Removing top two from NHL talks may help

The decision to remove National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman and players’ union leader Bob Goodenow from recent bargaining talks has changed the dynamics and made it more likely a settlement can be reached, reported CanWest News Service Jan. 28 in a story from The Vancouver Sun. Julian Ammirante, a researcher at York University who is doing his PhD thesis on the globalization of major-league sports, thinks it was wise for Bettman and Goodenow to take a step back and let others talk. “In most labour negotiations these kinds of problems tend to unfold, where the union leader and head negotiator just do not get along,” Ammirante said. “By all accounts this is what has been taking place.”

Business prof honoured as marketing leader

Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, was the lone academic inducted into the new Marketing Hall of Legends Thursday under the mentor category, reported the Toronto Star Jan. 28. Middleton said the awards were an important step in celebrating marketing talent. “Canadians haven’t been good at promoting ourselves. We’ve worked very hard on building the better mousetrap, but not telling people how we did it.” The affable Middleton began his career at the J. Walter Thomson advertising agency in London, and ultimately headed up the company’s Tokyo operations. After leaving the agency, he earned his PhD in business administration, specializing in marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business.The awards are broken into four categories. Visionaries are people who have created enduring brands, builders are charismatic leaders who have increased the competitive nature of their organizations, enablers are marketing communication professionals who have excelled, and mentors are those who through philanthropy or academia have provided inspiration in the profession.

Other inductees included Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil; Michael Budman and Don Green, co-founders of Roots; Ron Joyce, co-founder of Tim Hortons; Dave Nichol of Dave Nichol & Associates; Paul Alofs, president and chief executive of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation; and Christine Magee and Stephen Gunn of Sleep Country Canada. Middleton was a little surprised that some other potential marketing legends weren’t on the first cut, including Four Seasons chief executive Izzy Sharpe (“He created the top global brand for luxury hotels”); clothier Harry Rosen (“He doesn’t have a huge national presence, but he has done an incredible job”); and Ed and David Mirvish (“Ed Mirvish was about the first guy to go and make money out of theatre, and that was through sheer promotion”).

Grad jockeys for position

Jockey Chantal Sutherland, who was born in Winnipeg and is a 1999 graduate of York University, is a beautiful woman in a roughneck business and she will be the first to tell you every thoroughbred race is run in quicksand, reported The Toronto Sun Jan. 28. “When you get high up in this business, it gets a lot more competitive. If they see any weakness, your competitor is going to take advantage of it. The guys are great, but they don’t like me taking their business.”

Ontario may consider privatizing LCBO

Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government, wrestling with a deficit of more than $2 billion, may consider putting the Liquor Control Board of Ontario into the private sector because “they are looking for extra cash,” says Nuri Jazairi, an economics professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, reported Canadian Press Jan. 27. Jazairi argues against privatization, saying the government loses in the long run, and customers see poor service and limited selections in grocery and other stores. “The province and the people of Ontario will lose,” he says. “LCBO employees will lose big time.”