This article originally appeared in On Leadership at The Washington Post. For the original piece click here.
Since the phenomenon of Moneyball, a baseball story of a few number crunchers on small-market teams using statistical analyses to effectively compete with large-market teams, there has been an influx of self-proclaimed geeks — advanced statisticians, engineers, economists, and MBAs with a focus on analytics — who have weaved their way into the very fabric of professional sport organizations.
Perhaps that is why comedian Drew Carey, known for “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and the current host of game show “The Price Is Right,” initially seemed so out of place at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference where he appeared on a conference panel with executives from the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Houston Rockets and Houston Astros. But Carey also happens to be part owner of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders Football Club, a 2009 expansion team. And he stole the show.
Not for his one-liners, but for his innovative ideas. After he completed his conference duties, Carey sat down to talk with us about how the Sounders were able to quickly establish a loyal fan base, set MLS records for attendance, and make the playoffs in each of their first three years of existence.
The rest of this article can be found here.