David Ballard Lockton (born March 28, 1937) is an American serial entrepreneur several of whose consumer focused companies have pioneered or significantly expanded billion dollar markets. These include the Ontario Motor Speedway in Los Angeles, the largest sporting facility ever constructed at one time; California Business, the first weekly regional business tabloid; Data Broadcasting, which invented “push” or multicast, real time wireless data services; and Interactive Network, the first company to enable television viewers to interact in real time with live sports and game shows, television commercials in real time utilizing wireless technology.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Sports Headliners, Inc.
- 3 Ontario Motor Speedway
- 4 International Race of Champions
- 5 California Business
- 6 Data Broadcasting (formerly Dataspeed, now IDC)
- 7 Interactive Network, Inc.
- 8 AirPlay, Inc.
- 9 WinView, Inc.
- 10 Arizona Colorado Land & Cattle Company (Amex:AZL)
- 11 Laister Sail Planes, Inc.
- 12 Rytex Corporation
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Lockton was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 28, 1937 to Richard Curtis and Violet Ballard Lockton. His father was also a serial entrepreneur. Lockton attended Broad Ripple High School, The Lawrenceville School, and Yale University. Lockton, a two time Interscholastic All American swimmer, learned the butterfly from one of the stroke’s developers and demonstrated it in exhibitions two years before it became legal. Leveraging his head start, as a relay swimmer on dominant and undefeated swimming teams; he swam the butterfly on teams which held state, National Junior, Freshman, and American records. After graduating from Yale in 1959, he attained his J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School in 1962. Two years out of law school, working for Ice Miller, a large law firm in Indianapolis, Indiana, he represented an indigent defendant in a federal criminal narcotic case (United States v Ewell) and successfully won a series of motions which were ultimately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not realizing Lockton did not meet the length of practice requirements, Justice Hugo Black appointed Lockton to represent the defendant In Forma Pauperis, making him the youngest lawyer ever so appointed to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sports Headliners, Inc.
In 1965, Lockton started his own law firm and six months later formed Sports Headliners, Inc. in partnership with Chuck Barnes, former Director of Public Relations for Firestone. Sports Headliners became the second sports management firm in the country after Mark McCormack, (www.imgworld.com), with the big three golfers, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as clients. Sports Headliners initially represented race drivers including the winners of twenty Indy 500-mile (800 km) races and six Formula One world championships. Clients included A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti, Al and Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Jimmy Clark and Graham Hill. Sports Headliners expanded its focus in 1968 to represent football champions, O.J. Simpson, Calvin Hill, Johnny Unitas and motorcycle daredevil, Evel Knievel.
Ontario Motor Speedway
Lockton leveraged his position as the drivers representative on the Board of USAC (the United States Auto Club), then the largest automobile sanctioning body in the United States, to develop in the Los Angeles area the first modern multi track super speedway. In 1967 on behalf of a small group of private equity investors which included Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette; Lockton optioned 14 parcels of land constituting 800 acres (3.2 km2) in Ontario, California. In 1968, he raised $25 million in tax-free municipal bonds and $5 million in equity. As President and CEO he oversaw the construction of the Ontario Motor Speedway (OMS), the marketing campaign and launched the first year of racing. OMS opened on Labor Day 1970 with the Inaugural California 500 Mile Race, an Indianapolis 500-type open wheel oval track race.
Ontario was the first and only automobile racing facility designed to accommodate major races sanctioned by all of the four dominant and independent racing sanctioning bodies: USAC, for an Indy 500 open wheel oval car race (The California 500); NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing), for a stock car 500-mile (800 km) oval race, (The Miller 500); NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), for a drag race, (The Super Nationals); and a FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) Formula One race, (The Questor Grand Prix). Each of these races drew attendance second only to their counterparts, the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the NHRA Indy Nationals and the Watkins Glen Formula One race. It is estimated that the 800-acre (3.2 km2) facility with 155,000 permanent seats and an air-conditioned private stadium club would have a replacement cost today of over $250 million. The 155,000 permanent seats were sold out almost 90 days before the Inaugural California 500. The race drew 178,000 in paid attendance, second only to the Indianapolis 500 and until 2004, was the largest one day crowd ever to attend a single day sporting event.
