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Mark Cuban Bio

Essay by   •  November 21, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,858 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,388 Views

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Mark Cuban is probably the most recognizable owner in the NBA and maybe all of professional sports. With his cheery, enthusiastic attitude, he is just one of the fans.

Cuban is an enthusiastic NBA owner who, instead of being a faceless front-office type, is his team's biggest and most vocal fan. When Mark Cuban purchased the Dallas Mavericks on January 14, 2000, the face of the organization began to change immediately. Once again Mavericks games had a party atmosphere as Reunion Arena rocked with the return of the "Reunion Rowdies." Mavericks games became more than just ordinary NBA games - they were a total entertainment experience. Cuban was not only successful at instilling a sense of pride and passion into Mavericks fans by presenting himself as the ultimate role model by cheering from the same seats he had in years past, but he also became the first owner in team sports to encourage fan interaction through e-mail on his personal computer. It was through this personal touch that fans throughout the Metroplex, and around the world, began to notice Cuban's energetic personality and take notice of the Mavericks. He has personally responded to thousands of emails, and several suggestions from fans have led to innovative changes such as a new three-sided shot clock, which allows line of site to the 24-second clock from anywhere in the arena.

Cuban's whatever-it-takes attitude and commitment to winning has everyone's attention. From his first introduction to the team to the end of his first season as owner, the players responded with a 31-19 record, including a 9-1 mark in April 2000. In addition to hiring special coaches for offense, defense and shooting, Cuban has promised to do everything in his power to improve the team. This goal was achieved as the club finished the 2000-01 season with a 53-29 record en route to their first playoff appearance in 11 years where they became just the sixth team in NBA history to be down 0-2 and come back to win a five-game series vs. Utah in Round 1.

Before the start of the 2001-02 season, American Airlines Center, the Mavs new home, opened and Cuban co-founded HDNet, an all high-definition television network on DIRECTV channel 199 which launched in September 2001. As with his other ventures, Cuban is revolutionizing the television industry with HDNet. He is planning to expand HDNet to include three more networks showing high-def sports, movies and entertainment by the end of 2002. During the Mavs 2001-02 campaign, the team continued their winning ways by finishing the season with a franchise-best record of 57-25 and an NBA-best road record of 27-14, advancing to the postseason for the second-consecutive year. Today, in addition to his ownership of the Mavericks, Cuban is an active investor in leading and cutting-edge technologies and continues to be a sought-after speaker.

Mark Cuban was born on July 31, 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cuban's first foray in the business world was as a garbage bag salesman, where he sold garbage bags around his neighborhood in the south hills of Pittsburgh. Cuban earned his way to college by giving disco dancing lessons and writing chain letters. He chose Indiana University because of the school's low cost compared to the nation's other top business schools. Even in college, Cuban was seen as a controversial by some: his advisor admonished him for taking advanced courses during his freshman year and he was dissuaded from getting his MBA after getting a bachelor's degree.

Shortly after college, in 1983, Cuban founded MicroSolutions, which became a major force in the computer industry. He sold the company in the 1990s to CompuServe for six million dollars. Mark Cuban moved to Dallas, soon after selling his company. In 1995, he was living in Dallas but daydreaming with an old college buddy about his beloved Hoosiers and how to catch their games. Then came the idea: Why not broadcast them over the Internet. Broadcast.com was born and his early retirement was over. Soon, half a million people were listening to radio and TV stations carried live on their Web site. Cuban's employees worked for 10 bucks an hour but with stock options as incentive, they were coming up with fresh ideas -- like streaming President Clinton's Grand Jury testimony and a Victoria's Secret fashion show. Realizing the gamble potential of this new venture, Cuban got the group together and spoke frankly. "I said, 'Look folks, I think we've got something here. And one of two things are going to happen,'" he recalls. "In five years from now, we're either all going to be millionaires... or we'll be out of business and we'll all just be friends." But the gamble paid off spectacularly, first when Broadcast.com went public, and then, when Yahoo purchased the company. In the end, 300 employees became millionaires and Cuban himself was left with approximately $2 billion. With his new wealth, Cuban went on a shopping spree most of us could only dream of. His first purchase was a 24,000-square-foot Dallas mansion. He still lives like he's in college, spending more of the time in his study, perched over one of the five computers that are constantly in use. Although there are dozens of other rooms, he uses only a few of them and keeps the rest almost unfurnished. Standing in the middle of his nearly empty living room, Cuban says there's a perfectly valid reason for that. "This is home plate," he says. "This is where we played whiffle ball New Year's Eve." This past Christmas, Cuban went on the Internet to make his second large purchase -- a brand new Gulf Stream 5, the fastest corporate jet in the world. And in true new-media mogul fashion, he bought it on the Internet, paying $41 million for it. His new toy would become the largest online purchase in history. In March, Cuban acquired the last item of his spending spree -- for $280 million, he purchased his hometown NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks. His enthusiasm proved contagious, as the Mavs ended the season on an impressive winning streak, missing the final playoff birth in the Western Conference by just a few games. Next year, their 10-year absence from the postseason could finally end. As he continues what he calls "his labor of love" with the Mavericks, Cuban is excitedly developing new ideas for a state of the art arena -- so advanced that he's started yet another business to market the new technology. Ultimately, Cuban says he plans to stick to his proven success formula for all future endeavors. "When I got into the PC business [I was told], 'This is the way it's always

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