Brian Locklear

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On November 20, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on MLB Advanced Media: The future of America’s pastime :

Pretty incredible story. I wish we could do a case on BAM – I would love to understand how, out of all the potential companies competing to bring live streaming to the masses, a spin-off of a sports league would be emerging as a leader. I expect that a great decision MLB made from the beginning was to set up BAM as its own division. There’s such a conflict of interest when relationships with the major TV networks are so important to MLB, and then to be building a disruptor to their industry in-house. I bet the MLB executives assumed this was a minor, “toy” project, and then were surprised once MLBTV came out of nowhere to have such great success.

On November 20, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on Behind Moneyball 2.0 Stands STATS :

Great article and interesting conclusions. They definitely have a challenge in that there are a set number of potential customers, so they have no ability to increase potential market share in that segment. I think a huge long-term opportunity will be bringing some of their technological advancements for teams further down the sports ladder to lesser levels. Given all of the equipment required to set up one NBA team with the product, I assume that would be way too expensive for individual consumers to ever buy. But I’m sure US NCAA teams at some point will start taking an interest in the technology. As STATS improves its own internal technology, they may be able to bring down the cost enough to get even closer to the mass-market of junior athletes.

On November 20, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on Bringing Tech to the Zoo: The Digital Transformation of Zoo Atlanta :

Great article! It seems like they can strategically use technology is to expand their target market and appeal to different age groups. I used to go to the Atlanta zoo all the time growing up, and while I haven’t been in probably 15 years and am not sure how it has changed, I definitely remember feeling like I had aged out at some point. The most exciting parts of the zoo were targeted towards younger kids, like the petting zoo. With technology they can try to provide a better experience for older age groups. The learning-focused apps and info displays should definitely appeal to adults. I’m sure there are tons of ways to ‘gamify’ the entire zoo for older kids as well – such as a points system based on how many exhibits you check-in at.

On November 17, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on GameStop in the Age of Digital Distribution :

Great article and suggestions for what they should do moving forward, particularly the exclusive content and eSports idea. I think content and experience creation have the most potential. Right now they’re purely a distribution platform, and with all the trends – downloading onto consoles, mobile, faster ecommerce delivery times, etc. – it really does not seem like a sustainable place to be. Along your eSports community idea, I wonder if they could try to turn the stores into local competition / tournament centers and take the eSports local. If they could sponsor a local base of competitive gamers and viewers, maybe then they could try to get into people’s homes by allowing viewership of ‘televised’ content on home consoles, and build out that distribution model that directly reaches gamers at home.

On November 17, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on Bob the Builder Beane’s Dream: Sabermetrics for the Construction Industry :

Great article, definitely seems like Rhumbix has a huge opportunity to create value via efficiency and cost savings in the industry. One challenge I envision is that on-site workers may not get on board with this. There could be significant pushback against constant monitoring, privacy invasion, and complete visibility into how much they are actually accomplishing during the day. Given the type of work (high effort, outdoor, manual labor) and pay structure (likely pretty low, hourly, with few performance incentives), I’d guess that a lot of the inefficiency in the industry is due to workers getting tired, taking breaks, or just plain slacking. Rhumbix, or the construction site manager, would have to be very thoughtful in pitching this to the on-site workers, to make sure they don’t just set their phones down on the ground each day and “forget” to put them back in their pockets.

On November 7, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on Not Only Is Vegas Taking Your Green, It’s Going Green Too :

Great article. Do you know if any of these sustainability initiatives were profit-neutral or accretive? For example, I know LED lights are often touted as not only more energy-efficient, but also less costly over the lifetime of the bulb. The reason I ask: Sands seems to be incredibly committed to going green, and I wonder if its truly out of altruism or if they have figured out a way to do this with alignment to the bottom-line. If the latter, then this would seem to be very replicable across the industry and have massive impact.

On November 7, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on Climate Change May Present Opportunities for Vail Resorts, Inc. :

This seems simplistic, but I wonder if another potential solution could be to transition its portfolio further north. I’m no expert on ski mountains, but I assume there are many in Canada that Vail could begin to target and invest in. This could come in the form of building out a new mountain or buying one, and preferably before demand moves to those more ideal snowfall areas and raises the potential acquisition price. As you mention, among any resort operator, given its scale and resources Vail would seem best equipped to execute this sort of portfolio transition. Clearly it would not solve the root of the climate change problem, as warmer weather would impact these more northern resorts as well, but at least they can begin the process of getting away from Colorado and Utah before the ski season shortens to 6 weeks.

At first glance, climate change and Catholicism could not seem further removed. I am very impressed and a little shocked that the church has chosen this topic as a way to modernize, and you describe the thought process and potential benefits very well. I’m still skeptical of its potential impact, largely because the gap in the “target markets” between Catholicism and climate change seems to be too large. I think the church would be better served to choose a topic that already has atleast some bit of resonance or potential bridge with its current audience. For example, presumably 50% of Catholics are women, so in theory choosing a topic related to women’s rights should resonate more easily and quickly with a large group of Catholics… although maybe they’re already focused on this? The benefit to the Church of pushing climate change is that, if successful, it could connect with all Catholics regardless of demographic, so from that perspective I see the allure.

On November 7, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on Aramco: Oil Giant Feels the Heat :

Aramco really does appear to have the most to lose with climate change. The company is blessed with market power as well as the persuasion power that comes with its size and importance globally, so it will be in a better position than anyone to defend its business. Most of the initiatives and recommendations in your excellent post, such as strategic partnerships and self-imposed standards, will be very helpful towards this goal. And I believe they’ll be very successful at this, but if you care to think over the super long-term, say 50 or 100 years, it is definitely challenging to see how Aramco can thrive. The option to invest in renewables and diversify away from oil is the best long-term solution I see, but as you say, oil is where the profit is. I assume that, from a decision-making standpoint, the company would struggle to invest heavily in that area when it effectively means eroding away at their core business.

On November 7, 2016, Brian Locklear commented on H&M: Environmental Steward or Greenwashing Marketer? :

It’s impressive that H&M has put so many initiatives into place to build a more sustainable supply chain. They’ve made an effort to attack the issue on as many fronts as possible, at both the demand and supply levels: setting ambitious sustainable sourcing goals, launching an eco-friendly sub-brand / collection, the trade-in program, energy efficiency within stores, etc. The eco-friendly collection is especially creative and I will be interested to see how this effort does over the years. Giving consumers the option in-store to either buy eco-friendly or non-eco-friendly clothes will be an interesting case study or proxy for how much the cause truly resonates with consumers. My hunch is that this will remain a niche collection, if it survives at all, but maybe if public opinion and media pressure on these climate change and sustainability issues gain steam, we will see consumers actually make that choice.