Joe Arlauckas talks basketball, being a disruptor, and life in Europe with EuroLeague Basketball's new CEO
Marshall Glickman opens a new season of The Crossover
The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas returns for its fifth season and begins at the top as Joe chats with new Euroleague Basketball CEO Marshall Glickman. As a former executive with both the Portland Trail Blazers and the NBA, spoke at length about some of his goals for Europe's premier basketball competition while sharing some interesting stories about the path he took to his new role.
Although his father, Harry, was one of the founders of Portland's NBA franchise, Glickman wanted to blaze his own trail when he was young.
09:45 "When I got out of school in '81, I swore up and down that I would never work for my father because all of us want our independence," Glickman recounts. "We all want to feel that we can make our own way and I wanted to show myself and my father that I could. So I actually moved to Los Angeles with no job!"
After Glickman spent time in the music industry in Los Angeles and sold cable television subscriptions in Portland, he ultimately landed with the Blazers where he learned all about running a professional sports franchise, particularly on the marketing and promoting side.
His career has taken him around the world as an advisor to clubs, leagues and events. He has also been a stakeholder in the building of various sports and entertainment venues. One of those stops was in Barcelona as an advisor to Euroleague Basketball since 2002. Now that he is back in Barcelona, Glickman is eager to disrupt the basketball landscape in Europe and shared some of his ideas, including growing the entertainment aspect of the league.
35:10 "I think we want to be different than the NBA. For basketball fans, fantastic, but we also need to reach people who are not necessarily devoted or kind of hard-core fans. We need to reach the outer ring, people who just enjoy having fun, people who enjoy having a good time," Glickman explained.
After these first months as the new CEO, Glickman thinks there is a lot of space for growth and talks about the areas that can make the difference:
38:10 "I'm very optimistic. We have some really big challenges. We are working things out, I hope, with our clubs because there are certain clubs that have different perspectives which would be normal… But I'm hoping that we can put all of this together by addressing literally what's our event strategy, what's our partnership strategy, what's our market expansion strategy? How can we simplify our governance and our legal structure? Could we find peace with FIBA? How can we tell our stories better? How do we address financial fair play… We are looking at all of that at the same time. It's a great ride and I'm very optimistic that the outcome of all that, I like to call it EuroLeague 3.0, is something that I'm really looking forward to."
Glickman also talks about the potential addition of more teams and how it could be done without losing one of the league's core values: the fact that every game matters:
57:30 "We have to be careful with [adding more teams] because it's what makes it so special, right? I think more teams is inevitable but there's not going to be more calendar is there?… Right now, this format that we have is fantastic and it's the thing that propelled us to the next level… There's no magical solution but I think we are going to have to go to conferences [in the event that more teams are added to the league.]
The list of topics and possibilities brought up in the conversation is seemingly endless and one that all fans of European basketball – or any sport or business – should listen to closely.
With a one-hour format of exclusive one-on-one interviews, The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas goes well beyond the playing court with each podcast to delve into the life experiences that have made his guests protagonists and legends of the EuroLeague. The Crossover debuted in 2018 and has featured such current stars as Mike James, Nicolo Melli and Vasilije Micic, coaching greats such as Georgios Bartzokas, Dimitris Itoudis and Zeljko Obradovic, and legends like Theo Papaloukas, Nikola Vujcic and Mike Batiste, among others.