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Media, sports, and entertainment: A talk with Greg Maffei

June 27, 2023

Media, sports, and entertainment: A talk with Greg Maffei

Greg Maffei

President & CEO of Liberty Media Corporation

Catch up with Greg Maffei, the CEO of Liberty Media group, as he and Willy Walker discuss his stellar career.

Greg Maffei oversees the Liberty Family of companies, which owns subsidiaries like Formula 1 and the Atlanta Braves, as well as interests in SiriusXM and Live Nation Entertainment. In addition to overseeing this wide array of companies, he also serves as President and CEO of Liberty Broadband Corporation, which owns considerable stakes in Charter Communications and GCI, an Alaskan Cable Company. Greg also serves as Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, SiriusXM, and Trip Advisor.

This incredible list of positions is only a small portion of his ever-growing resume. To hear about Greg’s full list of titles, as well as his takes on everything from Formula 1 to lessons he learned from Bill Gates, check out our chat in a recent episode of the Walker Webcast.

Lessons from Bill Gates

One of the accolades that we didn’t mention above is that Greg served as the CFO of Microsoft throughout the 90s, so he spent quite a bit of time with Bill Gates. Throughout the time they spent together, Greg picked up some very important business lessons from Gates—the most prominent of which is to remain unbiased when trying to solve a problem with your team. Often, leaders become infatuated with their own ideas and find being objective very difficult.

Fortunately, this was never an issue for Gates. Greg recounted how Gates would call meetings to discuss an issue, and then put his proposed solution to the side when he heard a better idea from one of his team members. This is likely one of the many reasons that Microsoft has become one of the largest companies in the world by market cap.

Buying and marketing Formula 1

Prior to Liberty Media’s ownership of Formula 1, the sport had been rather stagnant for a few years, with little penetration into the American market. However, Greg recognized that there was potential to build the brand into a high-growth sports franchise. He saw a sport that was very entertaining, with lots of potential but little marketing behind it and no push for expansion into the US. So, when Liberty acquired Formula 1, appointing a marketing legend like Chase Carey as CEO was a no-brainer.

The Formula 1 acquisition has been a home run for Liberty Media. With top-notch marketing execution, and a hit Netflix series, Formula 1: Drive to Survive, the sport gained incredible popularity in the US and globally. Seemingly overnight, Liberty Media went from a business that only paid for sports rights to one that also gets paid for sports rights. This, of course, was a welcomed change by Greg and his team.

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