Peter Guber told Oscar Goodman, the then mayor of Las Vegas, that he’d come to deliver box office success for Vegas — this time not through movies but through baseball. His ask – support the build of a triple AAA baseball stadium in Goodman’s fair city. As proof, Guber reeled off the data, facts and bullet points that he was sure would mesmerize him: figures proving Mandalay professional baseball kept design and construction costs down, quality up, and completion on schedule. Mandalay’s most recent stadium, built for their single-A Cincinnati Reds team in Dayton, Ohio, featured amenities such as upper-deck seating and luxury suites, making it unique among minor league ballparks at the time.
Guber gestured toward the window view of cranes marching across the desert. “All those new hometown fans in Las Vegas deserve a legacy team and ballpark of their own.” The mayor considered this statement. Then he asked, “Can you deliver a major league team here?”
Had someone dubbed the word “major” into his mouth? He’d stopped listening the instant Guber said, “minor league,” but Guber was so caught up in his facts and figures that Guber thought he was just confused. “This is professional baseball, all major league affiliates,” Guber assured him. “You’ll be able to ride on the back of the most storied team in pro history — the Los Angeles Dodgers.”
He shook his head. “We’re overdue for something really, really big.”
“What I’m proposing is huge,” Guber insisted. “In the years since our stadium opened in Dayton, we’ve sold out every single game. That’s an unprecedented phenomenon. And we intend to surpass it here.”
Goodman shot Guber a cold squint. “This ain’t Dayton, kiddo.”
MORE ABOUT TELL TO WIN
To validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.