The Business of Youth Sports

October 2nd, 2009

This week, we explore the marketplace and culture of youth sports. How are adults and our broader national culture of competition impacting childhood development? How can youth sports help kids grow up to be successful? We’ll lay out some of the challenges facing youth sports today and then talk to some innovators in the field to find out new ways for parents, coaches and kids to build healthy emotional and physical skills.

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Mark Hyman
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Mark Hyman is a contributing editor at BusinessWeek and the author of the new book Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession With Youth Sports. Prior to joining BusinessWeek, he spent nearly 20 years as a reporter for newspapers including the Baltimore Sun where he was an enterprise and investigative reporter in the sports department. During his time at the Sun, earned his law degree from the University of Maryland. He blogs at and also contributes to BusinessWeek’s Working Parents blog.

Jim Thompson
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[audio:]Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson is the founder and director of Positive Coaching Alliance, a national nonprofit organization of parents, coaches and youth sports organizations dedicated to improving youth sports by developing a positive character building approach. Jim has more than 20 years of teaching, coaching and management experience working with a variety of individuals and groups. He was formerly Director of Stanford Business School’s Public Management Program and his experiences as a youth coach led him to write two books on the subject: “Positive Coaching: Building Character and Self-Esteem Through Sports” and “Shooting in the Dark: Tales of Coaching and Leadership“.

Frank Fiume
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[audio:]Frank Fiume
Frank Fiume is founder and CEO of i9 Sports Corporation. Noticing from his own experience that the amateur sports industry was poorly organized on the local level, Frank applied the marketing and business skills he acquired with medical device companies to create ABA Sports in 1995. Over time, it grew at an astonishing rate, becoming i9 Sports corporation, the nationā€˜s first complete amateur sports franchise business allowing individuals to organize leagues, tournaments, camps, clinics, train officials, and sell sporting goods and custom uniforms while working with the local amateur organizations and parks and recreation departments.

(this program was originally broadcast on July 3rd, 2009)

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