Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

learn about the latest and greatest from the School of Business

Friday, July 1, 2011

Could Jack Donaghy save the NFL and the NBA?

A wise businessman once referred to negotiation as his “favorite thing in the world” and that it was “the essence of capitalism.” (Okay, it wasn’t really a wise businessman who said that. It was Jack Donaghy from the TV show 30 Rock.)

Connor Child
I bring up negotiation because I have suffered through countless hours of media coverage on the labor negotiations currently taking place in both the NBA and the NFL. The owners of the teams in both leagues believe too much of their revenue goes to player salaries and are trying to restructure the system. The players are predictably upset about this and want to make sure they get paid what they believe they are worth. Consequently, both leagues have locked out their players, and there is a very good chance that we will miss games when the regular seasons start up in the fall.

As a lifelong sports fan of both leagues, this terrifies me. The thought of a Sunday going by without football or of a time when I can’t vehemently root against LeBron James almost brings me to tears. It makes me wish Jack Donaghy were a real person so he could put his negotiation skills to good use and settle these labor disputes.

But as a student in a business school that teaches its students to learn from real world examples, I am fascinated by what is going on. I concede that it’s a little sickening to watch billionaires argue with millionaires about how to split up astronomical amounts of money. But I believe there is a lot to be learned from the labor negotiations, and I will briefly touch on one such example.

Whether we are deciding an adequate price for our services or coming up with an agreement to work with another person/firm, the ability to negotiate will play a large role in determining if we succeed or not. The Huntsman School of Business is filled with professionals who have experience with this matter, and I encourage all students to take advantage of this. If we all learned how to fairly negotiate, I believe we could arrange solid agreements that would avoid drastic measures like work stoppages that would cost the NFL and NBA millions of dollars.

Connor Child

No comments:

Post a Comment