Terdema Ussery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Terdema L. Ussery II
President & CEO of Dallas Mavericks
Nationality American
Education Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University, University of California at Berkeley,

Terdema L. Ussery II recently resigned as President and CEO of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks after almost 19 years. During that time, he also served as President of the Dallas Mavericks Foundation as well as an alternate governor for the Mavericks on the NBA Board of Governors.[1] Ussery is currently on sabbatical.

Early life[edit]

Ussery grew up in the Watts/Compton section of South Central Los Angeles, California and attended The Thacher School in Ojai, California. In 1981, he earned a bachelor's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he was a football team walk-on. Ussery later obtained a master's degree from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1984. His law degree is from UC Berkeley, where he served as an executive editor of the California Law Review.[2]

Ussery practiced business law at the international firm of Morrison and Foerster representing Bank of America and the Industrial Bank of Japan, amongst others. He moved to Denver to become the deputy commissioner and general counsel of the CBA, (Continental Basketball Association) on the invitation of then-commissioner Irv Kaze.[3] Ussery eventually became CBA Commissioner, the first African American to operate a professional sports league. His two-and-a-half-year term was highlighted by a rapid increase in franchise value and overall league-wide financial stability. While serving as CBA commissioner, Ussery's accomplishments were profiled in Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and a host of other national publications.

In August 1993, Ussery was named president of Nike Sports Management. While reporting to Nike Chairman & CEO Phil Knight, Ussery's responsibilities included marketing, adverstising, branding, and negotiating on behalf of and marketing Nike's most elite pro athletes, including Alonzo Mourning, Ki-Jana Carter, Deion Sanders, Ken Griffey Jr., Picabo Street, Roy Jones Jr., Dan O'Brien, Scottie Pippen and Mike Mussina. Nike Sports Management was also integral in the launch of Coca-Cola's Powerade brand.

Prior to being the President & CEO of the Dallas Mavericks for 18 years, Ussery was commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). He was appointed as CEO of the Dallas Mavericks in 1997, upon which he announced his goal to make his organization the best sports entertainment company in the country.[4] In his first season with the Mavericks, he led a successful campaign which resulted in public funding in the amount of $240 million for the construction of the American Airlines Center. He actively participated in the architectural selection, design and construction of the building. Ussery was also intimately involved in securing the naming rights partnership with Dallas/Fort Worth based American Airlines for the downtown facility.

Under his direction, the club has more than tripled revenue and exponentially increased its media and digital footprint by establishing new (and expanding existing) media partnerships across multiple platforms. The Mavericks are entering their eleventh consecutive sold out season. Additionally, the Dallas Maverick Foundation has distributed $1 million-plus to over forty agencies whose aim and mission is to improve the lives of those in need. Both Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News have previously ranked Ussery as one of the most powerful executives in sports, and in 2003 Ussery was named the Corporate Executive of the Year by Black Enterprise Magazine. Additionally, the Mavericks are consistently ranked by ESPN as one of the top organizations in all of professional sports.

As one of the original creators and partners of HDNet, Ussery served as its CEO for 10 years. In that capacity, he was responsible for developing and negotiating all of the original content and distribution deals with MSO's covering multi-digital and non-digital platforms. On the content side, this included deals with MLB, the NHL, MLS, the National Lacrosse League, and NHK, The Japanese Broadcasting Company. On the distribution side, Ussery negotiated the launch dealing with DirecTV. He was also primarily responsible for the network's relationship with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other governing bodies.

In 2014, Ussery was also among the candidates to replace Billy Hunter as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. He eventually lost out to Michele Roberts.

Board commitments[edit]

He is on the board of TreeHouse Foods Inc., (NYSE), where he serves on several committees. He also recently acted as Lead Independent Director of The Timberland Company, most critically during its strategic sale to VF. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Wingate Partners, LLP, a Dallas private equity partnership. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Dallas Housing Authority. Ussery, a popular speaker at companies and on campuses nationwide, has taught Business Ethics and Corporate Governance as an adjunct professor on the graduate business school level. Ussery is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, where he served on its Executive Committee and acted as University Orator in 2008. He also serves on several not for profit boards, including the Communities Foundation of Texas where he serves as Vice Chairman of the Board.  He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on its membership committee.  Ussery sits on the advisory board of the Yale Divinity School.

Corporate and charitable governance[edit]

Ussery holds positions in several charities and companies, including:

  • Dallas Mavericks, President and CEO[1]
  • Dallas Housing Authority, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners
  • HDNet, CEO[5]
  • Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, Board member
  • Board of Trustees, Communities Foundation of Texas.
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Wingate Partners, Advisory Board
  • Princeton University, Board of Trustees Member[6]
  • Timberland, Board of Directors Member[7]
  • Treehouse Foods, Board of Directors Member[8]
  • CTS America, Board of Directors Member[9]
  • Texas Health Resources, Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation, Board of Directors Member [10]
  • Dallas After School All-Stars, Board of Directors Member[11]
  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Board of Directors


External links[edit]