3d secure credit card transactions how to pay off sallie mae loans airmiles credit card td custom visa gift cards buy prepaid uk credit card pay ann taylor credit card online this transaction cannot be processed without a credit card verification number guaranteed payday loans on benefits compare bank of america credit cards low interest cibc credit cards wells fargo secured credit card business td visa credit card fees can you get a victoria secret credit card with no credit history low interest credit cards canada student usaa world mastercard? credit card review best credit card transfer offers with 0 balance transfer virtual credit cards chase 5 best credit cards for college students mastercard amazon subscribe and save what does apr for cash advances mean wells fargo credit card rewards catalog compare citibank and standard chartered credit card how does 0 apr credit card work easy credit card checker 2010 sears credit cards online bill pay apply for unsecured credit card with bad credit long term loans with bad credit history payday lenders no brokers uk hdfc credit card deals cleartrip citibank credit cards online apply what is the minimum payment on a virgin credit card unsecured debt consolidation loans bad credit lowest flat rate credit card processing pay value city credit card maurices credit card can a credit card company sue you in california tesco bank credit card balance transfers visa cards india cancel best buy credit card application gas credit card reviews hsbc credit card reward points pakistan best cash reward business credit card no credit credit cards instant approval canada best 2 cash back cards how long to pay off credit card with minimum payment formula 0 interest free balance transfer credit cards sbi visa gold international debit card pay american airlines credit card online credit card minimum payment calculator uk disputing credit card charges american express do i need to have a credit card for paypal account who has the best rewards credit card instant cash loans in minutes paying off credit card debt python fake credit card number security code and expiration date can you pay best buy credit card in store hsbc student credit card limit chase credit card application rejected credit card bank identification number bin list of all secured credit cards virtual credit card using paypal visa credit card for bad credit unsecured united airlines credit card offer uk close credit card affect credit score visa card application pdf anz platinum credit card travel insurance list of payday lenders no credit check android app for store reward cards new unsecured bad credit cards best canadian cash back credit cards visa cash card mobile credit card processing through paypal how can credit cards offer cash back american express gold credit card review visa debit card online registration credit card loan calculator excel no fax easy payday loans bankamericard cash rewards platinum plus visa secured credit card vat on credit card handling fees capital one credit card review canada target credit card applications online need credit card 1000 limit bad credit credit card machines for small business with bad credit how to get your first credit card in canada my virgin credit card payment cibc credit cards aventura bad credit loans bad credit loans online no brokers mbna balance transfer to current account best travel credit cards is credit card interest tax deductible canada japanese credit card number format no credit credit cards instant approval uk age to apply for credit card canada capital one best buy credit card application best buy credit card payment walmart prepaid credit cards phone number register prepaid visa card online chase visa credit card services bank of america student credit card credit score best travel rewards credit card bonus most popular credit cards in usa credit card 0 interest 24 months canada one time credit card numbers uk apply for store credit cards with bad credit online credit card verification tool online cash loans south africa how to prevent credit card fraud on the internet mastercard credit card insurance coverage travel reward credit cards how to increase credit card limit nilson report credit card fraud travel credit cards review canada united explorer credit card reviews average credit card debt for us college students easy credit cards to get approved for students credit card reviews canada 2012 credit card cash advance fee malaysia secured credit cards with no annual fee no application fee best unsecured credit card with bad credit citibank no credit credit card my toyota visa rewards card fnb credit card debit interest rates apply for lifetime free credit card bad credit need a credit card with no upfront setup fees check walmart credit card application status online credit cards accepted at walt disney world icici hpcl platinum credit cards hdfc credit card apply online in bangalore credit card debt reduction calculator for excel credit rating scale bank of america credit card rewards program redeem pay monthly loans unemployed best travel rewards credit card what are some easy store credit cards to get how to open up a door with a credit card check chase freedom credit card application status first data merchant cash advance natwest credit card payment protection how often can i apply for citi credit cards discover credit card application phone number the best credit cards for rewards programs balance transfer credit card calculator intuit gopayment credit card terminal best credit card with rewards no annual fee best credit card approval rates valid visa credit card number apply credit cards india unsecured credit card for bad credit instant approval limitation of online credit card payment system zurich credit card insurance australia get a credit card today ireland denied wells fargo secured credit card manhattan standard chartered credit card helpline my next payday advance best rate credit cards 2011 lowest interest credit cards for good credit compare credit cards for bad credit how to use redeem points in citibank credit card credit card fraud online payment discover student credit card cosigner natwest visa card issue number dbs black american express credit card citi vs discover student credit card reducing credit card debt credit score online merchandise credit cards for bad credit instant cash payday loans online marriott rewards