In addition to the award winning marketing and PR campaign, Lockton introduced many innovations to the sport of automobile racing, including a private stadium club with annual subscription members, corporate suites, crash absorbent retaining walls and safety fences, the first Pro-Am celebrity race, and a computerized, wireless real-time timing and scoring system. In 1971, Lockton sold his interest in OMS and was honored by the Society of Automotive Engineers for his contributions to safety in Automobile Racing. He was also voted by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association as one of three individuals who had most contributed to the advancement of the sport.
International Race of Champions
Upon leaving the Ontario Motor Speedway, Lockton created and developed the format for IROC (The International Race of Champions) the longest running made for television series that aired on ABC from 1973 to 2006. IROC was an auto racing competition. Champion drivers from the Indianapolis, NASCAR, F1, and road racing series were invited to race identically-prepared cars set up by a single team of mechanics in an effort to make the race purely a test of driver ability.
In 1972 Lockton purchased California Business, a controlled circulation business publication based in Los Angeles and converted it to a paid weekly. Using direct mail to acquire paid subscribers, he increased advertising revenues and brought the publication to break-even in two years. California Business was the first regional business weekly in the country. Regional business publications subsequently became a multi billion dollar publishing segment. The publication pioneered the concept of “Annual Reports,” “Corporate Update” and “Corporate Listing” sections, in which companies paid to distribute their annual reports, ran “advertorials” and brief corporate descriptions. These features have subsequently been used by many business publications including Fortune, Barron’s, and Forbes.
Data Broadcasting (formerly Dataspeed, now IDC)
In 1981 Lockton moved from Los Angeles to Silicon Valley to apply his experience at California Business with subscription based financial information and at the Ontario Motor Speedway with the wireless technology behind the real-time timing and scoring system, to stock market trading information. He purchased a controlling interest in Data Broadcasting (originally Dataspeed, a company that had developed a pc version of the Ontario wireless real time scoring system) where he invented the hand held wireless QuoTrek, the first product to utilize “push” technology and wireless data, to deliver real time stock and commodity trading information to paying subscribers in a mobile environment. He successfully petitioned United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deregulate and permit the use of the analog sub-carrier (FCC Docket 82-536) for the real time broadcast of digital data. He successfully negotiated with the Boards of Governors of the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, and Amex exchanges as well as the Chicago Board of Trade and Commodities Exchange Center to create a low cost “non professional” fee structure for their real time trading information, thereby pioneering a consumer market for real time stock and futures trading. The first nationwide real time wireless data network he created supported the QuoTrek and Signal services which won numerous awards. With the QuoTrek’s companion invention, Signal, a wireless modem linked to a PC and Lotus 1-2-3 software to manage multiple investment accounts, the services generated over $1.3 billion in revenues over their product lives. George Guilder credited the QuoTrek in Life After Television (Norton 1992, pp 66-67) as the invention which created the communications paradigm known as “push” or “always on” data. Guilder predicted a revolution in the way time sensitive data would be delivered which is now pervasive on the Web and Cellular 3G networks. In 1984 Lockton designed and developed the prototype of a multi-purpose hand held device, the Informa, with a backlit LCD screen and alpha/numeric keyboard, designed to use the nationwide real time wireless data network of FM radio stations Lockton had assembled. In addition to user specified stocks and commodities quotes, news, weather and sports information in real time, the user could send wireless email and messages via a built in phone modem instantly received by the addressee wherever they were. The Informa concept preceded the Web by nine years, real-time wireless messaging by several years and the data capabilities of the 2G cellular networks by 10 years. In 1985 Data Broadcasting was sold to Lotus Development Corporation which never introduced the Informa.
