CHICAGO -- The best in sports business were honored Wednesday night with the sixth annual Sports Business Awards, which featured the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, the two leading publications on the business of sports, at a live ceremony held Wednesday, May 22 at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square.
"Jerry has had a profound impact on sports," says Richard Weiss, publisher of the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily. "Along with his extremely successful franchise ownership in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, and his leadership at the highest levels within baseball, Jerry has also made deep and lasting community service contributions."
After an early career in tax law and private business, Jerry Reinsdorf bought the Chicago White Sox in 1981 and the Chicago Bulls in 1985. During his 32 years of franchise ownership, his teams have seen consistent success. The White Sox have won five division titles and the 2005 World Series. The Bulls have won six NBA championships while selling out the United Center for a period of 13 straight years.
His record of ownership success, along with his influential business leadership and advancement on social issues, has continually won Reinsdorf praise and admiration. He was a key figure in MLB pooling its Internet rights in creating MLB Advanced Media while also being a leader in the development of MLB Network. He is a member of MLB's executive council and one of the most senior team owners in the game.
Reinsdorf has influenced the direction of two sports in a straightforward, yet innovative way and has been a progressive agent of change throughout his ownership tenure. In addition, he's been widely respected for the support and guidance he gives his executives. A pivotal figure in advancing minority representation in sports, Reinsdorf was a key figure in creating MLB's now-annual Diversity Business Summit and helped develop the annual MLB Civil Rights Game. He's also co-chaired the sport's equal opportunity committee. At the White Sox, he's hired minorities as manager (Jerry Manuel, Ozzie Guillen) and, when Ken Williams became White Sox general manager in 2000, Williams became only the third African-American to hold that title in baseball history.
Reinsdorf has been recognized nationally for his philanthropic efforts, recently receiving the Jefferson Award, the Patterson Award and MLB's Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence for the White Sox Volunteer Corps, which mobilizes team members and Sox fans to work on various service projects in the greater Chicago community.
In the May 20 issue, SportsBusiness Journal took an extensive look at Reinsdorf's career and current team executives spoke on his legacy. "You want to be here because Jerry is here. You want things to go well for him because he's such a good person," said Robin Ventura, manager of the White Sox, who played for Reinsdorf for 10 years (1989-98). John Paxson, who played for the Bulls for nine years before retiring in 1994 and becoming the team's vice president of basketball operations in 2003 said, "If he believes in you and trusts you, he's willing to give you a chance. You never want to let that type of person down." To read the full feature, go to www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2013/05/20/Events-and-Attractions/Reinsdorf.aspx.
Reinsdorf received his Lifetime Achievement Award from ESPN chairman George Bodenheimer. Previous recipients of the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Lifetime Achievement Award are former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue in 2012; tennis great and women's sports pioneer Billie Jean King in 2011; and longtime sports business executive Peter Ueberroth in 2009.
About SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily
Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal is the industry's leading weekly trade publication, providing breaking news and comprehensive reporting and analysis on sports business. With 80 reporters, editors and guest columnists, SBJ keeps its readers up to date on the latest developments in sports marketing, sponsorships, media, facilities, agents and labor, finance and more. For more information, visit www.sportsbusinessjournal.com.
Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily is the leading daily trade publication on the business of sports. From Sunday through Friday, the publication summarizes industry news reported by more than 600 media outlets. It also offers relevant original features by its experienced editorial staff. In prioritizing the day's most important news, the Daily offers readers both the substance and the spin of how the news is playing. In addition, it provides timely original features that go beyond the headlines and analyzes the latest trends influencing the multi-billion-dollar sports industry. For more information, visit www.sportsbusinessdaily.com.
Both publications are part of the Street & Smith's Sports Group, which consists of the Street & Smith's Conference Group, the Sports Business Resource Guide & Fact Book and NASCAR Illustrated. Street & Smith's is a division of American City Business Journals (ACBJ), which comprises weekly business journals across the country, BizJournals.com and Hemmings Motor News. ACBJ is part of the Advance Publications family.