The American Sports Stadium – Temple of Commerce or Community?

March 20, 2018

The world needs more writers like Rafi Kohan – explorers who, out of sheer passionate curiosity, set aside all else and plunge themselves into some mysterious realm armed only with pen, notebook, and an open mind.  Recently, Rafi became intrigued with the American sports stadium phenomenon.  He set aside that year to make ardent pilgrimage to scores of the stadia.  From Green Bay’s Lambeau Field and Houston’s Astrodome to Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz arena and the sports’ homes in the Big Apple.  Rafi tunneled into every facet, unearthing the secrets of scalpers, vendors, half-time showmen, and of course the amazing variety of fanatics.

Rafi’s resulting book is appropriately titled Arena – the Latin word for sand, which covered the floor of the Roman empires’ gladiatorial circuses.  (Sand is an excellent material for soaking up blood.)

At today’s monthly breakfast meeting of the Association for Corporate Growth, (, Rafi Kohan enthralled us all with an insightful talk about his discoveries into the depths of America’s stadia.  (Did you know that stadium grass is grown on top of plastic sheets to achieve the necessary durability and consistency?)

During his talk, it became evident that Rafi was presenting the American sports stadium as both a temple of commerce and a temple of community. Chatting with him afterwards, I asked if he felt the weight of the proliferating commerce would crush the fans’ sense of community.  His answer was cogent and marvelously hopeful.  In essence, Rafi Kohan feels that while the commercial pressuring does lay a heavy mantle on those seeking the haven of the stadium sports experience, fans are necessary, resilient and their desires cannot be ignored.

To learn more about what treasures lurk in the tunnels of America’s sports stadia, you may buy a copy of Rafi’s entertaining book,  Arena, and also keep your eye on The Art of the CEO radio show’s upcoming episode list ( – where Rafi will be sharing his amazing experiences soon.

Wishing you every success,

          – Bart Jackson

Summer Fun for the Young – And Young at Heart by Bart Jackson

Feb. 23rd – Summer Fun for the Young – And Young at Heart by Bart Jackson

Those who have gazed wistfully at the slender hull of a rowing shell slicing across the lake, and admired that precise human unison that strokes it smoothly along: your time has come. The Princeton National Rowing Association is offering you a sliding seat at the shell — eight or four person — and the opportunity to be one of those athletes stroking across Mercer Lake in concert with your comrades. And it is not just for the youngsters any more.   Read the full article:

Business as Newly Usual

Today’s business community is mantling on the attractive armor of hope, humanity, fun, downright silliness, and sincere concern for social contribution.  Says who?  Says Bart Jackson and anyone who witnessed CEO Report’s latest Corporate Culture Awards held this January 24th at (appropriately)Times Square’s newest entertainment theme park, the NFL Experience.

The Corporate Culture Awards are the brainchild of CEO Report, a broad-reaching, multi-media informational resource, recently risen from the ashes of Smart CEO Magazine. Under guiding hand of veteran publisher and CEO Jim McDonald, CEO Report is employing all media tools currently on deck to keep business leaders informed about what is working and who’s doing it the most effectively.

Lilien Perito, master of development for the firm’s NY – NJ – CT region, deftly engineered this spirited soiree. The 24 selected award winners were mostly mid-size companies, each with a substantial number employees.  All guests and company teams lustily entered into the evening’s NFL experience – testing our blocking ability, passing accuracy, play calling strategy, and pass-catching jump height compared with the pros.  All great fun.  Then, with dinner, came the real professional lesson as Lilie, with video and verbal profiles, presented the awards.

With leaders a slight bit on the younger side, the winners came from all facets of commerce and industry. Investment houses Star Capital and Summit Place Financial, took honors alongside technology builders Wayside, Lorven, and bcm one, plus companies that restored your body (Spear physical therapy) and property (Maxons Restorations).

As each award was presented, great cheers went up, the CEO rose invariably tugging several members of their firm to join in accepting the award.  As the videos and the spirit of the evening demonstrated so boisterously, these are companies people where love to work.  Enjoyment and engagement and teamwork are paid far more than lip service.  Employee birthdays and project completions are lavishly celebrated; games are routinely played; fun family parties are standard parts of the work routine.  The whole hall was enthused with the feeling that the daily workday must be a gathering of congenial folks blending fun and excitement in the quest for profit.

Who says striving for achievement must be accomplished with a grim scowl? Certainly not the high-success teams honored at the NFL Experience on Wednesday.  I left CEO Report’s joyous dinner with a broad smile and a lesson: If you want to attract and get the best production from the top talent, salary alone is no longer enough.  You’d better ladle out some heavy doses of humanity and re-creation into your motivational mix – and never forget that all business is very personal.

Wishing You Every Success,

– Bart Jackson