Whether one person can effectively manage two or more professional sports teams depends on several factors, including:
The sports themselves
Managing teams in different sports presents different challenges.
For example, the demands of a fast-paced NBA game versus a longer NFL game differ significantly.
Juggling the specific needs of each team can be difficult.
The individual’s skills and experience
A highly skilled and experienced executive with strong organizational and delegation abilities might be able to handle the workload.
However, someone lacking expertise in both sports or with poor time management skills would likely struggle.
Someone trying to do multiple sports won’t know the nuances of both, and will have to have a higher-level role and delegate personnel and specific responsibilities to others with specific skills down the chain of command.
The organizational structure
Strong support staff capable of handling day-to-day operations in each team is crucial.
The individual managing both teams would need to rely heavily on their trusted lieutenants to ensure smooth functioning.
League rules and regulations
Some leagues, like the NFL, have restrictions on ownership that may extend to managing multiple teams, even from different sports.
Understanding and adhering to these rules is essential.
Managing two professional sports teams inevitably demands a significant amount of time and energy.
This can lead to personal and professional sacrifices, potentially impacting performance and well-being.
While success stories like Mickey Loomis and the New Orleans Saints/Pelicans exist, managing two teams long-term can be demanding and unsustainable.
Evaluating the overall feasibility and potential drawbacks is crucial before taking on such a role.
- Success stories: Mickey Loomis managed both the New Orleans Saints (NFL) and Pelicans (NBA) for several years, experiencing success with both teams, including a Super Bowl win with the Saints.
- Challenges and failures: Stan Kroenke faced criticism and legal challenges for owning both the Los Angeles Rams (NFL) and Arsenal (Premier League football). He eventually sold his minority stake in Arsenal due to concerns about potential conflicts of interest.
Mickey Loomis’ management of both the New Orleans Saints (NFL) and Pelicans (NBA) from 2012 to 2019 was a unique situation with its own complexities.
Here’s a breakdown of how he handled it:
Structure and responsibilities
- Oversight: Loomis held the official title of Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Saints, and Head of Basketball Operations for the Pelicans. This meant he held ultimate authority over both teams, but the roles differed in execution.
- Day-to-day operations: In practice, Loomis primarily focused on the Saints, leaving the day-to-day basketball decisions to the Pelicans’ General Manager (Dell Demps at the time) and Coach (Alvin Gentry).
- Strategic input: Loomis provided strategic input and guidance to both teams, drawing on his experience and expertise in sports management.
Factors aiding success
- Competent support staff: Both the Saints and Pelicans had capable front offices and coaching staffs who could handle the daily operations effectively.
- Delegation and trust: Loomis understood the importance of delegation and trusted his subordinates to run their respective teams while providing input and oversight.
- Efficiency and organization: Strong time management and organizational skills were crucial for Loomis to navigate the demands of both franchises.
Challenges and criticisms
- Time commitment: Managing two high-profile teams in different sports inevitably demanded a significant amount of time and energy, raising concerns about potential overstretching.
- Focus and expertise: Some questioned whether Loomis could adequately dedicate his expertise and focus to both sports simultaneously, especially with their differing dynamics and demands.
- Lack of basketball experience: Critics pointed out that Loomis’ expertise lay in football, leaving him potentially disadvantaged in making basketball decisions.
Loomis’ success in managing both teams, particularly the Saints’ Super Bowl victory in 2009, suggests he effectively navigated the challenges.
However, the dual role was not without its drawbacks and complexities.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of this approach likely hinged on individual skill, strong support structures, and well-defined responsibilities within each team.
It’s important to note that Loomis no longer holds both roles. He stepped down from his Pelicans position in 2019.
While it is possible for someone to manage two professional sports teams under certain circumstances, it is a complex and demanding endeavor.
Carefully considering the individual’s capabilities, the organizational structure, and the potential challenges is crucial before attempting such a feat.