credit cards reviews pay dillards credit card payment online credit card rate reduction services how do you get a nandos black card best way to use a credit card to build your credit first premier credit card application status what is the best credit card for airline miles 2013 online loans in south africa no paperwork is there a halo reach credit limit canadian tire credit card minimum limit hdfc gold credit card limit activate td visa card online speck iphone credit card case capital one platinum card rewards my everyday rewards cards credit card travel rewards reviews credit card for students master credit card everyday rewards cards woolworths credit card for bad credit instant decision t mobile reach credit limit cheapest virtual terminal credit card visa credit card company does dmv accept credit cards ny credit card machine costs uk usaa secured credit card credit check lowest interest rate credit card in india virgin mbna credit card minimum payment wachovia wells fargo credit card rewards black card benefits visa how do i get a credit card if im 18 rbc visa black card requirements citibank credit card interest calculator india secured orchard credit card credit rebuilding credit cards canada how to transfer chase credit card balance to another card loans with bad credit rating in australia axis bank credit cards types best student credit card for travel abroad discover more card no credit history walmart credit card cash back rules discover student credit card bad credit new credit cards for bad credit 2012 mbna virgin credit card customer services which credit cards do not use experian capital one canada credit card agreement best credit cards for students with no credit history axis bank credit card reward points how does walmart credit card cash back work credit card application form best store cards to build credit uk canadian travel credit cards comparison online loan lenders direct online credit card payment hsbc credit card bill can i consolidate my credit card debt into a home loan apple credit card support number 0 interest credit card balance transfer ireland generic one time credit card authorization form balance transfer credit card bank rakyat hdfc bank credit card payment through sbi debit card aarp chase credit card services credit card banks in pune instant access prepaid credit card how hard is it to get a natwest credit card how to get a credit card with bad credit nz view axis bank credit card statement union bank of india credit card application form bank of america credit card cash advance limit best credit cards for no credit 2012 belk credit card application online loans with monthly payments reviews bad credit credit cards unsecured instant approval uk cash canada payday loans red deer which credit card gives the best rewards in us lloyds platinum credit card ppi payday loans online direct lender only chase visa card security code legitimate credit card consolidation companies how to negotiate credit card settlement canada best reward credit cards with no annual fee 2013 capital one credit card application credit card for no credit history capital one city bank credit card apply india goodyear tire credit card sign in prepaid us credit card hsbc corporate credit cards can you refinance auto loan with bad credit hsbc credit card rate of interest avalon costco credit card processing credit card interest rates increase 2013 can you buy a money order with a credit card at the post office western union prepaid credit card canada citibank credit cards uae credit card fraud punishment pennsylvania natwest gold credit card charges icici online credit card application status title loans online no credit check chase visa credit card payment credit card consolidation loans canada santander credit card deals for existing customers icici bank credit card settlement hyderabad rate credit card reward programs care credit application clothing store rewards cards credit card payment machine rental no fee credit cards for poor credit a list of all major credit card companies secured credit card comparison chart free credit card numbers that work 2013 76 gas credit card login best prepaid credit card for usa credit cards 0 interest for 12 months no balance transfer fee best credit card offers 2012 canada low balance transfer credit card canada hdfc credit card number customer care mumbai secured credit card to build credit score prepaid visa cards best travel credit cards canada 2012 world;s first credit card 1950 low interest no fee credit card australia citibank make a payment to credit card how to apply for duplicate sbi credit card online credit card information stolen 2012 citibank credit card promotions philippines paypal prepaid creditcard nederland student credit cards lloyds tsb what is a good apr percentage for a credit card hsbc credit card rewards uk best united mileage plus credit card offer walt disney world credit card benefits where can i use my rbc visa debit card what is the best no fee credit card in canada the bay hbc credit card first national cash advance hdfc platinum credit card flight offer credit cards explained balance transfers best time of year to sign up for a credit card visa credit card applications instant approval online payday loans cash advance payday max best gas credit card deals credit card information that works credit card debt settlement credit card information security policy delta skymiles credit card companion tickets best cash advance online reviews quicken credit card travel miles wells fargo business credit card rewards platinum cardcaptor sakura download instant guaranteed payday loans accept credit cards on iphone uk cibc visa cards with rewards amazon visa rewards card application status best corporate credit card india delta mastercard credit card canada is discover a good first credit card usaa credit card travel notification business credit card with low interest rate tesco credit card 0845 best buy credit card app status top 5 best credit cards 2010 prepaid credit card online canada shell credit card login payment direct online payday loan bulk black cardboard boxes credit cards with airmiles points using us credit cards in canada chevron credit card reference number the first credit card (diners) invented by ralph schneider real credit card numbers 2013 visa teachers credit union secured credit cards chase credit card settlement agreement