Larry H. Miller Rumors
The Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment announced today a partnership through the 2017-18 season with FanDuel, the leader in one-day fantasy sports. The fully integrated marketing agreement will prominently feature FanDuel at EnergySolutions Arena, Smith’s Ballpark and on The Zone Sports Network (1280 AM, 97.5 FM). “FanDuel provides another level of engagement for our fans, using technology to enhance their connection with the team,” said Miller Sports & Entertainment Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Chris Baum. “This collaboration with an industry leader will provide more opportunities for followers of the Jazz and the NBA to experience the thrill of sports.”
Steve Starks has been named the president of Miller Sports Properties, the arm of the company that runs the Utah Jazz. The move is the latest detail of the corporate restructuring that includes the construction of a board of directors that will replace Greg Miller as CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of companies. Group president Clark Whitworth made the announcement Wednesday. Jim Olson had been acting president on an interim basis and will remain as CEO of the sports branch.
“This is the right move for me personally, for my family and for the business,’’ Greg Miller is quoted as saying. “It has been a privilege to fill the role of CEO and to be a steward of this outstanding organization that my parents sacrificed so much to create and develop. The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies is now entering a new phase and requires a new structure. I have been fortunate to have worked with some of the best and brightest people anywhere.”
The Utah Jazz, in conjunction with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), will present the Larry H. Miller Youth Scholarship on Monday, Jan. 19 at its annual memorial luncheon held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A reception begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by the luncheon at noon in the Grand Ballroom at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
Jazz owner Gail Miller and CEO Greg Miller were not at Saturday’s Utah Reunion with all those familiar faces from New Jersey. Their absence was noticeable, but they didn’t miss the Jazz-Nets game to avoid an awkward encounter with either of the ex-Jazzmen who were traded to New Jersey in the past year. The Millers were simply hosting their annual out-of-town retreat for Larry H. Miller Group of Companies’ senior management. The timing was coincidental but unavoidable due to a scheduling conflict. “It had nothing at all to do with Memo (Okur) or Deron (Williams) or the fact that we were playing the Nets,” Jazz senior vice president of communications Linda Luchetti said. “This was planned last summer.”
Meanwhile, the Jazz have been criticized by some agents who have requested anonymity before railing against what they say are the team’s tightfisted ways. But many more players say the organization represents the best of what the NBA has to offer. Then there’s Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, a longtime Jazz supporter who hears two questions when he travels across the country: Are you Mormon, and wasn’t John Stockton great? “The legacy of Larry Miller is going to live on forever … in this community,” Becker said.
No matter how tightly Rigby runs the sports-and-entertainment division, a few extra millions made by a pro basketball team are secondary to LHM’s ability to successfully emerge from the recession. The largest change occurred under the radar, and it could be the biggest key to the company’s continued success. Miller said a 20-month plan to pay off LHM’s capital and revolving debt was expected to come to fruition six months early. The company was prepared to be debt free in both areas by the end of September, leaving real estate as the only remaining negative. Moreover, LHM has significant capital reserves, allowing the majority of its future growth to occur without leverage.