When it comes to being a winner in business, some professions have a more literal measuring stick than others. One Houstonian with a track record of success is Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes, the subject of this week's Profile with Greg Scheinman (10:30 p.m. Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday on Channel 8, Houston PBS).
"He is a two-time honoree on Sports Business Journal's 40 under 40 list, and still a young guy," host Greg Scheinman says. "Jamey has always been an athlete and was always interested in sports, played everything including stickball in the streets growing up in Georgia. Went to Clemson and played soccer there and won two NCAA titles."
"He's also what I can only describe as a natural born leader — he was also student body president at Clemson — he's just that kind of guy. He got an MBA at Indiana even though he's always been interested in sports the question was whether he wanted to go the coaching route or business direction," Scheinman says. "While getting his MBA, he served as the assistant soccer coach at Indiana and eventually made the decision to walk away from that to be more involved in business aspect."
Rootes found early success: His first job in sports at the ripe old age of 28 was as president and general manager of the Columbus Crew, one of Major League Soccer's inaugural 10 teams.
"It's a funny story: He said he had a great meeting and came home thinking he got the job but that he wasn't even sure what job was," Scheinman says. "But he built the team up, was named (Major League Soccer's first-ever) executive of the year in 1996 and marketing executive of year in 1999 — he really thrives in that role."
Coming on with the Texans as the franchise was getting off the ground, Scheinman says Rootes helped to oversee stadium naming rights, sponsoring rights, radio and TV rights, and the launch of the team's identity.
"If he wasn't doing this he definitely has a career ahead of him in motivational speaking, with his infectious personality and you-can-do-it attitude," Scheinman says. "I think he'd be successful at whatever he decides to do, and do it to 110 percent of his ability and capability. When we talked about management style, he's much more interested in someone's passion for the job.
"Are you hungry? Are you passionate? Are you a winner? Better to take a chance on that type of a persona than someone who has experience but isn't going to get it done right."
Scheinman and Rootes started the interview at his home in West University with Rootes' wife and children, then headed to Reliant where they took a behind-the-scenes tour and filmed in the empty stadium.
"We didn't totally change the format to Cribs, but there's a lot of walking and talking. It was hard to conduct the interview for me because I kept wanting to look around at everything. We were standing in the same tunnel that the team runs out, and could see the team and players working out doing off-season training."
CultureMap is the official online home of Profile — and you can watch exclusive clips of all the episodes in the series (season one and the current season two) on our special Profile page.