My guest today is Wyc Grousbeck, lead owner and CEO of the 17-time world champion Boston Celtics. Wyc is also a founder and managing partner of Causeway Media Partners, a venture capital firm focused on sports media and technology. Additionally, Wyc sits on the board of several startups, NBC Sports Boston, Mass General Brigham, and is a co-founder of Cincoro Spirits Group, a tequila company started by Wyc, his wife Emilia, and three other NBA Owners.
In today’s episode, Wyc and I discussed what it’s like to own an NBA team, what Wyc looks for when investing in companies or people, and what Wyc’s beginnings in business were like. We also discussed how the pandemic is going to affect sports, along with Cincoro Tequila.
3:00 – Owning an NBA Team. “Talk about being humbled. I knew I couldn’t run a basketball team from the basketball side so I could try to run the business side and support the basketball side.”
10:00 – Investing in Businesses vs. People. “You’re looking for great people that you just have to be involved with. Once you meet them, you can’t forget them.”
18:00 – Wyc’s Beginnings. “I saw all of these business deals happen. That was like 3-4 years of my life seeing all of this stuff but realizing I didn’t want to be doing just the paperwork. I didn’t want to be the umpire in the chair at Wimbledon, I wanted to be playing in the match. I wanted to be in the arena.”
25:00 – Being the Owner When the Team is Not Winning. “If you can get through a 17-game losing streak, you can get through anything.”
34:00 – Pandemic & Sports. “I am involved with a vaccine project so I have somewhat of a window into what is going on with vaccines. And there are going to be at least 10 vaccines in human trials by September and some are in human trials right now. And a lot of them seem, to the scientists, to have a really good chance at being effective.”
40:00 – Cincoro Tequila. “When people taste the stuff, they say, ‘this is amazing.’ Then they share it with their friends and the sales take off.”