All posts by Rick Limpert

John Smoltz, Baseball Hall of Famer, Bridgestone Golf



Rick is joined this week by Baseball Hall of Famer and Atlanta Braves legend, John Smoltz.

Smoltz played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1988 to 2009, all but the last year with the Atlanta Braves. An eight-time All-Star, Smoltz was part of a celebrated trio of starting pitchers, along with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who propelled Atlanta to perennial pennant contention in the 1990s, highlighted by a championship in the 1995 World Series. He won the National League (NL) Cy Young Award in 1996 after posting a record of 24–8, equaling the most victories by an NL pitcher since 1972. Though predominantly known as a starter, Smoltz was converted to a reliever in 2001 after his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and spent four years as the team’s closer before returning to a starting role. In 2002, he set the NL record with 55 saves and became only the second pitcher in history (joining Dennis Eckersley) to record both a 20-win season and a 50-save season. He is the only pitcher in major league history to record both 200 wins and 150 saves.

Smoltz was one of the most prominent pitchers in playoff history, posting a record of 15–4 with a 2.67 earned run average (ERA) in 41 career postseason games, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 NL Championship Series

I caught up with Smoltz not in Atlanta, but at a Bridgestone Golf event that was part of the 2020 PGA Show in Atlanta.
Smoltz has now turned his attention to golf and recently won another celebrity tournament. He’ll be making some starts on the PGA Champions Tour and hopes to qualify this year again for the U.S. Senior Open.

Smoltz is also now a respected voice in the baseball broadcast booth. Hard pressed to find someone better to explain the game than Smoltz.


NCAA Final Four Coming to Atlanta with Duke AD Kevin White and Dan Gavitt of the NCAA



Even if you don’t have a ticket to the games being played, there will be plenty of things fans can do leading up to the 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta, April 3-6, 2020.

Rick talks about that and more with Kevin White, who is best known as Mike Krzyzewski’s boss as the AD at Duke. He is also Chair of the NCAA DI Basketball Selection Committee. Rick also is joined by Dan Gavitt the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball.

Once again, leading up to the DI semis, the NCAA Men’s Division II and III National Championships will be held on Sunday, April 5, at State Farm Arena. The Division III game will tipoff at 12:30 p.m. and the Division II game will begin at 4 p.m. The games are free and open to the public.

Youth basketball fans ages 18 and under can also be part of the Final Four action with the NCAA Final Four Dribble presented by Buick. The one-of-a-kind and free Final Four event will take place on Sunday, April 5, beginning with check-in at 1 p.m. in downtown Atlanta. Fans can bounce into action and dribble their way through the heart of downtown. To register for the event, fans should visit participating Buick dealerships beginning January 15. The first 3,000 participants will receive a NCAA Final Four Dribble t-shirt, a Wilson basketball and free entry into the Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One for Dribble participants and accompanying adults. Immediately following, fans are encouraged to head over to State Farm Arena for the free NCAA Men’s DII and DIII National Championships.

“Conducting all three national basketball championships in one city on the same weekend provides student-athletes from each division, as well as their fans, a special experience,” said Gavitt. “We’re thrilled about all the games and the fan events we have planned for the Final Four weekend, leading up to the Division I National Championship Game.”

The NCAA Final Four Semifinals will take place on Saturday, April 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The winners of the two games will advance to the NCAA Final Four Division I National Championship on Monday, April 6.

Atlanta is no stranger to hosting huge events and this is another big to anticipate and enjoy.

Here is Rick with Kevin and Dan.

 


Daniel Pidgeon, President of Home Services at Goodman Networks



As part of his look at CES 2020, Rick is joined by Daniel Pidgeon, President of Home Services at Goodman Networks, this week on “Tech of Sports.”

Goodman Networks is a leading provider of premium installation services for electronics brands and retailers.

CES 2020 showcased new improvements to audio and home theater as the home theater market that is projected to grow 8% by 2022.

Rick and Dan talk about the home theater market and how it is growing and relevant to sports fans. Hear what is coming and why this is important.