sbi bank credit card online payment through billdesk credit card offers for 600 credit score credit card 0 balance transfer offers payday loan lenders direct bad credit chase 200 cash back credit card credit card numbers that work 2011 visa mastercard working numbers hack orchard bank visa cards for bad credit virgin credit card balance transfer deals comparing australian credit cards student credit cards no credit history negotiate credit card debt settlement chase credit card companies list wiki sbi credit card online payment neft statute of limitations on credit card debt in india how to make a fake credit card number cash back credit card comparison personal loan quotes online short term cash loans online virtual credit cards using paypal hsbc uk lost credit cards mbna cash back credit card review best points credit card canada 2013 which credit card is easiest to get small business credit card machine portable mastercard careers mba what are the starting numbers for credit cards apply payday loan online no faxing does discover have a credit card for bad credit icici credit card helpline india best buy credit card 6 months no interest chase slate credit card ratings payday loans lenders list chase southwest credit card review usaa bank credit card login credit cards no income 0 interest rate credit card offers anz reloadable prepaid credit cards delta credit card cash program free credit card numbers that work 2012 low credit credit cards australia natwest black card phone insurance citi credit card offers for bad credit pay advance form apply for lane bryant credit card canadian credit cards with no foreign transaction fee instant approval business credit card offers hsbc bank credit card customer care number unsecured visa credit cards for bad credit instant approval what credit card can i apply for with no credit virgin atlantic american express mbna credit card login barclays platinum credit card uae prepaid credit card bank of ireland apply for credit card with no credit history tesco credit card balance transfer existing customer does getting rid of a credit card hurt your credit score sample credit card billing authorization form best airline credit card offers 2013 qxl online payday loan address how to apply for icici credit card in india 12 month interest free balance transfer credit cards canadian government help with credit card debt top ten best credit cards 2013 wells fargo payday advance cheapest cash advance credit card uk standard chartered credit card malaysia review online credit card generator 2013 no download college student bad credit credit cards hsbc credit card security breach pay chase credit card online guaranteed payday loan lenders uk how to upgrade hdfc credit card limit best buy reward credit card lloyds tsb airmiles duo credit card interest rate credit card payment apps for blackberry whats the highest credit card limit business loans based on credit card sales can you transfer credit card balance from one person to another standard chartered credit card offers on ebay which of the following types of credits would best describe credit cards virgin credit cards online services paypal credit card number generator payday loans no credit check direct lenders do you need a credit card to sign up for amazon best first credit card for young adults with no credit citibank credit card types india apply for simmons first credit card credit card loan uae consolidate credit card and student loan debt how to increase hdfc gold credit card limit online credit cards for business owners with bad credit get free credit card details 0 interest balance transfer credit cards malaysia home loans with bad credit rating free gold card hostelworld planet fitness black card uk visa application original green card best credit card rewards offers 2012 reclaim credit card charges 2011 axis bank miles and more credit card sentinel credit card protection insurance prepaid credit card visa bank of america best credit card for rebuilding credit after bankruptcy credit card apps how to apply for a credit card natwest small business options for accepting credit card payments online pay day loans canada pay advance form template business credit card ratings td canada trust visa international phone number cibc credit card balance phone number commonwealth bank of australia credit card travel insurance what is a credit card balance transfer fee best visa credit cards 2011 canada get online visa card apple square credit card reader canada aarp chase visa credit cards gift visa cards where to buy tesco credit card online payment good credit cards to apply for with bad credit credit cards non sterling transaction fees free hsbc credit card apply online create credit card calculator excel direct rewards discover credit card login best airmiles credit card singapore 2013 all major credit cards accepted sign generate valid credit card number secured credit cards uk what credit card should i get for my first one cash advance loans no credit check online cash back mastercard credit cards maurices credit card application best international travel credit cards citibank credit card types chase wireless credit card machines for small business apply for bmo spc mastercard how to apply for a credit card with little to no credit can credit card companies garnish your wages in california how to pay icici credit card bill online from sbi halifax student credit card terms and conditions get credit card numbers for free us prepaid credit card paypal standard chartered credit card bank hdfc credit card payment online from hdfc debit card best first credit card uk 2012 credit card interest rate comparison calculator paypal credit card reader for pc best secured credit card to build credit fast 2013 citi american airlines aadvantage credit card login mastercard priceless cities who is liable to pay advance tax in india free valid credit card numbers with cvv2 target visa card free credit card terminal app low interest credit cards for average credit student poor credit credit cards money back credit cards canada credit card reward schemes compared 7 best credit card for bad credit how do i check my credit card history airtel to vodafone balance transfer get a credit card with no credit history how do you apply for a credit card yahoo
Home Biz of Baseball - Interviews Interview - Merritt Paulson - Owner - Portland Beavers

