Jon Spoelstra is an American author, sports marketer, and a former National Basketball Association executive for the Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets. He is the co-founder of SRO Partners, and he currently serves as president of Mandalay Sports Entertainment. Spoelstra graduated from Notre Dame in 1966. Spoelstra was a judge at the Miss America 2004 contest. He and his wife Elisa Celino have two children: Monica and Erik, who is the current head coach of the Miami Heat. Spoelstra's own father was sports writer Watson Spoelstra.
NBA and business career
After graduating from Notre Dame in 1966, Spoelstra founded his first marketing company in 1970, The New School of Youth Marketing and Other Phenomena Inc. In the mid-1970s his company obtained the rights to syndicate Notre Dame basketball games for $2,000 per game. In 1977, Spoelstra's career in the NBA began when the Buffalo Braves hired him as vice president of marketing. One of his biggest tasks he was assigned was to prevent a relocation of the Braves, although the team moved to San Diego ten months later. In 1979, then Portland Trail Blazers owner Larry Weinberg hired Spoelstra as senior vice president and general manager where he would serve for ten years before resigning.
The Denver Nuggets hired Spoelstra in 1989 as president and general manager, however, he was fired after only 90 days due to a dispute with management. Afterwards, Spoelstra returned to Portland where he co-founded SRO Partners, and began teaching sports marketing at the University of Portland. He began consulting for the New Jersey Nets in March 1991, and later became the team's president 1993. During his time with the Nets, Spoelstra implemented clever marketing tactics which contributed to increasing the team's home game attendance from last in the league when he first arrived to best in the NBA. His most famous marketing gimmick that he is known for came in 1994 when Spoelstra sent rubber chickens through direct mail with the tagline "Don't Fowl Out!" to Nets season ticket holders who had not yet renewed their season tickets.
- Spoelstra, Jon (1997). Ice to the Eskimos: How to Market a Product Nobody Wants. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0061745839.
- Spoelstra, Jon (1999). Success is Just One Wish Away. DelStar Books. ISBN 1891686151.
- Spoelstra, Jon (2001). Marketing Outrageously Redux: How to Increase Your Revenue by Staggering Amounts. Bard Press. ISBN 1885167504.
- Robertson, Linda (June 16, 2013). "Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra Learned Valuable Lessons From His Father". The Miami Herald. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- "Mascothalloffame.com". Mascothalloffame.com. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
- Bhonslay, Marianne (March 8, 1999). "Selling the 'Less Than Best'". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
- Abrams, Jonathan (May 28, 2011). "Spoelstra Raised to Be in N.B.A., and Rising to Challenge". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2013.