On My Mind...
Having just returned from the NSGA Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit in the sort-of-out-of-the-way Braselton, GA (fun fact; actress Kim Basinger used to own the town of Braselton), some impressions from an event I have attended every year since 1992 come to mind.
The most poorly kept secret at the Conference was that a number of potential Conference and Summit attendees, primary team dealers, stayed away in response to the inclusion of BSN Sports’ Bob Dickman in the Tuesday evening Hall of Fame ceremony. That’s just too bad, because along with fellow dealer Ronny Flowers of Athletic Supply, it was a night of tribute to the success and perseverance of the team business. Dickman was recognized for his success in making Kesslers Sport Shop the largest team dealer in America before its purchase by BSN Sports, along with his contributions as chairman of the NSGA and of the Hall of Fame Committee, but it was his connection to BSN Sports that apparently caused more than a few people to stay home.
However, more than 30 BSN Sports’ executives, including Varsity Sports chairman Adam Blumenfeld and BSN president Terry Babilla, made the trip from Dallas to Chateau Elan (an hour north of Atlanta, with no traffic, two hours with) to support Dickman. Two dozen friends and co-workers of Ronny Flowers also made the trip, swelling the attendance for the three-day meeting.
Dickman entertained the audience with a professionally produced video recapping his career while he recounted a conversation he had with his wife while traveling down to the Conference. “Did you ever in your wildest dreams ever think I’d been in the Hall of Fame?” Dickman said he asked her. His wife’s reply: “Bob, you’re never in my wildest dreams.”
For his part, Flowers, wearing his trademark cowboy hat to the stage to win a bet with his friends, explained that was so excited when he got the call about being elected to the Hall while he happened to be golfing that he missed a two-foot putt worth $100. He was hoping NSGA would reimburse for the hundred.
It was a fitting end to an emotional, light-hearted and most-deserved Hall of Fame ceremony for two iconic team dealers. Then everyone went to the bar.