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 602 guests online

Atom RSS

Interview - Merritt Paulson - Owner - Portland Beavers PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 13
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 14 August 2007 20:00

Merritt PaulsonMerritt Paulson is anything but the norm when it comes to previous owners of the AAA Portland Beavers. He’s young, energetic, and in the office at PGE Park daily since purchasing the Beavers and Portland Timbers, a United Soccer League team that shares the facility.

Paulson, the former Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development of NBA Entertainment, and Manager of HBO on Demand, purchased the Beavers, a San Diego Padres affiliate, on May 21st of this year, and is already aggressively working to push the Beavers and Timbers into the spotlight.

Yesterday, less than three months after purchasing the Beavers, Paulson, Portland Mayor Tom Potter, and PCL President Branch Rickey III held a press conference to announce that the 2009 AAA All-Star Game will be held in Portland. It's the first sign of positive change from the new energetic owner.

“The 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game will be a national showcase for the city of Portland, our rich baseball tradition and our outstanding fans,” said Paulson. “We are honored to be selected by Triple-A Baseball as the host city, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to showcase Portland and our wonderful ballpark during this prestigious event.”

Paulson claims to have been a lifelong Cubs fan, and is the son of Henry Paulson, the United States Treasury Secretary and former CEO of Goldman Sachs, who is a silent partner of Merritt's Shortstop LLC.

He’s also extremely passionate about community outreach. Just after purchasing the Beavers, he announced the creation of the Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers Community Fund with the vision of making the charitable fund the largest of its kind in Triple-A Baseball and United Soccer. To kick off the fund, he donated $10,000 to a local baseball little league team to help them construct a field.

He takes on a market in Portland that is the largest in the Pacific Coast League, yet has lagged behind smaller markets in attendance. The Beavers and Timbers are just now climbing out of ownership controversy and debt. Until recently, neither were profitable due to an aggressive rent schedule. Added into the mix has been a stream of talk about the addition of other major league sports to Portland, all of which have their sights on PGE Park as either an interim or permanent facility. Whether it was MLB in 2003, or now talk of MLS expansion, ownership has had to juggle interest in major league sports with the entertainment value that is offered by minor league sports.

As Paulson energetically walks around the ballpark on the way to his office overlooking an on-going Beavers game, he tries to peer through any openings to see what his new team is doing on the field that night. When we sit down, he's focused on the interview, but he's also glued to the activity on the field, leaping up at one point when the crowd roars.

