Name: Mark Biskamp
New title: Vice president and general counsel, Houston Rockets and Comets
Previous job: Lawyer, Baker Botts LLP
First job: Grocery store bagger
Education: Bachelor of arts, Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program (1979), University of Texas; law degree (1982), Southern Methodist University School of Law; master’s, educational and school psychology (1994), and Ph.D., clinical psychology (1998), University of Virginia
Grew up: Dallas
Executive most admired: Warren Buffett
Brand most admired: Toyota
Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii
Last book read: “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins
Last movie seen: “Spider-Man”
Favorite movie: “The Godfather: Part II”
Favorite music: Celine Dion, musical soundtracks
Typical hours worked in a week: 60+
Aside from making him a member of the organization’s senior management committee, Mark Biskamp’s new position with the Houston Rockets and Comets as vice president and general counsel includes responsibility for both team operations and all legal matters concerning business.
Biskamp’s focus includes legal matters for Toyota Center, television and radio agreements, sponsorship agreements, intellectual property, human resource matters, and compliance with league rules. Biskamp also assists the basketball operations staff with player contracts.
Biskamp got his start when he received a degree from the University of Texas, but continued from there for more education. Before joining the Rockets and Comets, Biskamp got his law degree, and a master’s and doctorate. He is not only a lawyer but also a licensed psychologist.
What’s the biggest challenge in your new position?
We’d like to build a champion team in business and the community. My biggest challenge is pulling each of those elements together.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Going back to school to get my Ph.D., after being in the work force for 10 years. I left a high-paying job to go back to school.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
From scratch, I helped build a several-million-dollar real estate company. When the company, called Carter Crowley Properties Inc., sold, it was one of the largest privately held real estate companies in Texas.
What is your biggest professional disappointment?
I had some opportunities to become an associate general counsel early in my career. I stayed to work at a law firm instead. Looking back, maybe those would have been roads better taken.
What is your career advice?
To do what you want to do and be willing to take risks. You have to take risks to succeed, and the money will generally follow.
What one story are you continuing to watch in the sports business?
The NBA collective-bargaining agreement that is up next year, in addition to a couple of NBA negotiations.
What one element would you like to change about the sports industry?
It would be a helpful focus to keep in mind that what is good for the sport long term is most important, rather than what is best for an individual.
This Career spotlight is courtesy of the Sports Business Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.