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Bettman received the Sports Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award

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This has been his goal, passion and priority for 30 years.

“The world is changing, and if you don’t move forward, think big, you will go backwards,” Bateman said. “It’s about finding new ways to connect. It’s about making sure you use things that are part of our world now that weren’t part of it when you started in sports, and it gives you the opportunity to use the platform that sports do more than ever before.

Because of that belief and foresight, Bettman received the Sports Business Journal Lifetime Achievement Award on Wednesday. Featured in New York National Business Weekly Sports Business Awards 2023 by Marriott Marquis.

“I’ve always tried not to do it myself,” Bateman said. “It’s about the owners, it’s about the fans. It’s about the people who work here and in the clubs, and if you think about all the efforts, I’m good at it.”

Pittman celebrated his 30th birthday in office on February 1 and surpassed the late David Stern, who served as NBA commissioner from February 1, 1984 to February 1, 2014, as the longest-serving commissioner of the four major North American men. Professional sports leagues.

Bettman was Vice President and General Counsel of the NBA under Stern prior to his election as the first NHL commissioner at age 40 on December 11, 1992.

“The specifics of basketball versus hockey is not what I learned,” Bateman said when asked about his time in the NBA. “Being as accurate as your homework goals. You can change in the current weather.

“You have to do what you think is right because if you were wrong, at least you did it because you thought he was right. This is how you sleep at night.”

The Sports Business Journal listed Bettman’s accomplishments in growing the NHL during his tenure from 24 to 32 teams and increasing league revenue from about $400 million a season to $5.2 billion annually last season. Bateman confirmed on Wednesday that the figure has since risen to $6 billion.

“It was gone in the blink of an eye,” Bateman said of his 30 years on the job. “I find it hard to understand how things could go so fast, but my job is to worry about playing a game, and that’s a business? Things haven’t gotten any better, not just because of the game but because of everything we can do with our platforms to make a difference.

Bettman has officiated over 55% of the games in NHL history and over 600 million people attended the games during his tenure.

Sports business magazine also credited Pittman’s “flaw for creativity” with expanding and relocating to founding successful teams in unconventional markets, with the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, La Caroline Hurricanes, and Vegas Golden Knights as prime examples.

The NHL became the first major professional sports league with a team in Las Vegas when the Vegas Golden Knights joined the league in 2017-18. The Seattle Kraken joined the NHL in 2021-22 as the team’s 32nd.

The NHL Winter Classic, the annual outdoor game launched in 2008, became a major regular season event and led the league to sign media rights deals with non-traditional broadcast partners, beginning with Fox Sports in 1994 and later with Comcast’s OLN. , a long-standing relationship with NBC Sports and partnerships with ESPN and Turner Sports beginning last season.

The league announced on April 11 that it will make its Australian debut when the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings play preseason games in the 2023 NHL World Series in Melbourne on April 23 and September 24. This will be hockey’s first attempt in the Southern Hemisphere and North America, after playing in Europe and Asia.

Australia is the fourth continent to host a National Hockey League match. The Coyotes and Kings will play at Rod Laver Arena, home of the Australian Open tennis tournament, on a rink that the NHL will build with many of the same pieces used for outdoor play.

Will the adventure below be the NHL’s boldest move yet?

“No, how about 70,000 tickets sell out in 20 minutes to play outside in the snow, and if it’s a few degrees higher, it’s going to rain,” Bateman said, referring to Ralph Wilson’s placement of the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Sabers in the 2008 Winter Classic. penguins. Playground in Orchard Park, New York. “I don’t see it in terms of risk or not. I see it in terms of “Is this an exciting opportunity?” and “Do we think we can do it?” Understand that not everything you try to do depends on how you plan to do it.

“Look at what we can do, what we can’t do and we can do better, and that’s the way we’re going. It’s about what we can do to continue to connect with our fans, grow the game and make this game as exciting, entertaining and engaging as anything you can do It. » Do it in your spare time. »

Although the Sports Business Journal noted the three stoppages under Pittman, it noted that the commissioner “had big league victories on the table.” Among these factors was a long-term cost guarantee for owners in 2005 “with salary caps, improved on-ice product, and increased parity between large and small market teams.”

Bateman said, “I love the game, I love everyone involved in it, it’s a challenge. Every day is different and you don’t just deal with the issues of the day, you try to focus on what we’re doing. We have to do going forward and we’ve done a lot of things to move the game forward.” .

“Working here and doing what I do is part of the ultimate team effort in the ultimate team sport. That’s why I think, with everyone working together, why we’ve grown as much as we have.”

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley said the Bettman Award was “a long time coming but well deserved”.

“I see the leadership qualities he has all the time, so I worked with him every day and saw him in every situation,” said Daly. “In difficult times — the pandemic was one of them — some of the downtime that we were involved in and some of these negotiations, even some of our negotiations with the media… where he really pulled himself out and separated from the peloton.”

“It was good knowing him among my fans, really. And it was great seeing what he could do just with me. The League… I’ve been a fan of it most of my life. The Blues franchise, I think, is 54 now or whatever (56) and I’m 52, so that’s a few years older than me, but I grew up with the franchise. It was from Good to Know Gary, and it was really cool See what he was doing.

Also during the ceremony, the NHL won Sports Breakthrough of the Year for its digitally enhanced Dasher Boards, the advertising technology that debuted this season.

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