old brother ******! He is on the Wheelchair Junior Mavs team in Dallas. He is wheel chair bound due to a spinal defect. However hes one of the most lively kids I know his age. He lives and dies for basketball and more importantly he lives and dies for the Mavs This past week you guys had a meet the Mavs night and he spent sooooo much time talking about how excited he was. He loves all of you guys, and he watches EVERY SINGLE GAME! Hes been to american airlines once for a game and wouldnt stop talking about it for weeks on end afterwards

I am a dear friend of **. He actually taught me how to make my
first free throw playing in the alley when I was 6.

You all may know him from MAVS games, as he was a huge fan and became
famous during one half time performance as seen in the YOUTUBE video here

Sadly, he died tragically on Thursday morning while flying as a passenger
in a fighter jet outside of dallas.

I am working on a video montage for his funeral, which will be held at
**** Church at 10 am on Tuesday.
I would love to have the original video sent over if anyone in the
organisation has it, to include in his slideshow.

Dear Mark
My mother is the biggest Mavericks fan you will ever meet. She literally never misses a game screaming and cheering in the middle of the living room the entire time. Recently, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through it all, she has still managed to watch almost every game. Last week, she had a double mastectomy. We are thrilled to say that all of the cancer was removed and no chemo or radiation are needed. My mum and dad have been through so much over the last 2 months. This has been the hardest thing they have handled in 37 years of marriage. They fought it and beat it together every step of the way. I am so proud of their love for each other, and they deserve a night out together when she is back on her feet. I would love to be able ************** to a Mavs game. I figured it was worth a shot to email you. I appreciate you taking the time to read my email. I know you are having a rough season, but we all love you as an owner. Hang in there. The MAVS will be back in no time.


These experiences are not unique to the Mavs. I’m sure all college and pro teams have similar commitments to community. But sometimes it helps to remind everyone of the role sports play in our lives and that its not just about wins and losses or TV contracts. No city has ever thrown a parade for a local company that has had a great quarter or year. Sports are a special part of our lives and that will not ever change.


Read more posts on Blog Maverick »