Daniel has more than 25 years of experience in the installation industry, previously serving as Chief Executive and Chariman at Starpower in Dallas, TX. Daniel and his work have been recognized widely across the Consumer Electronics industry including awards such as Dealerscope Magazine’s “Best of the Best”, “Best Specialty Audio Video Company in America” along with dozens of other trade and retail organization awards. In 2015, Daniel rose to become the Chairman of the Executive Board for CTA. CTA is the owner and producer of the largest trade show in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES®) held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

He is also a member of the Dallas, Texas Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), a member of Dealerscope’s “Hall of Fame”, a member of CTA’s Board of Industry Leaders, a board member of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Consumer Technology Board and the 2018 recipient of ADL’s Torch of Liberty Award recognizing his impact on the global consumer electronics industry. In addition, Daniel is active as a board member of many other high-profile national and local charities. Daniel started in his teens, working at a family-owned furniture company. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Economics.

Have a listen to Rick and Dan.


Kenichi Herano of ASICS Institute of Sport Science at CES



Rick is joined by Kenichi Herano of ASICS, this week. He is Executive Officer and Senior General Manager at ASICS Institute of Sport Science.

What is ASICS doing at CES?

The ASICS Energy Research Lab is at CES to see sports innovation at work – and a look at the research.

This is the first time that we are bringing the ASICS Energy Research Lab to CES, as we celebrate our commitment to innovation and technology in 2020.

Our booth will lift the curtain on the incredible work done by our scientists at the ASICS Institute of Sports Science, bringing their lab into the real world and demonstrating the impact technology can have on performance.

What was going on at the Lab:

Discover ground-breaking science and technology that allows you to run further, faster and more efficiently
Hear (and see) our plans for how we innovate to revolutionize sport and movement, including a world-first reveal of our latest technology
Gain exclusive interview access and insight from our c-suite executives and ISS scientists

Three shoes were at CES, Evoride, as well as two other shoes — the Metaride and the Guidesole (both already released) — their Running Analyzer. The Running Analyzer involves running on a treadmill, wearing each of the three shoes, while a camera analyzes your movements. The Running Analyzer app assess your run to help you learn more about how you run and how you can improve your form (and of course also to determine which of the Asics shoes are best for you).

Have a listen and hear what is going on at ASICS.


Matt Lawler, Director Digital Media at AEG Global Partnerships on Digital Sports Marketing



Rick is joined this week on “Tech of Sports” by Matt Lawler. Lawler, director of digital media at AEG Global Partnerships, is at the head of this. He will be speaking on the panel “The State of Sports Analytics” on Thursday, January 9 at CES in Las Vegas. Lawler gives a preview as to what he may be talking about on the panel as well as a look into the future of digital sports marketing.

AEG is the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company. Known for staying at the forefront of data and analytics, the company is discovering new ways of boosting fan engagement across 135 topnotch AEG assets, including more than 90 venues, 20 sports teams, events and festivals.

Matt is responsible for leveraging digital assets and creating massive brand partnership opportunities across professional sports teams (LA Kings, LA Galaxy), hundreds of venues (STAPLES Center, Dignity Health Sports Park) and thousands of live events each year including The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Stagecoach and many more. Things Matt can speak on include:

-How advances in technology and data tracking are allowing teams and events to understand their fans to a greater degree.
-How to make sure to capture meaningful data before, after and during an event.
-The importance of sponsorship analytics: how analytics can create more effective partnership campaigns.
-How analytic strategies are driving the future of sporting ticket sales through an improved fan experience, maximizing revenue and overall increased attendance.

With millions of dollars invested in AEG, Matt is integrating cutting-edge digital capabilities into strategic media and marketing campaigns, engaging communities and building partner and fan-generated content.

Have a listen to Matt and Rick!


Max Duffy, Kentucky Punter, 2019 Ray Guy Award Winner



Rick is joined this week by University of Kentucky punter, Max Duffy. He just won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top college punter.

Duffy, of Perth, Australia, has been an absolute weapon for the Wildcats this season, dominating the field position game with his booming and accurate leg. He leads the nation in punting at 48.6 yards per punt and has helped the Cats lead the nation in net punting as well. He has been consistently excellent this season and was twice named the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week. Duffy also is UK’s all-time leading career punter at 46.47 yards on 107 kicks.

Duffy recently earned first-team All-SEC honors by the AP, first-team All-America by the FWAA and was a second-team choice by the league coaches.

He was twice been named the Ray Guy Award Player of the Week during the regular season and earned Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 28 after a magnificent night of punting vs. Missouri. He was on the Ray’s 8 weekly honor roll three times. He also was a First-Team Midseason All-America choice by ESPN and The Sporting News and a Second-Team Midseason All-America selection by the Associated Press.

Duffy is an interesting guy as he got his start in Australia playing Aussie Rules Football, before he even tried kicking an American football.

Rick and Max talk a wide range of topics. Have a listen.