In the following interview, Paulson talks about how his insight into the ownership process, how his background in the NBA and HBO assisted him in preparing for ownership, the advantages and disadvantages of playing in a large, urban facility, why a name change may be on the horizon for the Beavers, how he views the possibility of MLB or MLS in Portland, and much more. -- Maury Brown 

Maury Brown for The Biz of Baseball: You spent four years examining the marketing and researching owning a professional baseball club, when did you first start considering looking into owning a team, and what did you learn out of the research on owning a team?

Merritt Paulson quoteMerritt Paulson: Not just baseball; there were some other sports opportunities I was looking at as well for sports ownership, but the bulk of the opportunities were for minor league baseball. To me this was an unbelievably interesting business. You know, I’ve got a passion for sports. And ultimately, people can talk about the business side all they want, but it all starts with a passion for the product for many of the people in the industry. In terms of when the process started—really it was about four years ago that I realized I was going to have the opportunity within a certain level – a certain range – to make a foray into sports ownership. At that point, I started the due diligence process, along a variety of different aspect classes and different types of businesses in the industry, many of which were minor league baseball teams, but some other types of sports and agency business as well.

Bizball: Did you ever consider purchasing an NBA D-League team?

Paulson: I looked into the D-League and there were some touring properties that I looked at; and certainly Major League Soccer was something I spent a lot of time thinking about as well.

Bizball: On owning a minor league baseball club… Was it always a case of wishing to be the majority owner at the minor league level, or was there ever consideration of becoming a minority owner of a major league franchise?

Paulson: No, there is no question in my mind that you can have a positive ROI (Return on Investment) in sports ownership and have it be a good investment. But with that said, if I want to maximize my return on capital on “X” amount of money, it would be a very unique “sports” opportunity that you would recommend to somebody to invest their money - there are certainly other areas that people have historically done better in terms of returns. This was about what I have been doing on a day-to-day basis, and having a majority control position was fundamental.

Bizball: You come from an extremely interesting background with your father Henry being a minority owner. I understand he will be hand-off with ownership of the Beavers and Timbers, but what advice has he given you in regards to this endeavor?

Paulson: He had to get comfortable with the business side of it, there is no question about it, and that was a long process, but he is very much hands off. In terms of advice, he is the best source of advice that I have.

Bizball: You also have been involved in broadcasting, with time spent with HBO and NBA Entertainment, working as Senior Director of League Pass. What did you gain from NBA Entertainment that will assist you in ownership of professional sports franchises?

Merritt Paulson quotePaulson: I believe that David Stern – regardless of what you might think of the NBA versus other sportsis really one of the premiere sports executives there is. And he is really one of the best sports marketers there is. I was in the marketing world (NBA) and in many ways I was learning from the best; that is certainly something that I took away from it. And, the way they handle their sponsorship side of it and their partnerships; I think they do an excellent job with that! There are a number of best business practices that you pick up. I mean, clearly, any organization is not perfect – and you see there is some learning on the other side of the coin as well - but for the most part, I could not have had a better experience and I think the training was fabulous. As a matter of fact, I would go further to say that the NBA has a group called “Team Business and Operations” that basically consult all the teams in the league in terms of best practices, ticket sales, sponsorship and the way to run a team business, and that was fabulous! To the extent that I interfaced with them; it was very beneficial.

Bizball: What was the deciding factor on the Portland teams? Was it opportunity, the market, or some combination of the two?

Paulson: A combination – no question about it. To me, this is one of the strongest (if not the strongest) markets in AAA baseball. It was an opportunity to take over a business that had a lot of upside left in it. I think there is no question that there is positive momentum for the Beavers and the Timbers over the last couple years; but there have been some bumps in the road. I think in terms of the ability to come in and make an impact, to create value, enhance the fan experience and to get out in the community more; there is a lot of opportunity to have an impact here.

Bizball: Portland is growing rapidly, and with that MLB and the MLS have both looked at Portland as a potential market to either expand or relocate to, with PGE Park being the considered as a permanent or interim facility. Where does this issue fit in with your plans when it came time to purchase, and is it something that is impacting matters as you move forward?

