More than 70 major American professional sports franchises have changed owners or locations in the last decade. Many teams find themselves changing influential personnel as they look to head in a different direction on an annual basis. Managing a franchise in transition is one of the toughest challenges in professional sports. Whether due to the attrition of age or financial turmoil, an owner will almost inevitably be faced with such a challenge. A transition tests the mettle of ownership as the fan base may lose enthusiasm for a team that is years away from championship contention or when a star player is traded away. Sometimes, local governments, financial instability, or new stadium/arena projects can lead to teams being bought and sold, or even moving to a new city. The challenges posed to ownership teams, executives, general managers and leagues by these critical inflection points in the development of a franchise will be highlighted in this panel. The panelists will examine the strategies used, key resources needed and lessons learned along the way.
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