Interactive Network, Inc.
In 1987 Lockton founded Interactive Network (IN) based upon a patent received for the use of wireless push technology to control TV viewers in real-time games of skill based upon unfolding televised sports, game shows and entertainment programming. Financed by NBC, Cablevision Systems, TCI, The Grenada Group (Great Britain), Le GroupeVideotron (Canada), United Artists, A.C. Nielsen, Gannett, Sprint and Motorola, Interactive Network developed a device similar to the Informa, the “Interactive Control Unit,” which won the International Design Award idesignawards.com for best consumer product. IN went public on the NASDAQ exchange in 1991. The Company operated a subscription based “play-along’ entertainment service, developing over 50 games to play along with live TV sports, news, and entertainment programming for prizes. IN conducted four increasingly successful test markets from 1990 to 1995 in Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and Indianapolis. The Company pioneered many of the interactive television game formats now utilized worldwide in connection with live television programming. Variously called, “Enhanced TV,” or “Play Along TV.” IN established a Charter Interactive Advertising Consortium with P&G, Chrysler, Pepsi, American Airlines, and the Ad Council (the leader in public service announcements) to develop and test the first real time interactive and lead generating two-screen TV commercials. In August 1994 on the eve of the national roll-out of the Interactive Network service, IN suspended operations and the board of directors subsequently file litigation against lead investor, TCI for conspiring to wrongfully acquire title to IN’s patents and intellectual property through a financing scheme. The litigation was settled in IN’s favor in April 1998. The lawsuit against TCI was subject of a front page feature article in The Wall Street Journal.
Upon the expiration in 2004 of the Lockton/Interactive Network patents, Lockton founded AirPlay, Inc., to apply the wireless software technology developed at Data Broadcasting and Interactive Network to the cellular platform. From 2004 to 2009, AirPlay developed for the cell platform many of the games pioneered at Interactive Network, playable with televised baseball, basketball and football games as well as game shows such as Jeopardy, Deal or No Deal and Big Brother. Lockton served on the board of directors and consulted part-time to the Company concentrating on intellectual property and special projects, including negotiations with Sony (owner of Jeopardy). AirPlay was the first and only company to utilize the cellular networks to allow TV viewers to play along with television programming and win prizes in real-time games of skill on their cell phones. AirPlay established broadcast distribution agreements with all the major carriers. The Company launched Jeopardy with Sony Pictures Entertainment on 220 syndicated TV stations using patent pending technology to precisely synchronize the fast paced game with the unfolding telecast for each separate syndicated station. In August 2009, after AirPlay failed to raise the marketing capital required to launch the service on a nationwide basis in the recession, all of the AirPlay intellectual property, including pending patents and software was acquired by WinView, Inc.
In 2009 Lockton founded WinView to exploit the application of the real-time wireless technology he has developed since 1988, to solve the problem of declining television advertising viewership, by motivating TV viewers to participate in real-time with television commercials as they are broadcast.
Arizona Colorado Land & Cattle Company (Amex:AZL)
Co-Founder, Director 1965 – 1975
AZL was the largest integrated cattle/feeding/land company in the US. Subsequently acquired by a Canadian conglomerate. Purchased with four partners a bankrupt cattle company and grew to $120 million in sales and $8.5 million in after-tax profits in five years. Now owned by Tosco.
Laister Sail Planes, Inc.
Chairman of the Board 1972 – 1975
Laister was a sailplane manufacturer using advanced techniques in epoxy-bonded metal wing construction invented by Jack Laister, whose gliders were widely used in World War II. Laister built the first and only US manufactured glider to ever win the North American Standard Class Soaring Championship.
Director 1967 – 1975
Lockton was a founding investor, director in the purchase of Rytex by Richard Morris, which became the largest thermal-engraved personal stationery company in the United States at the time.
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