Portland's PGE ParkPaulson: Oh, I definitely thought a lot about that … and in my mind you know I would never classify Portland as a “minor league” city. I think the product we are putting out here is a unique product that has a lot of benefit relative to more expensive opportunities, but with that said … MLB … I don’t see as a near-term play here … who knows though, in the long term ( and maybe I am even part of that); but I think MLS actually may happen … there is at least the potential for it to happen and something we are looking at.

Bizball: Are there plans for any MLB exhibition games in PGE Park?

Paulson: I’m working on it. I’m trying to make it happen!

Bizball: Would you ever consider ownership in a Major League club, and in your time examining the market, would Portland suit MLB?

Paulson: Through the right opportunity, yes.

Bizball: Are there plans to rename the Beavers, and if so, why?

Paulson: Well, we’re looking at it. Where we’ve been, it’s been very public over the last couple of weeks just in terms of doing a lot of research with the fans and whether or not there’s confusion between our team and Oregon State. There are a lot of Beavers in the state. You know, a lot of high school teams and the Oregon State team and I think it’s important to have your own brand and your own identity. That said, does that mean we’re going to change it 100%? No. This is based on input that we’re getting. I think that at a minimum we would have a little bit of a re-brand if we kept the Beavers name with the logo and colors that are a little bit more distinct. We are trying to get the best feedback so obviously there are some time constraints. It’s a very important decision and we have to be comfortable with our findings.

Bizball: Are you doing market surveying? What has the approach to the name been?

Paulson: We’ve already had four or five thousand respond. We have been proactive and going out into the community to generate the feedback or we’ve had fans come to our website and vote as well. We’ve been doing focus groups and meeting with our fan advisory committee.

Bizball: What, in your opinion, is the role of ownership of professional sports teams in their community?

Merritt Paulson quotePaulson: I think sports is such a unique vehicle in terms of being able to shine light on areas of the community that could use the help. It’s something that everybody relates to. I think that players getting out and making appearances and using the media attention that follows them to really focus on areas that could use a lot of public support. That’s terrific and it’s not all about money, but certainly the fact that we started this community fund is something I’m very enthusiastic about. I think community is fundamental to having sports franchises. I think there are a lot of great examples of teams who are very community minded and civil minded. The San Diego Padres are one of those teams.

Bizball: How do you make the Beavers a destination in a market that has been ruled by the Trail Blazers, and to some extent on the baseball side of things, the Seattle Mariners?

Paulson: We're totally different, and I think it’s all good. To the extent that the Blazers are doing well and riding high, in fact, that’s great for us. This is an affordable family option where people can come and have a different kind of access and a different kind of flexibility for less money and still be able to watch sports played at an extremely, extremely high level. That is unique. Frankly, there are people who are going to prefer that. It’s a little bit of nostalgia to a time when everything wasn’t as corporate in the sports world. Not to discourage MLB or the NBA, but these teams have a real place in Portland and I embrace that.

Bizball: The Beavers are in a bit of different situation than other minor league teams in the sense that PGE Park is quite expansive in size for a minor league park, as well as the facility being located in the downtown core. What are the advantages or disadvantages of playing in PGE Park?

Paulson: Well, it’s a double-edged sword because there’s no question that it’s an advantage to have for fans to be able to make a spur of the moment decision of going to a game or not. The flip side is that you like a scenario where you are creating a stronger set of benefits to strengthen your season ticket base and we are taking a hard look at changing the way we sell season tickets. Far more benefits than negatives. I mean, most teams would kill for a downtown location like this in a city as big as Portland.

Bizball: What changes have you made since coming on as owner, and what plans are there for the future that you might be entertaining for next season and beyond?

Paulson: For one, we’ve been talking about is how we are going to add value to the season tickets. Certainly big events is something that we are looking at. Community funds is a change. I already talked about that. A number of things on the soccer side as well. I know we’re baseball focused here. There’s a lot going on. I need to caution myself to evaluate and not make quick decisions and that’s what we’re trying to do. We're excited about hosting the Triple-A All-Star Game in 2009, and looking forward to other exciting changes in the future.

Interview conducted by Maury Brown on 8/ 4/2007

Transcribed by Bill Jordan and Mike Elsen

Edited by Maury Brown



Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?