By Brandon Gillet
Who would have thought that an intense moment in sports could come in the form of a motionless group transfixed on the words of one man?
That’s exactly what happened at Algonquin’s Pembroke campus when seasoned analyst and editor of Sports Business News Howard Bloom delivered a lecture regarding current events in the corporate world of sports.
A crowd of varying ages and even the junior-A Pembroke Lumber Kings hockey team were in attendance. Everyone was deeply engaged in Bloom’s insights into the business and sometimes political aspects of sports.
During his visit, which manager of community and student affairs Jaime Bramburger described as a way to “diversify our lecture series,” Bloom offered his analysis on a wide variety of issues in all sports platforms with an emphasis on Canadian involvement and prospects. Strategies on ticket sales, player trades, league expansions, debates on regulations and the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games were explored thoroughly.
Bloom commented on the heated discussions on fighting which took place at an NHL general managers meeting on Nov.12.
“I hope something positive rather than tragic happens to change it because I think it can be a better game without fighting,” he said.
He further supported his position during the lecture by pointing out that Olympic hockey is exciting, and there is no fighting in the Olympics.
Regarding the upcoming games in Sochi, Russia, Bloom touched on statements made by the country about their anti-gay laws and the banning of amateur-standard media such as cellphones, tablets, Twitter, Vine and Instagram.
“It will be interesting to see what the Russians will do; they’ll do nothing,” said Bloom. “Are they going to do something to people recording with phones? No, because someone will capture it and send it out globally.”
“The Olympics are supposed to be about the world coming together, not pulling it apart,” said Bloom. “Russia is shooting themselves in the foot just by saying things like that.”
Bloom got to where he is by being passionate about what he does. Growing up in Montreal, he was sports editor for his school’s paper and manager of the basketball team at both his high school and Dawson College. At Carleton he was again manager of the basketball team and wrote for the paper.
“I’ve always been interested in sports and journalism, which evolved into sports management, for a long time,” said Bloom. “Now I’m doing sports management and journalism which is what I was always most interested in.”
The lecture wrapped up with a question and answer session which drew questions from the crowd about possible future lockouts, expansions and anything else that could speak to the future of their favorite team or sport. Bloom responded with thorough analysis and opinions leaving the audience satisfied and informed.
According to Bloom, sports business is important to any player, staff member or fan.
“If you want to understand what’s happening on a playing field, you better understand what’s going on in the boardroom,” said Bloom. “I think that’s more important than ever that sports is a multi-billion dollar business.”